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Black shoe polish on Cordovan shoes?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Historyteach24, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Hey guys I was reading a recent article on GQ.com about shoe shines. The writer mentioned that every 4th or 5th shine he would use black shoe polish on his cordovan shoes to make them more of an eggplant. He raved about how great they would look. Anybody have experience doing this?? Also I am new to self shining my shoes and could use a few tips. After applying the polish do you brush immediately?? And when do you add the touch of water or a good ole spit shine?
  2. just be sure they are NOT shell cordovan, but calf's leather. Will make a nice patina... but "make an eggplant color"? Probably wouldn't want that anyway.
  3. Eggplant not so much just quoting what they writer said lol
  4. Ok I just checked and it says my shoes are a "leather upper" would that be ok to use the black on??
  5. kiwilrdg

    kiwilrdg A-List Customer

    I have my concern over wax being thicker in the seams. Wax buildup in the seams is part of the patina but I don't think it should be black.
  6. I usually use just cordovan wax just found the article interesting and didn't want to ruin a good pair of shoes lol
  7. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    It will darken the shoes. If you use black all the time eventually the shoes will be nearly black.

    I like to wipe off dust with a damp rag, rub the polish on, let them dry for 10 minutes then wipe with a dry rag, finally polish with a shoe brush.

    If you don't let the polish dry it will be greasy and smeary. You need to rub on a good coat and let it dry.

    I'm sure there are more elaborate ways to do it, like the spit shine with water. This will give you a high shine but takes longer.
  8. LoveMyHats2

    LoveMyHats2 I'll Lock Up

    Unless you have some slight or moderate scuffs, I would not use any color polish on them aside from a neutral paste wax. Just my opinion. If you want to shine the living daylight out of them, get one fat cotton ball, run it under the water to get it wet, squeeze all the water out, and use that to do the last shine on the leather....but make sure you have already put some wax on the shoes and let it dry first, then with the cotton, just go in a very small tight circular motion until you see that mirror look pop up, then go to the next area and do the same there.

    I did what you are asking about the black polish on a pair of cordovan color dress shoes, I was not happy at all with the outcome. They where not shell cordovan, either. It made the color appear very streaky, sloppy and just not what I thought it would at all. I had to use some real hot water and saddle soap and a wash clothe to get off the black and then dry them to go back to using the right color on them. Then I finished the shine with neutral and the cotton ball. You can touch the wet cotton ball into the wax to put some on it also...but not much is needed and do not have the cotton ball dripping wet, squeeze it out first.
  9. I tried it tonight and hated it. I had to really work to make them look presentable. These are older shoes so there wee scuffs but the color started to look streaky. For a moment I was worried I ruined the shoes but now they just look a little darker but I will never do that again
  10. LoveMyHats2

    LoveMyHats2 I'll Lock Up

    I was thinking you may not like the way they would look. Streaky! :D
  11. TomS

    TomS One Too Many

    I was a U.S. Marine, and then a police officer for nearly thirty years. Suffice to say, I've shined shoes a couple of times. I simply apply the polish (Kiwi brand) with a horse hair dauber, and let it dry for a minute. Then I use a stiff horse hair brush, and quickly run it back and forth over the shoes until the desired amount of *shine* is achieved. Frankly, I've never had the patience or seen the value in a spit/water shine, as the gloss doesnt last. Also, I use the polish which cooridnates best with the shoes I'm shining. That is to say, black polish on black shoes, cordovan polish on cordovan shoes... well you get it. I really think the *secret* to an excellent shine is to use a quality polish sparingly, brush with a stiff horse hair brush, and do the job frequently enough that the shoes never get rough looking in the first palce. Just my .02
  12. Thanks Tom. I did some experimenting last night and found your advice to be true. Just use a lot of elbow grease with a good brush and it shines up good.
  13. MikePotts

    MikePotts Practically Family

  14. kiwilrdg

    kiwilrdg A-List Customer

    Earlier there was mention of using neutral polish. During the summer, or if for any other reason you will be wearing light-colored pants, it is a good idea to put a final coat of neutral polish over any colored polish so if any wax wears off onto your pants it will not show.
  15. Thank you
  16. TomS

    TomS One Too Many

    Anytime! By the way, good luck with that custom hat from Cane!!

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