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Warm climate better for cordovan?

Chips

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I spent a lot of time searching thru these threads before posting my inquiry. I rarely post, because my questions are usually answered just by digging thru the previous threads. I read everything here about cordovan shoes, and the care they might require, but I'm still wondering if there is something to this idea I have.

Living in the San Francisco Bay area, my apartment never gets much higher than 67 degrees. I'm wondering if the cooler climate makes the oils or waxes that are impregnated into cordovan, become less "willing" to be massaged out and shined up. I will post two pics of my Aldens' Cordovan Wingtips, and compare them to my brown calf Plain Toes. My brown plain toes have a depth and warmth to the finish, whereas my cordovans look like dull, hard plastic.

I have only worn the cordovans 6 times now. I would love to get them to polish up and give me a deep shine, but it's just not happening. Last night I put a very, very thin coat of paste wax on, and buffed them with my horsehair brush, then shined with a microfiber cloth. When I was done, they looked good from about an arms length away, but closer inspection showed that the thin coating of wax just sat on the surface and looked "filmy".

So I ended up sitting there rubbing like hell with the cloth, till I built up enough friction and warmth in order to clean off the wax, and I think, maybe warm up some of the deeply impregnated oils or waxes etc, that are in the cordovan originally. Only then did they look any better.

I can't help but think that in a warmer climate I would be able to create, maintain and SEE a better shine since it might help to liberate some of those conditioners in the material. In the picture of the cordovan pair, you can see the scuffs on the right heel that I've tried and tried, but failed to remove since the wax ends up being removed anyway. The cordovans look better in the photos then they do in hand. I cant help but think that they look too plastic-like and dull.




 

Tarmac

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What's wrong with them? They look fine.
 

yachtie

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OK here's the "Super Secret Method to Shiny Cordovan":
Apply Saphir "Renovatur"(the white creamy stuff)- THINLY. let dry- buff out
Apply thin coat of Saphir paste wax ( I use the red Mahogany on my #8's) let dry and buff like mad.

It'll be REALLY SHINY.

It'll never look like calfskin though- but it's really not supposed to.

I don't think the temp will make a difference.
 

Chips

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They look fine in the photos, but the finish is dull and lifeless compared to the Plain Toes when looked at in hand. And I cant get rid of the small scuffs. The wax seems to do nothing, I have to end up rubbing it completely off, and the heat and friction I build up from rubbing helps shine them up a bit, but it still does almost nothing for the few scuffs I see.

I did have a bit of an epiphany yesterday. While dropping off a new pair of Churchs' Monkstraps for scuff protectors, at my cobblers, I picked up a few horsehair polish daubers. Up till now, I have been using the small round foam and plastic cheap applicators. Since I have plenty of free time, I make sure I shine and care for my shoes after each wearing. When I got home and used the new horsehair daubers, I found that I could use less cream, and still achieve a better end result. My Plain Toes' have not been waxed in the last two weeks, just an application of conditioner cleaner, and now the cream, and they look better than they have in quite awhile.
 

Chips

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Here's what they look like 12 hours later after rubbing like hell. There is none of the wax remaining that I put on there last night. That's why I think its the heat that is created from vigorous buffing and rubbing that gives me a decent result. But my problem is, it doesn't fix the small scuffs to my satisfaction.



 

Tarmac

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don't wax or polish so often. Let the oils and wax build up a bit on the surface. wipe with a cotton cloth maybe once a week just to get the dust off.
 

Chips

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These have only been waxed and polished twice I think. I don't want to wear them too much, but I do want to break them in.

I must admit I am pleased with the overall way they look after the vigorous rubbing (everything is better with vigorous rubbing right?
) but the only thing I want is to be able to treat the scuffs better, and get a deeper luster to the shine. I read last night searching the threads, about someone using a nylon stocking to buff their shoes. Also I was wondering, when people wrote of glazing the shoes using a rag, a bit of wax, and drops of water, along with more vigorous rubbing, would using a small spray bottle suffice or work better?

Time isn't much a factor for me when it comes to my shoes. I will spend and two hours at night sometimes, carefully going over my finer shoes and caring for them. Thank you all for any advice you might share.

Going back to my original concept, I wonder if in a warmer environment the shoes would soften a bit more, a bit easier, and would be willing to be buffed easier, bringing out the waxes or whatever is more present in cordovan? I would love these shoes to have more life to them, and not look so dull, and stiff and have a plastic looking thin shine. I imagine that with time, the depth and character might be revealed. Just wondering if the cool surroundings are slowing that a bit.
 

Tarmac

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what I mean is, stop with the vigorous rubbing [no conne]
 

Chips

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Tarmac, the cotton cloth method you spoke of, does it help if it is slightly damp? Or should it be bone dry? I have a small spray bottle that I am thinking about using for the glazing finish mentioned in another thread for putting a glassy shine on the toe cap, and quarter of the shoe, on my calf plain toes.
 

Tarmac

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I use dry cloth. Then again, I'm not looking for a ultra-mega-shine like you
 

JayJay

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I wish my shoes had a nice shine like yours. I do use a spray bottle to apply a little water prior to buffing.
 

Chips

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You guys are probably getting sick of seeing the same shoes over and over. I sat here for a bit, misting a mircofiber cloth and buffing them with that. All of the areas that looked like scuffs were removed, but small dents in the material were left behind. Its probably just from being dinged into something. I had hoped that with some TLC, I could get these little imperfections out. The majority of them came that way out of the box. No obvious scratches, just spots on the quarter that look like its been dinged up a bit.

My up close photography skills are lacking, but I think the improvements can be seen going from my first shot to this one. You can still see some scuff marks on the upper portion of the quarter in this shot. There isn't a hint of external wax on these shoes that I can detect. Whatever I'm able to stimulate out of the cordovan, must be coming from within. But I will agree they are looking nicer. The shine is just very superficial, and plastic looking.



I do have some natural chamois as well. Might give that a try next time.
 

a tailor

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i think that you have been laying on too much wax. the hard buffing may have worn off some of it.
 

Tarmac

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you've got your polishing turned up to 11. ease it back a little, to a 5
 

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