Which colour shoe polish for Herring Chamberlain?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by teacher2, May 27, 2012.

  1. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    Correct, it will not get as shiny, for "shiny" you use pate de lux - but I get SHIT scared of you talking about COLORS!!!

    OP, what exactly do you want to do with these shoes?

    Do you :-

    1- want to add to the existing color? Are you not happy with the color of the new shoes? or
    2- want to recolor damaged leather back to the original color of the shoes? or
    3- get a patina going on the shoes?
    4- simply maintain and care for your new shoes so that they last and look as good as new for as long as possible.
    5- leave the color of the shoes alone but bring about a really good shine

    Each of the above requires an entirely different regime of polishing, so tell me what it is exactly that you want to do.

    Polishing is not a simple uniform process, you do different things to achieve different outcomes.

    I assume you are trying to do #4 in my list above.

    If this is the case you need a product which feeds and nurtures the leather and maintains its suppleness.

    In this case all you need is a good lint free cloth, good quality shoe brushes and a good leather balm or cream. You need the cloth and brushes for cleaning and for removing excess product and also for shining and you need the balm for nurturing and also to give the shoes a healthy looking sheen.

    ONE OF the best leather balms on the market is a product called Renovateur by Saphir, but it is NOT THE ONLY GOOD PRODUCT!

    If you are using these shoes as a daily staple wear you do not need to use a product which is so very expensive and which is really not essential for a simple pair of shoes in daily use.

    The same company which produces Renovateur also produce numerous other products, like "Baum Cuir" which is considerably cheaper, but hey, if you MUST spend the money on Medaille D'Or, go right ahead, only do NOT overdo it, you will find the shoes will look terrible once you wear them as the product will be released by the leather at every crease and they will look horrible.

    You do not need to color your new shoes until the shoes begin to become scuffed. Good quality shoes do not suddenly start to lose their color after they have been worn a few times. I have shoes which i have worn for many years which have NEVER NEEDED COLOR, only renovateur, cleaners and colorless cream and waxes.

    When they have been used and they start to show scuffs and other signs of wear which require a bit of recoloring, then, typically, you would use a cream, like Pommadier Medaille D'oR shoe cream here:-

    http://www.valmour.com/cleaning-products/cream-shoe-polish-pommadier-saphir-medaille-dor,45

    BUT the colors are limited and so you either mix colors from various shades to match your shoes or you ask the manufacturer if they have the exact color for your shoes EXCEPT these shoes ar not a uniform color.

    Please note that you will see a sort of underlying redness to your shoes covered by what appears to be a dark brown. This is not easy to match with some singular colored cream.

    Once you start using color polish or cream on your shoes you are going to have to put up with a change in the color of your shoes, and remember, once it is on, tough titty mate, you're committed, you cant' go back!

    If your shoes are not EXACTLY the color of one of the Pommadier colors (and i can guarantee they aren't) then you need to MAKE a close match because you will have to use alternative colors from another range of products also from Saphir like this range of creams here:-

    http://www.valmour.com/cleaning-products/shoe-polish-creme-surfine-pommadier-saphir,3

    These creams will color the shoes but they might not be the identical color to your original color of your shoes.

    Okay after you have used a colored cream on your shoes, what can you put on next?

    You could use the PAte de Lux, which is a wax polish.

    The Saphir Pate de Luxe is not a cream, it is a polish. Polish does not color leather as intensely as the cream but it does leave a color on the shoe and the Saphir product leaves a nice healthy shine for those who like their shoes to have a glossy look to them.

    Sometimes I use colorless "incolor" shoe cream and OVER the cream I sometimes add a little color by using a colored wax. Why? because that way the color of the shoe leather underneath does not get too colored by the wax which can mostly be removed later on and the original color can be largely restored.

    Again, if you are happy with the color of your shoes, why change it at all? Why use any color? Why not use neutral creams and polishers which will not harm the original polish put there by the factory?

    You could go ahead and use creams and polishes in the neutral or "incolor" which has no color, it simply highlights the original color of the shoes applied by the factory's polisher.

    Just use neutral products with no color until your shoes actually need to have color applied.

    When they need color use the two products in the links I have supplied or get your original Herring shoe supplier to send you a tin/bottle of the correct color cream for your shoes.

    If the supplier cannot send you the exact color (which I doubt he will be ab;e to because your shoes have multiple colors) well then you will need to mix various colors to find the perfect color for the shoes.

    Another thing, those shoes have an "antique" finish, so they are not uniformly colored anyway, so you are going to need to use at least two but probably more than two different colors anyway.

    When selecting a color try to find not only the same color, but also the a few shades lighter because polish does darken the shoe and you don't want them to go too dark too quickly.

