PRODUCTS & TOOLS
While knowledge and experience in shoe polishing techniques is essential, equally important is the quality of products and tools that one uses. One could certainly produce satisfactory results with average resources, but we’re concerned with delivering only the absolute highest level of service. We believe that the quality of products and tools that we use helps to set us apart. The article on our polishing process mentions many of these. Here, we describe them further.
All of the shoe care products that we use are made in France by Saphir and are a part of their top-of-the-line Medaille d’Or collection. In addition to our own experience and satisfaction, these products are widely regarded to be the best by shoe professionals throughout the world. This isn’t to say that there are no other perfectly suitable shoe care products on the market, however, Saphir has been around since the 1920s, so in our minds, they've stood the test of time.
Aside from their performance, the thing that sets Saphir apart for us is that their formulas are natural. They’re a joy to work with and even have a pleasant fragrance. Upon smelling Renovateur for the first time, a friend remarked: “I want to put this on my skin.” Not only are natural shoe care products healthier to use, they’re better for the leather.
When leather is produced, it’s filled with fats, oils, and waxes. As these gradually wear away through normal use, it only makes sense to replenish the leather with the same kinds of substances. Many common shoe care products, however, contain petroleum-derived ingredients and other chemicals of questionable utility. Among these are mineral oil and silicone, both of which restrict the leather’s ability to breath and can lead to dry rot.
Essential to a shoe polisher’s toolkit are an assortment of quality brushes. Those that we use are made in Germany by Burgol, another company that’s been in business since the 1920s. These feature attractive, well-finished beech handles and a greater density of bristles than brushes of lesser quality, which makes buffing more efficient and yields a finer shine.
In addition to the buffing brushes, we use a welt brush to apply conditioner and cream polish deep within the crevice between the welt and the upper, nourishing and protecting a vital part of the shoe’s construction that could be easily overlooked.
We use 100% cotton polishing cloths that are made in England by Selvyt. Another long-established company, their cloths are especially prized by jewelers.