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Shoe Care / Shoe Shine

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by wackyvorlon, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon One of the Regulars

    I'm interested in hearing people's methods for shoe care. Myself, I prefer leather-soled shoes. As such, I polish them with Kiwi, brush them, then finish off the shine with an old, soft sock. I've heard panty hose work well for this, too. Lastly, I apply a coat of mink oil to the soil, to keep it supple.

    So, what does everyone else use?
  2. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Hard to beat Kiwi

    I do the same (without the mink oil), but use black edge dressing on the edges of the soles. Looks and acts like ink.

    I also try to slather them with leather treatment. I've used Lexol, a German product called Lederbalsam, and my current favorite, Leather CPR.

    I have one pair of bison hide shoes in my closet that are 6 years old and look like the day I bought them. Bison hide is pretty much indstructible.
  3. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon One of the Regulars

    Actually, properly cared for leather dress shoes are supposed to last you the rest of your life. These things can be completely repaired, and survive centuries.
  4. I polish my shoes ever so often, I recomend taking out your laces when you do it, and if the polish etc. gets in the eyelets, use a Q-tip to get it out. Here is my shinning process, a family tradtioal way with some twists.

    1. Get the shoes on a clean counter, and remove the laces.
    2. Clean 1 shoe with saddle soap, then the other.
    3. Wipe down the 1st shoe you cleaned, then the other.
    4. Scrub polish on the 1st shoe wiped down with a brush(1 brush per color), then let it sit.
    5. Do the same for the next shoe.
    6. Buff the first shoe you polished, with a special wool cloth, let sit, and use a rig if possible.
    7. Repeat with other shoe.
    8. Then with the first shoe do touch-ups(especally the heals, in steps, and toes), buff touch-ups.
    9. Repeat with other shoe.
    10. Clean out eyelets and restring shoes.
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Familiar Face

    And of course, it goes without saying that a pair of cedar shoe trees are indispensible.
  6. And a well-stocked and good quality shoe shine kit. Also, a shoe horn.
  7. Chad Sanborn

    Chad Sanborn A-List Customer

    Thanks for tip on q-tips. I have always hated trying to clean the eyelets.

  8. android

    android One of the Regulars

    I've used Meltonian shoe cream for years. It give a nice soft shine on most shoes. If I want a military shine on black shoes, I'll use the Kiwi wax. I put on fresh edge dressing as needed.

    Rotate your shoes and try to give them 2 days off between wearing with the shoe trees in. After 2 days, I'll take the trees out and stick them in something else if necessary. I think I am about 3 or 4 pair of trees short for 15 pair of shoes, so I just move them around.

    I'll unlace the shoes if the tongue is looking dry, but I usually just work polish between the holes. That part of the shoe doesn't get much wear anyway.

    I've tried panty-hose, shoe bags and soft buffing clothes for shining. They all seem to work equally well for me. A very nice shine can be obtained by lightly misting your soft brush with a water spray bottle, wiping the excess on your hand and then brushing the shoes.
  9. Be Careful, the fuzzy(cotton) part of the Q-tips get stuck on polish or in the eyelets, use a toothpick to push it out or tweezers.
  10. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I cannot add to the shining methods listed above, except to say that they sleeve from an old fleece shirt or jacket makes for an excellent polishing cloth.

    Also, cedar shoe trees should be in every pair of nice shoes. I also keep them in the shoe boxes they came in. Some of the nicer pairs have cloth bags as well. So, the shoe trees go in the shoes, the shoes go in the cloth bags, and the bags go into their boxes. Not that I'm obsessive or anything.
  11. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon One of the Regulars

    Shoes only start to look their best after about twenty years. They develop this deep, rich patina, and a certain softness to their formerly hard lines. Unfortunately, there is exactly one way to get that patina on a shoe: Caring for them, and wearing them for twenty years.
  12. The Wingnut

    The Wingnut One Too Many

    I'm very picky about my shoe shining methods. My dark shoes recieve a spit shine with matched polish. I use cotton balls and a lot of water. I can get a shine good enough to see yourself in.

    My light shoes are a different story. I use lighter fluid to strip off all of the previous coats of polish, apply mink oil, let them dry for a day, and then apply a neutral, untinted polish. I find that tinted polishes darken the leather too much. A pair of light brown shoes look terrible with dark brown wax on them. I brush off the polish, buff lightly, and I'm finished. Dark shoes look good with a high gloss, but for some reason, it doesn't work for me on light shoes. I get a little luster on them and I'm done.

    Shoes trees and horns are indispensible. Every gentleman needs them.
  13. matei

    matei Practically Family

    The bit about the pantyhose is correct. While not my favourite technique, it can add a bit of lustre to an already shined shoe.

    I used this trick when I was in the Army when I was in a hurry. Worked great! However, said hose made for an embarrassing moment during a snap inspection... Apparently it isn't as widely known in the service as I'd thought.
  14. Doug C

    Doug C Practically Family

    Locating Kiwi Shoe polish

    I've been searching for Kiwi Shoe polish locally and can only find black, brown and cordovan.. but I'm specifically looking for their Oxblood and Dark Tan. I thought this stuff was everywhere, but can't find it : Walmart,Target,grocery stores,etc. So, I thought I'd get on-line and just order it but can't find a place that carries both (in the US anyway). A site called heelingtouch.com has the oxblood but no dark tan. Anyone know of a place that's got a full selection?

    Doug C
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim One Too Many

    Doug, I think Cordovan is just a modern re-naming of Oxblood. It probably would work nicely.

    Personally, I like the shoe creams because they put some moisture back into the leather, which I believe prolongs the life of the shoe.
  16. Look in the phone book for "shoe supplies" or "shoe care supplies." These places, which cater to the trade but sometimes allow regular folks in, are usually located in the industrial areas of bigger cities. They have products that you will practically never see in stores, such as Kiwi edge dressing in brown.

  17. Flying Scotsman

    Flying Scotsman One of the Regulars

    Are there any different shades of brown edge dressing? Or are they all just "brown"? I've noticed the brown I have is quite dark, and I'd prefer something lighter on some of my shoes...not really light, just lighter...
  18. They're all just one shade of brown, but they vary in viscosity. Some edge dressings are more like lacquers or shellacs (thick), while others are more like stains (watery). To achieve a lighter shade, use a more watery edge dressing (which tends to come in a glass or semi-hard plastic bottle). For a darker shade, you'll have an easier time using thicker edge dressing (Kiwi) that comes in a squeeze bottle with a round sponge applicator on the opening.

  19. Bill O'Rights

    Bill O'Rights New in Town

    Find a "real" shoe store. Not one of those chains, but a real honest to goodness family run...shoe store. They're still there. We have Haney Shoes. If you don't soon have any luck, or if you just want to throw in the towel, let me know, and I'll call 'em and see if they've either got it, or can get it.
  20. DeeDub

    DeeDub One of the Regulars

    Willing to Consider an Alternative Brand?

    I was a longtime Kiwi user, but I've since grown fond of Lincoln shoe polish. I find it easier to work with. They have a variety of colors, in waxes and creams.

    Take a look at http://www.lincolnshoepolish.com/

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