    Check out this website for an expert polisher and personal friend, Justin Fitzpatrick, who polishes for Gieves and Hawkes at No1 Saville Row, London:-

    http://the-shoe-snob.blogspot.com.au/p/polish-your-shoes-properly.html

    and another person whom even Justin "the shoe snob" Fitzgerald uses for his "too hard to do jobs" is Frenchman Paulus Bolton at this website:-


    http://www.glacagechaussures.com/

    Paulus Bolton is a good friend and an absolute magician with shoe polishing and glacage. Paulus will sell you any Saphir product you need if you e-mail him or telephone him at his studio in France.
    Or even speak to Australian shoe fundi extraordinaire, Ethan Desau from "The Armoury" in Hong Kong. Check out Ethan's masterpiece with G&G boots for another friend (and bigtime SF member) mine here:-

    http://jamessandersatlarge.tumblr.com/post/18499803396/lacasuarina-yesterday-morning-my-new-gaziano
    This is what blue wax polish (and other stuff of course) looks like on red leather, like Cherry for example, when Ethan is finished working his magic:--

    [​IMG]

    Whatever you do, if you value your shoes, don't start using colors until you have experimented with some old crappy pair of shoes first, you will only destroy your beautiful new shoes if you go and stick some uniform color over a beautifully polished and antique finish like those Chamberlains of yours.

    If you need more help, just PM me because I am not really interested in all the ignorant trolls who know nothing of the art of shoe polishing coming out and hurling ignorant criticism about what is good practice and what is not.

    I'd be very happy to help, but PM me first
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  2. fxh

    fxh Senior member

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    Teacher2 - unfortunately I cant claim to be close personal friends with any world famous shoe polishers

    But I have worn shoes, polished them and worn them again.

    You could do what most people do - find a tin of polish or a tube of cream about the same colour as the shoes.

    Apply it and polish shoes.

    Wear them.

    When you next polish them decide if you want to go a bit lighter or darker.

    Perhaps buy a slightly darker or lighter polish and try it out.

    Its not all that complicated and many ordinary people over the centuries have managed to clean and polish their shoes successfully. Even before the internet.
     
  3. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    I think the OP was asking for advice on WHICH "tin" or which "tube" or which "cream" of shoe polish.

    I thought he was also specifically asking WHICH color

    And when you decide to go "slightly lighter" what the heck are you going to do with the "slightly darker" already on there?

    Are you implying the OP should resign himself to no other option other than a patina created through trial and error? If that is what he wants then explain to him how to do that.

    I don't think it is sound advice to tell a person who obviously cares for these shoes and wants to maintain the integrity of the colors, to go about trying one color after the other until they are either really nice by sheer fluke or really crappy and in need of good polisher to sort out the mess.

    In fact, I get the impression this is exactly what the OP is trying to avoid with his original post.
     
  4. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    LeJouvre, for the sake of brevity I have emboldened & numbered some of the key points in your posts. You accuse others of being ignorant, when in fact it is obvious the opposite is true.

    1) Well actually Saphir Renovateur is not a balm it is cream. It's an important distinction balms contain no water, creams do.

    2) Renovateur, cleaners and neutral creams & polishes will all take a little bit of the finish and hence colour with them whenever used, their continued use alone would necessitate the need to use a coloured cream.

    3) Not true at all. Any basic cleaner will remove remnants of leather waxes/creams. Anyone who has cleaned a pair of shoes knows this.

    4) I know several authoritative sources that would disagree with this.Neutral polish should be used occasionally and several esteemed makers like Lobb, Santoni & Berluti support this view as do a number of European tanneries that supply them.

    Before dispensing advice one should be mindful of spreading ignorance & misinformation.
     
  5. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    Thanks Stirling, great contribution, and I will keep your comments in mind. [​IMG]

    While you still know it all perhaps I could take a few lessons? - or no perhaps you could distribute some of your wisdom and experience for all to see instead of bland statements like "several authoritative sources disagree"

    The OP's original question still stands, and since you are long on criticism and very short on advice, maybe you could give us all the benefit of your little knowledge and experience and help the OP out with some answers?.

    I for one would be greatly amused!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  6. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    Yes, those Herringbones look similar to our EG Dark Oak. We have a lot of success with a mixture of Saphir #12, #9, #4 and #5 for dark oak and other mid to darker browns.

    Mahogany is quite a versatile color, especially as a base color for mixing browns. Hermes Rouge is another.

    In fact Hermes Rouge was originally produced for John Lobb's "Russet Red" calf. Curiously, when clients bought John Lobb "Russett Red" shoes or boots, like the Woburn Hunter, and if they asked for a matching polish from the JL retailer, they were frequently sold a bottle of the John Lobb branded "Mid Brown" cream and polish - I had a few distinctly irate JL clients have us try to bring back the color of their Russet shoes for them.

