The Shoe Snob Blog

September 8, 2016

Written by , Posted in News, Patina Artists

Things To Know About Shoes: Part 2 – The Next 10

Gaziano & Girling shoes, courtesy of Skoaktiebolaget

Gaziano & Girling shoes, courtesy of Skoaktiebolaget

Dear Readers,

Here is the 2nd part of my ‘Things to know about shoes.’ If you happen to missed the first 10, here they are. I hope that you enjoy the post and I will try and scrounge up another 10 by next week or the one after!

11. Soles wear out. They are not invincible. Even the best ones will wear out quickly if you over-wear them. If you live in a wet city and you walk a lot, expect your soles to need a replacement once a year (or less). Alternatively if you live in a dry area and don’t walk a lot (on concrete), well then count yourself blessed as you probably won’t need a resole for about every 3 years (or possibly more). The more shoes that you own and thus rotate, the longer it will be between resoles.

12. Learn your terminology. Not everything is a wing tip if it has a cap on it and not every dress shoe is a brogue.

Ivan Crivellaro Tassel Loafers

Ivan Crivellaro Tassel Loafers

13. When it comes to high quality shoe-care products, a little goes a long way and good results are built over time. Don’t cake it on all at once or else it will bring its own set of issues that are equally bad and hard to fix.

14. Never put wax polish straight onto a brand new shoe. You just might strip the finish. Leather needs time to wear in, even for polishing. You can put a light shine on a new shoe, but you must condition it first, simply to open the pores which then allows you to put the wax polish on. After one or two wears, can you then start to polish the shoe more heavily.

15. It is not the conditioner or polish that darkens your leather. That being, they do the darkening but it is not their fault. Leather darkens due to the nature of the leather i.e. the way in which it was tanned. All vegetable tanned leather darkens, no matter if you were to put neutral polish or anything else. So if you are darkening your tan leather shoes it is because of the leather, not the polish or conditioner.

Patina by Dandy Shoe by Unknown (most likely Berluti)

Shoes and patina by Dandy Shoe Care

16. Brown shoes go great with navy suits, no matter what anyone says. We no longer live in the Victorian Era where the streets were paved with mud and where upholding “the rules” was pertinent to your societal standing.

17.  Leather is a natural product that was once living. That means that it will never be 100% consistent. From one pair to the next, the leather will not be the exact same even if it was made from the exact same hide.

Masaru Okuyama shoes

Masaru Okuyama shoes

18. Polish is not an agent that changes a shoe’s color. It can over time, but it will never be as permanent or efficient as dye. And if you attempt to use polish to do so, it will eventually come off and can ruin the original finish to your leather.

19. The more that you wear your shoes without allowing them to rest, the quicker they will break down. I have seen the best shoes break down far too early from excessive use. Have a minimum 3 pair rotation. If you can have more, then do so….

20. Burgundy/Merlot/Oxblood (etc.) shoes are the most versatile of all. Not black, nor brown.

John Lobb oxfords

John Lobb oxfords in a dark merlot shade