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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 recommend Bick4. I might have been one of the first to recommend it...quite a ways back in this thread. As far as waxes or polishes are concerned, I use cremes very very sparingly or not at all on my own shoes and Angelus wax when bulling, but only on the toe and heel--where the leather doesn't flex. But I don't really think it matters--they're all somewhat occlusive and equally bad for the reasons I mentioned above..

    I think probably the best advice overall is simply to brush your shoes daily--keep them clean
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
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  2. gsgleason

    gsgleason Senior member

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    Actually, that stuff scraped off in hard flakes. It appears that the eyelets had a lacquer of some sort to make them look brass. When it was all scraped off it was silvery metal. I think the coating corroded. I'm going to take them to a cobbler to have them replaced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  3. tharkun

    tharkun Senior member

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    If they weren't brass then its definitely not like a copper roof, yes ;)
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't really think it comes down to your opinion. It is the truth that the majority of shoes out there have a topcoat. It may not look like very cheap corrected grain shoes, but they have topcoats and the majority of what you're doing is treating that. Look at leather chemist forums on the net, they all pretty much roll their eyes at the idea of conditioning most leathers. Modern topcoats are allegedly less occlusive, but as DW said keeping them clean is probably going to do your shoes better than slathering on conditioners.

    The branch analogy is sound to a degree. I have used the same analogy before in this very thread, but also remember a soggy branch will also fall apart. Also, it comes down to why your shoes are cracking. Moisture and oil will only allow the fibers to move across one another easily, however the fibers are still flexing and bending themselves; the only thing that will prevent that is not wearing them. Whether shoes crack because a lack of moisture, or simply because the fibers have bent more than they can handle is up for endless debate. But I have come to my conclusions after many, many years of trying different conditioning products and methods. In the end I don't think it is worth losing sleep over as there are too many variables at play that you really can't produce anything conclusive.

    Somebody asked about Lexol, I tend to like products that are emulsified because it is a bit more difficult to over oil leather with it because of the water content. Oils, as DW has said time and time again attract dust and dirt, which acts as sandpaper, and furthermore will turn leather fibers into a wet rag than can come apart if overdone.

    I know a highly respected forum member, who simply goes to a shine stand and reads the paper to take care of his shoes and he doesn't have issues with cracking. Also, I see hipsters walking around in my neighborhood with beat up shoes worn in the rain and such with no cracking. I have had shoes that only saw the beloved Saphir product regiment crack in no time. In the end, I don't think it is worth worrying about because the factors that lead to cracking are largely out of your control.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
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  5. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Senior member

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    While I don't disagree with what you're saying, I think to forgo conditioning all together is not sound advice. I agree that brushing and keeping your shoes in dust bags are very important as well. I also agree we can debate this until death do us part.

    For reference, I use Bick4, brush before and after wearing, keep shoes in dust bags, and brush again before conditioning.
     
  6. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    I suspect one of the problems connected to why we don't like to think that shoe care have no effect is personal bias. Taking care of shoes is more of a hobby for me right now; I got a couple of shoe boxes filled with different waxes, creams, soaps, conditioners and so on, and I enjoy making worn shoes look their best. For me, conditioning leather makes it feel and look better, but that is close to no proof of it actually having the wanted effect. However, as I have huge respect for Glenjay, and quite possibly because I have a bias towards his results as well as enjoyable process, I like to follow his steps: http://oldleathershoe.com/wordpress/?cat=3&paged=3.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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  8. daveinsweethome

    daveinsweethome Well-Known Member

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    gets harder and harder to condition my gore tex hiking boots these days.
     
  9. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Perhaps it is possible to locate shoe wearers in - at least - three categories. First, those who do nothing to their shoes and wear them every day. Second, those who take care of their shoes, wear them in rotation and enjoy polishing their shoes. Third, those who take a scientific approach to shoe care and who know about the interactions between products and leathers, alongside enjoying polishing their shoes.. I appreciate that these three might best be plotted on a spectrum, but let's not get too technical, here.

    For what my amateur thoughts are worth, I have found that brushing really does take care of most shoes. I have learnt this from experts on the site and it works.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  10. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Senior member

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    I haven't heard much up in here regarding humidity levels and any impact it may have. I know in humid areas, take an island like Bermuda for example, you can have your dehumidifiers running all day and your clothes will still be damp, potentially moldy, especially over time.

    So I wonder what a climate like that would do to leather? Would it act as a natural conditioner and help keep shoes in your closet more moist than if you lived in say Phoenix? And say you live in Phoenix is there a greater need to condition and/or use cream polish so that shoes aren't drying out.

    In Chicago we get best of both. There are times in the summer it can be overly hot/humid though to me it's never prolonged enough to really have impact in the house or more importantly one's closet. Certainly nothing like a climate of Bermuda or other areas. But then in the winter it can get very dry in the house.

    There really are so many factors involved. But given identical shoes, # of days worn, # of steps/day, and polish ingredients/brands, I would think that where a person lives is the defining variable in the equation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  11. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I agree and also use Bick4.

    For polish, I mainly just use creme polish. I've used Saphir as well as Meltonion and haven't had a problem with either, even though the Saphir gives more to the pigment of the shoe.

    I only use wax on the toe and heel as well because the leather doesn't flex and these are the areas that commonly take the most direct trauma to the shoe when walking.

    In the end, keeping the shoe somewhat moisturized (like human skin), protected when not being worn (in a shoe bag), and brushed before and after wears (to remove dust and dirt particles) are the most important to keep the shoes going on as long as you can.

    The rest basically is just making them look better with more pigment and a nice shine!
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I would just say for the sake of clarity, that I use Bick4 pretty regularly Once a month? But it is, in no way, oily greasy or waxy. so it is not going to collect or hold grit.

    I think there are too many products out there that carry fancy names and fancier price tags that, if truth were known, it would be better to use nothing (and just brush regularly) than to use those.
     
  13. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    agreed! Bick4 is pretty regularly used for me too, but not much else except for the creme polish once in a while (couple times a year at most) and the wax is as needed depending on the level of shine that I want.
     
  14. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    So much conflicting info flying around it's ludicrous.
     
  15. Darkside

    Darkside Senior member

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    Do you use neutral or colored polish? I want to go for neutral but I think a colored polish would have the benefit of filling in any scuffs. Also, which polish do you use?



    Bick4 ordered as my sole conditioner/cleaner for my calf and chromexcel shoes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  16. M635Guy

    M635Guy Senior member

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    I like both Bick4 and Saphir Reno - I use them differently, and think they are different (if overlapping) products.
     
  17. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I use colored creme polish from both Saphir and Meltonion! Both work for me but Saphir gives more pigment for me and yes it can fill the scuffs with the color better.

    There is no problem with neutral and it is great for light colored shoes, but I prefer to just have a lot of different polish colors so I can always work on helping the color of the shoes as well as giving more depth to them by using a variety of shades from lighter to darker.

    Good choice with Bick4!
     
  18. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I like Saphir Renovator as well, but just use the Bick4 more for regular use and may use the renovator if I need some extra cleaning because I was given it as a gift.
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Only if you're conflicted...

    :crackup:
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    It has been my experience that putting any conditioner on leather outsoles shortens their lives. Esp. if the outsoles remain oily, greasy or are softened at all.
     

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