When Bad things happen to Good shoes

As you might expect, I take very good care of my shoes, and I enjoy applying a good spit shine when I can.

Unfortunately, a spit shine can be easily damaged when the toe of a shoe comes in contact with another surface. I have had people accidently step on the toe of my shoe, bumped my toe against a curb, and (the act that caused the damage shown below) stopping a car door as it began to close.
Damaged Toe

I stopped the car door from closing on me by blocking it with the side of the toe of my shoe. This caused the hard shell of wax I created during the spit shine to separate on the side and crack in the middle. Of course I was concerned that the shoe itself was damaged.

Although it might look like the leather, or the leather finish, might be cracked it was actually just the wax that has fractured.

Upon closer inspection you can see that the cracks run diagonal to the grain of the leather:
Damaged Toe Closeup

After removing the hard wax shell with some pure orange oil (RenoMat could also be used) I was able to eliminate the cracks and get down to the original leather finish.
Cleaned Toe

From here I can start all over with my shoe care process: Condition, Cream Polish, High Shine Paste. I could also use a different shade or color of polish to apply some antiquing effects.

4 thoughts on “When Bad things happen to Good shoes

  1. I have been reading several of your blog posts. I have a shoe that has a similar condition as it has developed some cracks on the toe and on the sides. Simply using orange oil would help me address the cracks. Can you give me some insights on how much orange oil to be used and how I should be applying the oil. Any help is appreciated.

    • The cracks shown in this article are related to a hard shell of wax (that I applied over time) that had cracked. Typically when you see this type of cracking it is related to the acrylic finish applied at the tannery or shoe manufacture.

      If the issue is cracked wax then orange oil will work to remove it by simply putting some on a cloth and rubbing the wax off. Use the orange oil just as you would any cleaner to remove something.

      If the issue is a cracked finish, then you will need something stronger to remove, or dissolve, some of the finish to remove the cracks. I would recommend something like Saphir RenoMat to remove a finish, and again use it like you would any cleaner.

  2. I have read several of your posts and they are fantastic. I am a new leather shoe owner and have some brown Steve Madden dress shoes. They look fine out if the box but I have seen varying techniques on this blog for care. It seems lexol and sno shine would work best but how do you achieve the great shine you had on your brown shoes?

    • Lexol makes a leather cleaner and a leather conditioner, while good for the leather, neither will make your shoes shine. Also I would never use Sno-Seal on dress/business shoes. For a shine I would use a good cream or paste polish. My favorite of course is GlenKaren polish.

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