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wasmisterfu

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Today’s choice: Allen Edmonds MacNeils from 1985. Black cashmere calf with the telltale all caps ALLEN EDMONDS logo on the sole and insole.

They need new heels, which I will likely trust to my local pedestrian cobbler. He has lost the right to work on my favorite shoes, but I’m pretty sure he can put a new rubber toplift on a pair like this.

View attachment 1026292 View attachment 1026293
9117’s. One of my favorites. They never made them better (before or since) than the way they did between 82 and 90.

I don’t know where Stollenwerk had them sourcing leather from, but it was some seriously next-level stuff (my 5 year old bench made Lobb’s aren’t made from stuff as good as what AE was using in the 80’s). Probably can’t even source leather like that anymore because it violates laws due to something horrible like keeping the cows in sealed bags or something.
 

Thomas Crown

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Today’s choice: Allen Edmonds MacNeils from 1985. Black cashmere calf with the telltale all caps ALLEN EDMONDS logo on the sole and insole.

They need new heels, which I will likely trust to my local pedestrian cobbler. He has lost the right to work on my favorite shoes, but I’m pretty sure he can put a new rubber toplift on a pair like this.

View attachment 1026292 View attachment 1026293
Speaking of cobblers losing their right to do anything besides basics-my old Polish guy has this obnoxious wife who takes it upon herself to deem what sort of work he will or will not do depending on her own stylistic opinions-she scoffed when I asked to have contrast stitch (a la Doc) on a black Alden resole(“that wouldn’t look good”) how about something more subtle,perhaps gray thread? I asked—“we dont have gray thread”-complete with eyeroll—meanwhile old Peter is looking up from his bench with this apologetic expression- it sucks because he does great work but his wife won’t allow unconventional thinking beyond her pea-brained micromanaging
 

eTrojan

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Speaking of cobblers losing their right to do anything besides basics-my old Polish guy has this obnoxious wife who takes it upon herself to deem what sort of work he will or will not do depending on her own stylistic opinions-she scoffed when I asked to have contrast stitch (a la Doc) on a black Alden resole(“that wouldn’t look good”) how about something more subtle,perhaps gray thread? I asked—“we dont have gray thread”-complete with eyeroll—meanwhile old Peter is looking up from his bench with this apologetic expression- it sucks because he does great work but his wife won’t allow unconventional thinking beyond her pea-brained micromanaging
Did you bring photos of @smfdoc 's awesome shoes to blow her mind? Sometimes the actual manifestation of something you can't comprehend is enough to trigger a meltdown.
 

smfdoc

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Speaking of cobblers losing their right to do anything besides basics-my old Polish guy has this obnoxious wife who takes it upon herself to deem what sort of work he will or will not do depending on her own stylistic opinions-she scoffed when I asked to have contrast stitch (a la Doc) on a black Alden resole(“that wouldn’t look good”) how about something more subtle,perhaps gray thread? I asked—“we dont have gray thread”-complete with eyeroll—meanwhile old Peter is looking up from his bench with this apologetic expression- it sucks because he does great work but his wife won’t allow unconventional thinking beyond her pea-brained micromanaging
Send the shoes to Steve at Bedos leatherworks and he will get it done properly, and without the eye roll.
 

Nobleprofessor

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I got jealous of all the LWB and the shell, so I changed out of my Trask Loafers into my unknown maker Black Shell LWB.

I love shell cordovan. But, I do have to say that black shell is my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, that is like saying this is my least favorite Mercedes. But, the colors and depth of colors is not as interesting on black shell. But, I still love these. They will last for decades more!

IMG_3377.jpg

IMG_3378.jpg
 

suitforcourt

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Hey man, you can’t be posting pics of SuitForCourt’s clients. Total violation of attorney-client privilege.
That is pretty offensive. My clients would steal that to flip, and not be weird enough to wear themselves.
 

smfdoc

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Hi Doc:

Take a look at these:

https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/56732671

kilowatts
Interesting. Are they corrected grain? The box says "Smooth cow wing blu." Are they blu? They look black. I just may have to bid on them at some point. UPDATE: They are style 3350 and those are corrected grain. The 3351 was the shell cordovan model. Once again, the info on vcleat.com came through with that answer.
 
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Shoonoob

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Interesting. Are they corrected grain? The box says "Smooth cow wing blu." Are they blu? They look black. I just may have to bd on them at some point.
I would bet the rest of that SKU would say blu(cher). I would translate "smooth cow" as corrected grain lol.
That being said I would also bid on them.
 

smfdoc

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I would bet the rest of that SKU would say blu(cher). I would translate "smooth cow" as corrected grain lol.
That being said I would also bid on them.
Blucher, of course. Said as I slap my forehead.
 

John Doe

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So I don’t use that many, but you do need different tools for different jobs.