    This is a pair of "Russet Red" Woburn Hunter - pic taken at the Jobb Lobb South Coast Palza store in CA:-


    [​IMG]

    Imagine putting oodles of mid brown shoe cream or wax polish on that?

    On the other hand, some clients went right ahead and used the John Lobb recommendation and their "Russet Red" often developed really nice patinas to the great joy of the owners.

    So it can be a bit of a toss up with colors of polishes sometimes.

    Poor Kelly Duggan from JL New York had to replace more than one pair of "Russet Red" Lobbs over this issue.

    Sometimes the shoe retailers get it wrong as well, which is why it is important to use a little common sense and care with really expensive shoes like these.
     
  7. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    SRSLY guys - this is not complicated.

    To the OP - simply select a wax polish that is a few shades lighter than the shoes - in your case I'd recommend tan or a light brown. If you want to get really exotic mix in an occasional wax with a red tone such as mahogany. As long as you use wax that is several shades lighter than the shoes you pretty much can do no harm.

    If you end up with areas on the shoes that seem to require additional color after time - check back here for further instructions.

    See you in a few years.
     
  8. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    Sorry but you are the one making bland and more importantly inaccurate statements, it truly shows your lack of knowledge and deficient understanding of leather.

    Perhaps literacy is a challenge for you, I've stated that makers like Lobb, Berluti & Santoni support what I've said. What qualifications or experience do you have in this matter?

    Here's an extract from the Santoni Website: neutral polish should be used occasionally and for cleaning only: there is a risk of hardening the shoe leather, causing cracking. Use it on the sole and on concealed parts.
     
  9. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    I don't use neutral polish for cleaning Stirling, sorry.

    Do you think I can still go to heaven?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  10. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    It would be more accurate to say that the Hermes Rouge was developed with Hermes originally for their leathergoods and this happened to include Lobb, Paris.
     
  11. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    You carry on shining shoes, it's a fitting job & posture for a man of your obvious talents.
     
  12. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    totally. also there is a own thread for this kind of questions.
     
  14. teacher2

    teacher2 Well-Known Member

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    Fritzl, apparently this is not a simple question! Also, I was hoping for 'Herring Chamberlain' in the title, which I had hoped to increase chance of a good answer.

    LeJouvre and Stirling, thank you for taking the time to provide healthy advice and debate.

    So, in the end:

    Stirling, are you recommending that I do:
    Shoe Polish Pate De Luxe SAPHIR MEDAILLE D'OR in Light brown every five or so wears? Then, if I feel this changes the colour too much, to occasionally use the Pate De Luxe mahogony?


    I'm not comfortable using Renovateur every wear or even every five wears - as after one use of it, i can see how much of the original polish is coming off. But, I will use this every few months.

    LeJouvre, I'm still not sure what you are recommending? You seem to think I should use a "good leather balm or cream." every five wears or so. I'm just not sure what one of these are? I understand you said Saphir is not necessary, but I'm happy to pay the extra to use it. Do you recommend something like Cream Shoe Polish Pommadier SAPHIR MEDAILLE D'OR in neutral?
    http://www.hangerproject.com/closet/saphir-pommadier-cream-shoe-polish.html



    Of course, I should wipe the shoes down after wearing them, use shoe trees, not wear them two days in a row. I can do all that very basic stuff.

    Thanks so much to both of you, I am learning a lot and have managed to spend another two hours hunting around the internet using your posts as a great starting point to investigate.
     
  15. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    After readig through the whole official shoe care thread and experimenting many methods on my own, I have created my little regime:

    1. After about five wears or if overly dirty, treat with Saphir Renovateur
    - Use a pea-sized amount on each shoe, apply with t-shirt/cotton etc.
    - Let dry for about two minutes, the time it takes to apply reno on the other shoe
    - Buff with horsehair brush.

    When there is need for polishing:

    2. Brush entire shoe to get rid of dust/dirt etc., then apply reno like in 1.
    3. Apply shoe cream to entire shoe.
    - Apply it like reno in 1.
    4. Use wax on toes and heels to create a shine, methods for getting a shine can be found in the guides I posted on the first page. (not needed)

    Please comment if I'm doing anything wrong, it's highly appreciated as I want the best for my shoes.

    As for the colors on the creams and waxes, I would go with a lighter shade and use it sparingly.
    Personally, I would not wax every five or so wearings, as this will cake up wax and there will eventually be need for stripping of all the waxes. The need for stripping will also be needed with my approach, but not after a noteworthy longer time.

    Just my $0.02.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

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