Dusty and muddy shoes should be wiped with a damp frazzle or sponge before applying any kind of shoe wax or cream. For a thorough after winter revision we recommend to wash the shoes with a thick lather of saddle soap. Do not rinse off the lather entirely, but let it dry on the shoes and brush the remaining rests off when completely dry. Saddle soap contains fat which penetrates the leather and nourishes the grain. For the same purpose shaving soaps can be used but have less cleaning efficiency.
If thick layers of old shoe wax do not allow the saddle soap to penetrate the leather it can be easily rubbed off with a cotton frazzle dipped in lighter fuel. By drying the lighter fuel might leave a greyish mist on the leather which disappears completely when new shoe wax is applied. Lighter fuel is a very suitable cleaning agent for all kind of greasy stains on aniline leathers. We strongly recommend not to use any alcohol or acetone on any leathers. These two chemicals are solvents of aniline dye and would leave ugly marks.
For polishing the shoes we recommend to use shoe wax (e.g. Saphir or Kiwi – the hard type, which comes in metal tins, not in jars). For polishing, use an old t-shirt wrapped around your index and middle finger.
Apply a thick layer of wax with a small brush or household sponge. Immediately after having applied the wax on one shoe, start working the wax into the leather with the slightly damp frazzle wrapped around your fingers. Make small circle movements and apply some pressure until gloss comes up. Now you may reduce the pressure and continue with the circling movement. For a deeper shine you may add very small smears of wax and a drop of water. Keep polishing from now on with little pressure.
After this first layer of wax, apply on the toe box and/or counter darker brown wax or black if you want to achieve the same dark/antique effect in these areas. Limit the high shine polish only at the toe box and/or counter and nowhere else; don’t exaggerate as the polish will crack at soft parts of the shoe the first time you wear them.
Note on greasing and nourishing leathers:
Leathers in general contain a certain degree of fat which has been embedded deeply into its fibre structure by the tannery. The percentage in ‘natural’ fat content should not be altered by applying oil or grease which could loosen the deep laying fibres. Therefore we do not recommend the use of waterproofing oils or greases, neither on the upper nor on the soles. For completely dried out leathers dressing waxes which contain a good amount of bee wax and little fat are more suitable.