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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I'm curious too.

    I'd love to see some really clear and understandable deconstructions. There was a link to a site (I sadly didn't save it) posted on SF some time ago where the fellow who had actually done the deconstructions displayed a series of photos from each breakdown. The unfortunate thing was that he was apparently not a shoemaker or even familiar with shoes in an informed way and that the shoes he deconstructed were pretty run of the mill.

    'Course who wants to tear apart a perfectly god $2K shoe for a photo shoot?

    The manufacturers could give us a detailed construction sequence but the trouble there is that they end up giving away the "keys to the kingdom"--industrial secrets. Really perspicacious viewers could pick up a tremendous amount of knowledge from photos and video...and do... and as a result every video I've ever seen skips over parts that aren't common knowledge or that the maker doesn't want you to see....like maybe they're using a plastic toe stiffener or something along those lines.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  2. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Crispins is totally transparent. They show their whole process in their videos and even have one of their shoes cut open at trunk shows.
     
  3. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    GYW all the same in 90% of the processes...so no many secrets for many of us. You see one shoemaker video, you know the others too.
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well the materials used becomes important. Even in the case of handwelting things like insole thickness becomes an objective comparison.
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    All that's true but....and maybe it's just me...I see things in videos, even ones I've watched a dozen times that I had not seen or noticed before.

    Just the other day I saw a single photo of a pair of Delos lasts with a feathered and channeled insole. The interesting thing was that I noticed that Delos/Berlutti appeared to be preforming their heel stiffeners.

    I've played around with that concept on and off over the years and I had probably seen that photo before, although I can't recall ever having seen it. But again that was the first time I noticed the stiffener wrapped around the last. Dumb bootmaker, I guess.

    Of course I watch videos and examine photos of bespoke makers with far more frequency and avidity than promotional videos put out by the manufacturers. But I'm always seeing new approaches.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Right. Also last model numbers, whether or not the heel stacks are actually leather or leatherboard, whether a maker is backing the vamps with fabric.

    And so many other things that may even change from one model to the next or one leather to the next.

    Sometime you don't even realize what you've been overlooking until you have seen everything else repeatedly...ad nauseum...and your attention wanders just a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Another example...this one was actually from a deconstruction, IIRC, although of bespoke shoe. I don't know how long the photo had been posted before shoefan came along and pointed to the torn-off outsole.

    Who's really interested in a worn out, about-to-be-discarded outsole? But shoefan directed our attention...or at least mine...to the stitching holes. They were perfect little rectangles...indicating that the outsole had been hand stitched with a square awl.

    Not earth shattering or mind blowing esp. when you considered that the shoe was bespoke but I hadn't zero'd in on that level of detail.

    Dumb bootmaker, I guess.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    "I'm a dumb bootmaker, Jim..."
     
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  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Search Shoe dissection on forum. I've posted quite a few pictures.

    And if u want, I have a few on saint crispins as well.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. niklasnordin

    niklasnordin Senior member

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    Just something I did this weekend...
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Cool time lapse video!
     
  12. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    I agree that materials and components are the most differential factors when taking about GYW shoes (you can add finishing and QC). But processes and techniques in their construcction...no much difference at all.

    After informed myself for a year with most of the threads about shoe construction and quality in SF I decided to spend 260€ for my latest GYW quality shoes (the cheapest one I own). I am sure that their materials are not the same, but they fit me very well and their price/quality ratio wont disappoint me for sure. Prices for most high class shoemakers have no justification nowadays (not even with that premium leather uppers/out/insoles/finishings): they are completely outrageous!!.

    My advise to newcomers is to buy the best possible GYW shoe under 350-400 € that fits them really well (there are many good makers in the market now with tons of models and lasts).

    If budget is more, just go for HW shoes!!.
     
  13. JNSJr

    JNSJr Member

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    Hi all,

    Great resource here. Thanks for sharing all your experiences and knowledge. I am finally going to start maintaining my own shoes (previously used the firm's shoe shiner). After reading through the thread, I am getting ready to make a rather large first purchase at Hangar Project. I basically only have shoe trees and nothing else in terms of shoe care/maintenance.

    I was hoping that you guys could share your thoughts with me on the following:

    (1) My shoe collection includes a semi-rotation of quite a few AEs: black park avenue, walnut strand and fifth ave, bourbon mora, dark chili burnished fifth ave and a merlot mcallister. If I'm not going for mirror finishes, what do you guys think of just using reno and the respective AE premium polishes (link)? I'm really wondering of the quality of the AE polish and if I should skip this and just go straight to using Saphir cream polish. This is not really a cost issue, its more of an I don't want to screw up the colors on my shoes issue. The other related question I had is that if I go the Saphir route, which colors would be closest to the bourbon, walnut, dark chili and merlot colors. It seems that it would be a combination of browns, bordeaux and mahogany and maybe tobacco?

    (2) Any extra steps or tips for the upkeep of the chili burnished fifth ave? I do enjoy the look of the darkened toe. Can this be maintained by adding a bit of black polish and wax during my normal maintenance routine?

    Thanks guys!
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  15. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    Nice work!!! The only thing i want to mention is that at my opinion you used a little more cream than the optimum
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  16. niklasnordin

    niklasnordin Senior member

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    Yes I know, that was the intention :)
    I cleaned them with soap and water the day before and let them dry for a day so they were quite dry.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. Stemo79

    Stemo79 Senior member

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    Personally if you want to keep the original colour as long as possible then i'd probably use Saphir nappa balm or something similar. Most waxes/creams will darken leather (especially tan or light coloured leather) over time due to the wax content so using a delicate cream product should give you the best chance of maintaining the original colour and finish for the longest time.
     
  18. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    ????
     
  19. Stemo79

    Stemo79 Senior member

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    Apologies that does sound stupid. What I meant is that different products have different waxes and differing amounts of wax content. Wax being of a greasy consistency will darken by its nature so a lighter solution with less shouldn't have as dramatic an effect as a more heavy based solution.

    For example I had a pair of Tan shoes which darkened dramatically with the use of Pommadier cream, I replaced the shoes and used nappa balm and the colour has barely darkened at all.

    I hope that makes sense this time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  20. Berners15

    Berners15 Senior member

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    When I was young I used to have a passion for lightish gray flannel suits, generally Italian and off the peg, but quite expensive.
    The point is, I would mainly wear them with tan shoes, and as we all know shoe polish comes off to some extent on your trousers which annoyed me.
    At the time my main go to pair of shoes for special events was a lovely pair of light tan Oxfords (about the same quality as G&G or EG). I lived with my parents at the time and my mother had a passion for handbags and always used Russell and Bromley handbag cream (neutral), so from day one I used that on them. Worked a treat. No transfer of polish to clothes, nice natural shine, colour of shoes remained true to original. shoes lasted just as well as any others that were treated differently.
    If you want to keep the original colour, Meltonian neutral (or similar yup I use Saphir products now), then occasionally a cream a shade or two lighter, voila,
    If you want to get a natural patina (the sprayed/dyed type IMHO looks gross), there is no substitute for gradual ageing and polishing with a colour a shade or two darker than the original leather dye. If the shoes are quite dark judicious use of a little black, in strategic areas, can look nice but is no substitute for the lovely effect of years of love and care.
    Black shoes on the other hand, in my experience, fare poorly with neutral polish. Mind you I'm not a fan of black shoes, I think they're best saved for work, formal dinners, weddings and funerals. However I am very fond of some of the shoes in the G&G Deco range which I think look superb in black, I really don't like those last shapes when they've been made into other colours. I wouldn't have thought that Tony Gaziano had any other colour than black in mind when he originally designed those lasts.
     

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