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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if I can do anything to help nourish these poor neglected shoes. They are my oldest pair of shoes, as I've had them over half my life (around 17 years). While they have only been worn rarely, I have NEVER cared for them in any way until recently (not even a single coat of polish until a few months ago). To my uninformed eye, it appears the leather is drying out and the finish is coming off. What can I do to make them look better and/or protect them from further damage? Does anyone have recommendations for a polish color for the white-ish part (I don't know what to call the color, but it is certainly not a pure white).






I know these shoes are on their last legs, and they are probably not worth re-soling...But they have some sentimental value. My parents took a tracing of my feet to a shoemaker in Italy (I'm told it was a small one-man shop) and had these shoes made for me (I know foot tracings are not the standard method for making shoes, but that's how we did it!) They appear to be a cemented construction, though I can never be sure about such things.

Interestingly, these shoes are marked "Toscana" (marked only on the sockliner). I have seen other shoes with similar styling marked "Calzoleria Toscana" and found a few threads about them. Out of curiosity, I bought a pair in my size (maroon/tan wingtip oxfords) and this pair is welted construction. From my understanding, these shoes started showing up in Nordstrom in 2006, about 5 years after I got my pair. I'm assuming they are the same maker, but from what my father told me, the shoemaker who made these would not have the capacity to supply Nordstrom. I know my father is not lying about his experience, but I suppose the shoemaker could've lied and just used my foot tracing to find my size and ordered the shoe from another maker. Or perhaps the shoemaker got bought out/merged and expanded rapidly into the international market. Any insights would be welcome!
 

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They are in extreme need to be moisturized. Hit they with a coat of Venetian Cream. Allow them to sit overnight, buff and repeat the process a second time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are in extreme need to be moisturized. Hit they with a coat of Venetian Cream. Allow them to sit overnight, buff and repeat the process a second time.
Thanks for the suggestion! Believe it or not, I used some Venetian shoe cream on them before taking the pictures (though I forgot to buff them until just now). I had previously used some Allen Edmonds conditioner as well, but nothing seems to help. How much Venetian shoe cream should I be using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My suggestion is to brush off any dirt and then coat the entire shoe INSIDE, out, and SOLE with a generous, even smear of LEXOL.
Thanks. Is there a reason you recommend Lexol for this as opposed to the Venetian shoe cream or AE conditioner? I know it's cheap, but I only have so much room for shoe care products. Also, I want to make sure I have the right lexol product...Leather Conditioner? Leather Deep Conditioner? Something else?

Buff again before polishing with Saphir No. 21 white and Saphir "Medaille d'Or 1925" No.1 black.
While I haven't tried saphir's white polish, I did purchase their creme renovatrice (the recoloring repair cream) in both cream and off white. I had used the product with great success to repair a scuff in another pair of shoes, so I figured I'd try it out on these shoes. Both the cream and off white were too light (aside from not being the ideal product for this particular problem).

I have some white cream polish as well (Kelly's white and winter white), and I couldn't get them to look right when polishing. The color didn't match and made it look somewhat uneven...not in a good way. The color of these shoes is more of a cream, or bone, or one of those other white-ish colors that is different enough from white to get it's own name. I would love to find a good match color-wise, hopefully without needing to order 4 different shades of saphir polish to find the one that will work for this shoe. IF I can find a proper shade, then I guess I'll have to learn how to polish these (The only time they were polished was by my cobbler, and he used neutral polish except for a bit of black on the toe caps).

Good luck as this pair is really worth saving.
Thanks! They may be falling apart, but I really love them.
 

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In my experience, those shoes are not so far off. Try the Venetian (or lexol if preferred) many days. Wrapping is a good idea. That said, I would first strip away any layers of wax with the appropriate Saphir product or acetone. Then treat. Them colorant. Then light cream. Then send to NickV for resoling. If you've never used NickV, it's hard to imagine but the shoes typically come back better than they were new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In my experience, those shoes are not so far off...Then send to NickV for resoling. If you've never used NickV, it's hard to imagine but the shoes typically come back better than they were new.
You guys certainly know how to make me feel better! Nick V. is the guy at B. Nelson, correct? I have not used him in the past but am definitely considering sending another pair of shoes to him (a pair of used Alden medallion cap toes I just received). I didn't really think about sending this pair off to him, but that's a great idea! They definitely need a resole soon, and could certainly use some love.

I take it the best thing to do with B. Nelson is call and/or send some them some pictures? I love the idea that I could actually speak with the person who will recraft my shoes and ask about specific issues/request upgrades.

Thanks again!
 
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