The Ultimate "HARDCORE" Shoe Porn Thread (Bespoke only)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 3, 2010.

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  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Sorry to disappoint.

    I have been using Meltonian for over 40 years. It has never damaged any leather I have used it on, from calf to kangaroo to ostrich to lizard. I am not aware that it has an deleterious components. It does not, AFAIK (unlike Saphir) have mink oil in it. I tried Saphir. In black. Frankly, speaking, I though it was just OK. In black, it seemed to have a red tint that left streaks on my shoes.

    Meltonian has been around for a long time. So have I. But as mentioned, I don't have much brand loyalty--I'm not a "brand whore." If someone were to show me that Meltonianwas formulated with products that I knew or suspected would damage leather, I'd switch brands in a minute...probably not to Saphir, however.

    To add insult to injury...might as well tell you now...sometimes I use Kiwi or even Lincoln to spit shine shoes.

    PS...I'm down on gemming because it is an inferior technique that, by comparison, produces an objectively inferior product. And because it relies on misdirection, camouflage, and disingenuousness to be marketable. Among other things.

    Like most "craftsmen," "artisans", I'm about results.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011


  2. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    I'm not personally sold on the Saphir products being vastly superior. The difference between "all natural" and "man made" ingredients is often more about marketing than anything else. Even "man made" ingredients are, themselves, comprised of "all natural" parts.

    I prefer to use them and form opinions based on that. In terms of conditioners, the litmus test for me has been to take a pair of 60+ year old NOS (which are usually dry as a bone) and condition the leather "back to life". The process usually takes weeks or even months of conditioning (a method learned from our own Meister). When used for this purpose, I've seen absolutely no difference in the results using Lexol & Saphir Renovateur.
     


  3. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    one should use, what he is used to and with what he has the best experience.

    when it's saphir, it's saphir, kiwi - kiwi, etc., etc.,

    all the famous makers, i have visited use kiwi, for instance.

    never used saphir and wil never do, cause it's from frogland, though.
     


  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    When it comes to this kind of thing, as I said, I'm about results.

    If there were an "all natural" product that could do what Meltonian or Kiwi could do, I'm sure I'd be interested.

    Trouble is once you start looking at the components in any of these products it's easy to label them "all natural" but harder to prove.

    Just take wax for example....what kinds of wax is being used in Saphir? If it's bees wax for instance, it will polish to a nice satin finish, although it may be sticky and tend to dull quickly. But it probably is natural.

    That said, beeswax will never spit shine.

    If it's not beeswax, what other kind of wax will shine up to a high gloss and remain hard? Carnuba? Yes, that's natural but what kind of solvent is used to make it into a paste which will evaporate fast enough to leave behind an easily buffed thin layer of wax?

    Generally, turpentine or benzene is used as a solvent for waxes in shoe polishes. And what does applying a solvent do to the leather? I suspect that it pulls natural oils and vat liquors out of the leather.

    The other wax commonly used is paraffin--a coal tar derivative.

    Are there dyes in creams or polishes? How are they formulated? Generally leather dyes that are somewhat permanent are alcohol based or use some sort of more complex hydro-carbon solvent.

    All aniline dyes are coal-tar derivatives. The best chrome calfskins are aniline dyed.

    So where do you go from there?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011


  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have always just heard the whole silicone angle. I also have heard that Lincoln and Angelus products are closer in indredients to Saphir.
     


  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know about the silicone. If Meltonian contains it now...I am pretty sure it didn't when I began using it.

    That said, silicone is as inert as it gets. I would be more tolerant of it than mink oil, however.

    And many manufactured shoes come out of the factory with a thin silicone coating to give you that slick, "new shoe" feel. Not to mention that most, if not all, factories use a silicone last slip. 'Course that's only affecting the inside of the shoe.

    Nevertheless if someone could offer an alternative that didn't have silicone, I'd try it in a heartbeat. We used to get Properts, which I liked as well.. And I use Kelly creams when I can get them. I honestly don't know what the ingredients are or were...as you can tell some of this dates back to when I was just beginning. It's almost habit.

    Lincoln has always been the "cheap" alternative to Kiwi and other waxes that came in smaller tins.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011


  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What is the argument against mink oil? I hear in small doses like in renovateur it is nothing but good, however applying a heavy coat gets into the pores of the leather and making it not be able to take a shine and could turn rancid after many years.
     


  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Again, it may be an old bias, but it is a heavy oil. Any heavy oils will prevent the leather from breathing, darken light coloured leathers, and leave a sticky residue that will pick up and collect grit...which, in turn, contributes to cracking.

    I'm not so worried about it going rancid--early products did, but I'm sure that they have preservatives (natural?) now that will prevent that from happening.
     


  9. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I neeeeed a pair of shoes made up in stingray. :drool:
     


  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    BTW, I'm not denigrating Saphir, or extolling Meltonian particularly. All I'm saying...started out saying...is that for exotics you just need to remember that they are leather--you don't need to resort to specialty products--anything that works for a dress calf will work for lizard or croc or stingray.
     


  11. Roy

    Roy Senior member

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    Then do it ;)

    Saturday I will get them, finally!

    @DWFII
    I like Saphir, it's just something I am used to. If I started out with Kiwi I probably would have used that. Do you think you will reach the leather under the beads easily?
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Probably need something like Lexol.
     


  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My issue with Lexol has always been that it takes A LOT of finish off the shoe, takes a long time to dry and then it takes a long time to rebuild a decent finish.
     


  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I could see how that would happen if the finish were added after the fact. but on finished leathers such as calfskin, I often use it a a lubricant to chase pipes and wrinkles when 'crimping" or "blocking." So I'm rubbing it in, and on, the surface of the leather quite vigourously with my fingers, a bone and a rosewood smoother. In those circumstances with that kind of leather I never have any problem.
     


  15. isshinryu101

    isshinryu101 Senior member

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    I'd like to see some pics of this. I'm not sure exactly what you mean. When using Lexol, the only thing that may come off the shoe is some of the top layer of polish. Not a big deal, however, since I re-polish after. At least this has been my experience, even with "antiqued" shoes.

    I suppose if the "finish" you speak of is really built-up layers of polish (as I've seen some are), you may lose some. However, if the finish is built up thru multi-layers of shoe dye, you should be fine.
     


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