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    Refurbishing old/used shoes

    Let's see the shoes that you found secondhand, and let's share those tricks that you employed to bring them back to life.*

    I have been wanting to get into thrifting for shoes. I have no experience in refurbishing old shoes, and thought it would be great to see the shoes that others find while sharing personal tricks for revitalizing them. I know that there are companies that will do all this for you, but I'd like to see your at home remedies.*

    #2
    +1, but to be honest it seems like a lot of you somehow discover glorious finds of Edward Green and Crockett & Jones, while all I see around are Steve Madden and Cole Haan.

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      #3
      I've found Allen Edmond in some thrift stores but they are always worn in so much that they don't feel right on my feet. The problem with buying used shoes is that shoes often form to the user's feet. Often if you try on somebody else's shoes, they feel like somebody else's shoes.

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        #4
        I usually just use a mix of polishes, creams, alcohols (BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS), lotions and cleaners. I wish I had taken my before and after pictures in the sae spot at the same time. The different lighting in some of my pics makes the changes look much more dramatic than what they really are:

        Aketosh Italy walnut captoes (picture taken while waiting in line at the thrift)



        Wiped down, cleaned with conditioner, and darkened with several shades of walnut polish. Comes out looking pretty close to looking like a walnut park avenue (next to my AE walnut strands for comparison)



        Made in USA Bostonian captoes. First picture is taken with direct sunlight while the second picture is behind shade so change is much more dramatic than it really is.



        Some lotions, cleaner, alcohol and darker shade of polish:

        Last edited by Acousticfoodie; February 19, 2013, 09:29 PM.

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          #5
          These are some other thrift finds that I got too lazy to take the before pics, but just ended up taking after I was done with them. Pretty much the same process.

          Allen Edmonds Sanford:



          Jcrew Allerton Suede wingtips (Italy):



          Ben Sherman Chukkas, nothing really special but I thought they looked pretty decent:



          Steve Madden boots. REally nothing special, but I thought the Leather Preserve I used on them made the leather look much much better than the dried scuffed up monstrosity it was:

          Last edited by Acousticfoodie; February 19, 2013, 09:31 PM.

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            #6
            Tod's Chukkas:



            Florsheim Cordovan leather wingtip and Allen Edmonds Cordovan Leather Wingtip



            Allen Edmonds Black Hills:



            Some Bass Loafers:

            Last edited by Acousticfoodie; February 19, 2013, 09:34 PM.

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              #7
              Some Spanish Mezlan Split toes:



              Johnston & Murphy Loafers:



              Cole Haan Rain Chelseas:



              Last edited by Acousticfoodie; March 21, 2013, 03:34 AM.

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                #8
                Allen Edmonds Globetrotter from the 70's





                Another Allen Edmonds unknown model:



                Last edited by Acousticfoodie; March 21, 2013, 03:35 AM.

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                  #9
                  Wow, Acoustic... awesome work! Makes me want to hit the thrift shops tomorrow on my lunch... again.

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                    #10
                    WOW!! Great finds Acousticfoodie. This is an amazing collection of shoes. Are these from the same stores? Several questions if you don't mind

                    1. What dictates whether you use alcohol or cleaner/conditioner.
                    2. Do you have a preference for creams or wax polishes when adjusting the colors? If so, why?
                    3. Do you find that darkening the shoes helps reconstitute the liveliness of the leather?
                    4. What brands do you prefer for all of this?

                    Thank you for helping jumpstart this thread.

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                      #11
                      The work posted in this thread is awesome! Hats off to Acoustic.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by JoeG View Post
                        WOW!! Great finds Acousticfoodie. This is an amazing collection of shoes. Are these from the same stores? Several questions if you don't mind

                        1. What dictates whether you use alcohol or cleaner/conditioner.
                        2. Do you have a preference for creams or wax polishes when adjusting the colors? If so, why?
                        3. Do you find that darkening the shoes helps reconstitute the liveliness of the leather?
                        4. What brands do you prefer for all of this?

                        Thank you for helping jumpstart this thread.
                        1. I first wipe the shoes with just a damp cloth and let it dry which gets rid of superficial dirt/dust/etc. I then go over the shoe with a cleaner/conditioner. I use the Allen Edmonds one because it's cheap and does a pretty decent job:



                        This usually gets rid of some deeper stains and also restores the leather a bit since the leather is probably very dry. I'll take a look over the shoe and if there is some really heavy old wax or watermarks I'll try rubbing more conditioner/cleaner but if that doesn't do anything I can try some alcohol at this point. This can remove older wax and might get rid of some watermarks. However, it dries out the leather and can discolor the leather so I'm usually pretty cautious about doing it. I'll go over it with conditioner again so that it's not dried out.

                        For really nice shoes may want to consider Saphir instead. It's a much higher quality conditioner.



                        Another conditioner that I recently fell in love with is Obenauf's Heavy LP. I wouldn't use this on your fine calf skins, but it is great for your rougher leathers and boots. It adds some rain protection but will darken the leather a bit. But for thrifted shoes which are dried and scuffed that's actually a good thing.



                        2) Once the shoe has been properly conditioned you can use creams, waxes or hybrid polishes (unless you used obenauf's, which can stand on it's own). I usually polish the shoe once with the AE premium shoe polish which is a hybrid product. Not because I think it's the best but it's convienient and cheap, then I'll take a look over the shoe to see if any areas look "lighter" than the other areas of the shoe. This sometimes happens due to excessive scuffs and touching those areas with shoe cream can help. I'll then reapply additional coats of polish as I see fit (usually two to three).

                        3) A darker polish can usually darken the leather just a tad bit but lots of times the shoe darkens on its own naturally once you restore it. Lots of the shoes at thrift stores are a lighter color because of excessive dryness.

                        4) I mentioned some names from 1-3.
                        Last edited by Acousticfoodie; February 20, 2013, 10:40 AM.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by JoeG View Post
                          WOW!! Great finds Acousticfoodie. This is an amazing collection of shoes. Are these from the same stores?
                          Sorry didn't see this part of your question. Yea I usually pick up my stuff from the same areas.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I found a pair of bruno magli black wingtips at the thrift store once. They were in decent condition to begin with. All I did was clean them off with a horse hair brush, use some saddle soap, used some conditioner. then a cream polish.

                            And wow, acousticfoodie, you've found some great stuff.
                            Last edited by Teej; January 31, 2013, 01:07 AM.

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                              #15
                              @Acousticfoodie, Thanks for all answering all of those questions.

                              How necessary are all of daubers and brushes? I know one can get by with cut strip from old cotton T-shirts, but do the daubers/brushes really make that much of a difference?

                              Found this thread on Styleforum. Toward the bottom of the page Man Of Lint has two post where he has manipulated/customized the colors of his shoes. He uses what I thought to be some drastic techniques like using steel wool and soaking the shoes in bleach water. I actually kind of like the two tone end result on the first pair.
                              http://www.styleforum.net/t/263097/n...0#post_4831032
                              Last edited by JoeG; January 31, 2013, 10:27 AM.

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