First thing is to understand that a new pair of quality leather shoes is chock full of oils embedded in the leather. If maintained properly (occasional conditioning, polishing and brushing) it will take many, many decades for the original oils to dissipate, and since you are continually replenishing them with conditioner, the leather should retain its strength and suppleness. Well maintained leather can last an extraordinarily long time.

So why do most of us have at least two types of conditioner, cream polishes, waxes, stripping agents, saddle soaps, etc.? Because most vintage shoes haven’t been well maintained. Even ones that are NOS or lightly used, tend to be dried out (sat in an upstairs closet or attic for decades) and may be layered in nothing but wax. In some cases they’ve been stored dirty, with salt and dust packed on them. Dry dirty leather will, quite literally, self destruct (dry rot) and can fail catastrophically if worn without restoration. This means you have to go through multiple careful steps to get the leather back to a point where it’s going to feel supple and, more importantly, not degrade (crack, split, etc.).

So my regimen looks like this: First you need to thoroughly clean the shoes with saddle soap (I use Kiwi Saddle Soap); then you need to condition them with an oil heavy conditioner - I use AE Conditioner Cleaner for this; then further condition and polish with a cream polish (I use AE or Saphir cream polishes); followed by an optional layer of wax (I use either AE or Saphir).

If the leather is very dry and creased, I’ll use AE leather lotion to saturation point, instead of conditioner, to ensure it gets deep into the leather. I’ll them follow up after a few days with the oil heavy conditioner, followed by polish, etc. Often, there is at least a day or more that I let them sit between stages.

These are my methods and I find they work well, but I need multiple products to get optimal results. You probably don’t need all these steps if the shoes aren’t all that old or if you’re just maintaining newer shoes. I would say, however, that you should augment your current regimen with a regular conditioner+cream polish routine once every 3-6 months, depending on wear frequency) in addition to wax. Waxes contain solvents that tend to dry out leather; they are essentially surface level protection and do little to hydrate and maintain the leather.

Hopefully this sheds some light on things.

Edit: I forgot to mention, occasionally you get a pair that has layers of old wax and polish piled up, and you need to pull that stuff off (or you want to get your shoes back to bare leather). That’s when you need stripping agents (solvent heavy stuff) like Renomat or, my favorite, pure industrial grade acetone. Use such products with greatest care.
I think everyone has their preferences. I never tried to totally restore a pair of old shoes at least until recently. The most I had tried was to sort of revive a dirty, dusty, or slightly neglected pair. So, I was pretty content until recently to just use Alcohol to remove old layers of polish and wax and add some leather conditioner and then follow up with some cream, polish, and wax.

But, I will say as someone who had never before used Bick 4, that stuff is amazing! It really nourished and conditioned some old dried out shoes I had. After using it on an old pair of very sad shell cordovan loafers, I think they can be brought back to life.

Here they before any treatment:

View attachment 1026122

Here they are today:

View attachment 1026124

View attachment 1026126 View attachment 1026127


here's the best before and after:


View attachment 1026123

View attachment 1026125

The ONLY thing did to these was use Lexol NF cleaner twice and then 3 rounds of Bick 4 with shoe trees inserted resting two days in between applications. Then, I wiped them with a terry cloth rag. I didn't buff them or brush them. They are still rough. They will need a resole and they will never be pristine. But, I am definitely convinced now that Bick 4 is GREAT stuff.
@wasmisterfu has detailed the majority of what needs to be said about general shoe care/conditioning. All that I would add is that shell cordovan shoes require a slightly different approach. In general, shell, once cleaned and conditioned, requires much less pigmented conditioning and practically no wax. Lots of brushing with a horsehair brush is the best general maintenance with the occasional light application of Venetian Shoe Cream which seems to have a touch of wax in the mix for a nice gentle shine. Colored wax is rarely needed, usually only when the shoe has been stripped or heavily scuffed. You may also note that shell will express some oils from the folds that develop during wear and these points will look hazy. Simple brushing after wiping with a damp cloth will take care of that. Shell that is fairly new and left alone for a while will "bloom" with a haze-like dull finish all over the shoe. This is not mold, but oils coming out of the hide. Once again, brushing is your best friend to get rid of this.
Thanks guys for all the great info. This is very useful.
 

wasmisterfu

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Speaking of cobblers losing their right to do anything besides basics-my old Polish guy has this obnoxious wife who takes it upon herself to deem what sort of work he will or will not do depending on her own stylistic opinions-she scoffed when I asked to have contrast stitch (a la Doc) on a black Alden resole(“that wouldn’t look good”) how about something more subtle,perhaps gray thread? I asked—“we dont have gray thread”-complete with eyeroll—meanwhile old Peter is looking up from his bench with this apologetic expression- it sucks because he does great work but his wife won’t allow unconventional thinking beyond her pea-brained micromanaging
I feel like I know this shop. What city is this in?
 

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