How to Care for Leather and Suede Shoes

Jun 10, 2015

A good pair of shoes is an investment that if properly cared for can last a lifetime. Man of the World has partnered with to offer the limited edition Complete Shoeshine Kit. Inspired by the traditional art of shoe shining, this kit provides all the necessary items to keep both your leather and suede shoes looking their best. The Wenge wood valet has functionally organized compartments to accommodate all of the renowned, French-made Saphir Medaille d'Or products and the line of accessories crafted by Italian shoe experts. Here we will provide a comprehensive look into everything offered in the shoeshine kit, as well as give detailed instructions on how to care for your leather and suede shoes. 

  1. Saphir Pommadier Cream Shoe Polishes 75 ml- All natural cream polishes that are based on beeswax, turpentine, and carnaba wax along with six other nutrient waxes. They have a higher concentration of pigment compared to the wax based polishes. Kit includes black and neutral variations.

  2. Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax Shoe Polishes 50 ml – All natural wax polishes that are based on beeswax, turpentine, and carnaba wax along with six other nutrient waxes. The perfect polishes for achieving that high-gloss shoe shine. Kit includes black, dark brown, light, brown, and neutral variations.

  3. Cotton Clothes – These soft cotton clothes are great for using to buff a high-gloss shine into your shoes. We recommend using with Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax Shoe Polishes.

  4. Large Horse Hair Brushes – This high quality 100% horsehair brushes are great for removing dirt and buffing off shoe polish. The kit includes two, one for black shoes and one for brown shoes.

  5. Saphir Reno Mat Leather Cleaner 100 ml – A go-to cleaner when a more thorough leather cleaning is needed. Removes buildup of silicones, resins, and dirt. Great for removing polish that turned out to be too dark. We suggest using this when initially switching from a lower quality polish to Saphir brand and only using two to three times a year.

  6. Saphir Omni Nettoyant Suede Shampoo 100 ml – This stain remover and cleaner is specially formulated for suede, nubuck, and textiles. It contains a solvent that penetrates deep into suede to remove dirt and brings the original pigment to the surface. Use with includes small suede cleaning brush.

  7. Saphir Leather Lotion 100 ml – Containing ultra-conditioning mink oil, this leather lotion will nourishes, protect, and give a matte shine to your leather shoes. A must-have to use on all leather goods.

  8. Woolen Glove – Made with lambs wool, this shoe polishing mitt enhances shine by warming and activating the shoe polishing wax. Great for use in the morning or while traveling to quickly spruce up your shoes for the day ahead.

  9. Small Horse Hair Brushes – Smaller versions of the large horse hair brushes that are great for more details buffing of shoe polish. Two included in the kit to use for either black or brown shoe polish.

  10. Synthetic Brush –A superb brush for gently removing dirt and dust for suede or nubuck shoes.

  11. Mud Scraping Brush – Your go-to brush for removing caked on mud and dirt from the soles of your shoes.

  12. Rubber Brush – Made from natural rubber, the soft crepe “bristle” is great for cleaning and re-fluffing the nap on suede and nubuck shoes.

  13. Shoe Polish Applicator Brushes – Great for easily applying shoe polished and keeping your hands clean. The kit includes two so you can use separate brushes for brown and black polishes. We recommend using with Saphir Pommadier Cream Shoe Polishes.

  14. Wooden Shoe Horn – An essential tool for putting on shoes, a shoe horn will prevent unnecessarily stretching the shoe's leather, which will lengthen the lifespan of your shoes.


How to Care for Leather Shoes

What you need:

  • Large Horse Hair Brush
  • Saphir Leather Lotion
  • Cotton Cloth
  • Saphir Pommadier Cream Shoe Polish
  • Shoe Polish Applicator Brush
  • Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax Shoe Polish
  • Small Horse Hair Brush
  • Woolen Glove

1. Clean

Remove shoelaces and insert shoe tree. Use the large horsehair brush to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the leather. If more extensive cleaning is needed, such as removal of a mistakenly applied darker polish, use Saphir Reno Mat Leather Cleaner.

To use Saphir Reno Mat Leather Cleaner, first vigorously shake bottle to mix separated ingredients. Remember to test on inconspicuous portion of the shoe, such as the inside heel. Use cloth to apply Reno Mat Leather Cleaner to small areas at a time. Gently rub cloth in a circular motion. Use large horse hair brush to remove any remaining residue. Saphir Reno Mat Leather clean should only be used a few times a year and always followed by a condition of the leather.

2. Condition

Apply a generous portion of Saphir Leather Lotion with mink oil to cloth. Work into leather using circular motions. Wait a few minutes for lotion to soak into leather. Leather is essential a skin, and Saphir Leather Lotion nourishes using ultra-rich mink oil.

3. Polish

Use shoe polish applicator brush to apply Saphir Pommadier Cream Shoe Polish around entire shoe. Use the black cream polish for black leather and the neutral cream polish for all other colors. Try not to use too much cream polish, or there may be an excessive amount of polish leftover. Wait a few minutes for polish to sink in, then brush off any residue with the large horsehair brush.

Wrap cloth around middle and index finger and use to rub Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax Shoe Polish into leather. Use the shoe polish color that corresponds to your shoe's leather, choosing the lighter option if not an exact match. For shoes with unique coloration or a burnish finish use the neutral shoe polish. You may mix a bit of water to the shoe polish for an increased shine. Wait a few minutes for polish to sink in, then use small horse hair brush to buff and sweep away any extra polish.

After products have been able to settle into the leather for about 30 minutes, use the woolen glove to shine for the finishing touch.

How to Clean Suede Shoes

What you need:

  • Synthetic Brush
  • Saphir Omni Nettoyant Suede Shampoo
  • Mixing Glass
  • Water
  • Rubber Brush

Insert shoe tree. Use the synthetic brush to remove any dirt and dust that has built up on the suede. Mix 2:1 ratio of water to Saphir Nettoyant Suede Shampo. Use small suede cleaning brush to mix water and shampoo and the gently scrub suede in small circular motions. A white lather will form and is evidence that the suede is being properly cleaned. Remember to take particular care of the area between sole and suede upper where dirt can accumulate. Wait 10-15 minutes for shoes to dry. If stains still remain, repeat the entire process again. For a finishing touch, use the rubber brush to re-fluff the nap on the suede.

written by JORDAN MARTIN
photography by IVAN BIDEAC

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