Choy

Starting Member
Will a neutral cream/polish suffice for all shoe colors or is it best to use matching colors?

Assuming I have a dark brown, medium brown, light brown and burgundy and want to follow a regime of using cream and then polish. Which would be the most economical while still producing good results?

1. Neutral cream / neutral polish
2. Neutral cream / colored polish
3. Colored cream / neutral polish
4. Colored cream / colored polish
 

dparm

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It's going to depend on the texture of the leather. The more "color" you add (i.e. a color creme and color polish) and the more "textured" (porous) the leather is, the darker it will become.

Use neutral everything if you do not want to change the color at all, especially any broguing.
 
Thanks. Is there a downside to using neutral?
Hard to cover scuffs, if the shoe has any applied pigmentation (ie, burnishing), it may tend to get lighter.

I use neutral conditioner (liquid), neutral cream polish most, with primarily neutral wax. I use brown/cordovan/black wax if I want to cover a scuff or add some pigment or whatever, and I have some mid-brown cream polish that I sometimes throw on my brown shoes every few wearings. I strongly advocate using as little shoe polish as possible, either way.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
I strongly advocate using as little shoe polish as possible, either way.
A strong +1 on that. A lot of brushing and buffing after a light initial application, with an occasional touch-up of shoe creme. I try to brush and buff after each wearing.

I prefer to use as little paste wax as possible. I've found that calf rarely requires any application. When other shoes have, it's after shoe creme and usually never repeated again, though I may do a touch-up with creme after many wearings. Unlike paste wax, it does not build up, crack and flake off. And it does not prematurely age the leather as paste wax can.

I use Meltonia shoe cremes and am entirely satisfied with the results. I prefer to select a color that blends well with that of the hide. The cremes have far more pigment than the waxes, and after not much use produce a rich glow to the leather that I prefer.

What Meltonian shoe creme of the proper color has done for scuffed shoes of mine is almost beyond belief. I fell in an ice storm while wearing a pair of Alden calf shoes and wound up sitting on my right shoe. Unfortunately, I could not extricate this shoe without grating it against the asphalt while it was pinned. This destroyed the surface of the right rear of the shoe over several square inches. It removed all color and not only left scrapes but gouges. When I looked at it my intent was to deposit them in the trash can.

But I had repaired a much smaller gouge before using Meltonian shoe creme by using successive coats rubbed in with a Q-Tip, and buffed between coats. I decided to try this method over this much larger area, and to my astonishment, the surface began to return. And today while the gouges can still be faintly seen, the shoe on the whole looks fine and the damage cannot be discerned by casual observation.
 
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Choy

Starting Member
A strong +1 on that. A lot of brushing and buffing after a light initial application, with an occasional touch-up of shoe creme. I try to brush and buff after each wearing.
Are you saying that after each wearing you put a light application of polish (wax) and brush and buff? Then occasionally use shoe creme? Or do you just brush and buff (no polish or creme) after every wear?
 

dddrees

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I also come from the camp of less is more when using polish and cream. Neutral is good because it wont darken your shoe but as stated by others this does not cover up scuffs so having the match cream is a good thing as well as the matching polish.

Using polish on the toe and heel with cream on the rest is a good rule to follow.


Neutral wax can tend to flake and look bad if you use to much wax and I've generally seen this occur when bullying the toe or heel.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
Are you saying that after each wearing you put a light application of polish (wax) and brush and buff? Then occasionally use shoe creme? Or do you just brush and buff (no polish or creme) after every wear?
No, I wasn't clear. I usually never use paste wax, and usually only use Meltonian shoe creme of an appropriate shade. If the leather absolutely refuses to buff up with shoe creme, I may put one very light coat of paste wax on it after failing with a few tries of the shoe creme, and then likely never put wax on it again.

But I usually put nothing on after each wearing, and just buff the shoe with a good horse hair brush, followed by a cotton flannel buffing cloth. I find that restores the shine adequately, though I may add another light application of shoe creme after a dozen or two additional wearings if they look as if they might benefit from it.
 
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