Leather Shoe Cleaning – Conditioning – Polishing Product Video Overview – Real Men Real Style Q&A

Leather Shoe Cleaning – Conditioning – Polishing
Product Video Overview – Real Men Real Style Q&A Hi. This is Antonio Centeno with Real Men
Real Style. And today Iím going to be answering a question from a reader. He came back and
he asked, ìI recently invested in a pair of Allen-Edmonds, and I couldnít be more
pleased. To keep them looking fantastic, Iím wondering about shoe care products. Do you
recommend any particular brand of condition and polish and perhaps any other kind of tools
Iíll be needing? Iím fairly sure I want a cream versus a polish wax. I know Allen-Edmonds
themselves sell these products, but Iím unsure as to where I can get them and how I should
be using it.î All right. So Iím quickly going to go over
a general overview of how to take care of your shoes. Iím not going to be showing you
exactly, you know, how to shine them and everything. That could go on for ñ spend quite a bit
of time doing this. And so, this is a general ñ because I find there are lot of confusions
between what is a, you know, why use saddle soap or why use a conditioner or whatís between
a polish and a wax. So, again, quick overview, let me go ahead and ñ first thing, weíve
got a couple of tools in the tray. This small brush right here, when youíve
seen this, this used for putting on a polish. And Iíd like to have multiple brushes like
this because I find that, you know, they ñ itís hard to clean them and itís actually
cheaper and I think easier just to have multiple brushes. What you donít want to do is mix
up darker cleaners or darker polishes with lighter polishes. And thatís why I like having
multiple brushes like this. A brush like this can be used to polish or can be used to clean.
This is made from horse hair and itís a bristle that isnít going to be really abrasive on
a shoe but itís going to be abrasive after we remove the dirt. The key is you want to have two of this. You
want to have one that you use to polish or shine and then one that you use to clean.
And the reason you want the difference ñ and I like them actually when youíre having
different sizes. Mark Onen who wants a cleaning brush, he wants a polishing brush. The reason
being one of them is going to collect dirty, the other one is going to collect polish,
and you donít want to mix the two. You donít want to be rubbing small bits of sand into
your shoe. Thatís going to actually damage the leather overtime and itís not something
you want. Another great thing polishing tool is a polishing mitten. This is specifically
made for polishing shoes. I love ñ whenever I travel to hotels, I always get this for
free and I pick them up. But if you donít have a mitten, simply an old shirt or something
made from cotton or really a nap cloth is what you want something thatís going to absorb
a little bit of polish or moisture and be able to get a really nice shine on your shoes. Okay. So those are the tools. Now, letís
get into the polishes or ñ and the cleaners and the conditioners. First, cleaner that
youíll see out there are the ones that, you know, gets a lot of air play is saddle soap.
And this is by Fibbingís or ñ I like butchering that name. I like that theyíre made here
in Wisconsin. And Iíll have a link to them down below. Now, saddle soap and what its
use. Saddle soap is a cleaner. Notice the word soap is in there. So, you should be able
to use, you know, you can use a mitt like this or just ñ I would use just, you know,
a piece of an old rag or a t-shirt and you can actually get it in leather. And then youíre
going to use that to clean the shoes. Itís not a conditioner. Itís not a polish. Saddle
soap is soap. And it is used on, you know, tougher leathers usually. Youíll see, you
know, saddle soap used on saddles, used for, you know, really cleaning up a lot of dirt
ground. And thatís what you want to use saddle soap for. So if youíve got a pair of shoes
that you havenít cleaned for a long time and they perhaps got a waxing build up for
a multiple layers of polish, thatís when you want the saddle soap. You donít have to use saddle soap every time
you clean your shoes. And in fact, it just give me an idea, on a shoe ñ pair of shoes
that I wear, letís say 20 to 50 times a year, I will maybe use saddle soap on them one time
a year. And I do that whenever I want to go with a deep cleaning. But if youíre going
to start with anything and you need to do a deep cleaning, saddle soap is a way to go. There are also all-purpose cleaners and conditioners.
So this is a combination of a cleaner and a conditioner just like it says. The difference
between, you know, something like this. Actually, I want to bring the soap made by melatonin.
The difference is the cleaner conditioner is actually going to be putting a bit of moisture
back into the shoe. Itís not going to be as good as saddle soap when it comes to cleaning,
but itís more ñ itís gentler and itís something that I would recommend for more
normal use if youíre going to be ñ you know, this is something that I know you could use
it pretty much maybe every fourth or fifth time that youíre cleaning and polishing your
shoes. This should be one of the first things that you apply. Itís going to nourish the
leather a bit and itís going to go in and moisturize.
So leather ñ itís skin and it needs to be moisturized because what happens, itís basically
number of these fibers and theyíre all ñ okay, so you can imagine a protein-based fibers,
they go over like this. And thatís what makes leathers so tough. And these fibers been ñ
but overtime, kind of like your skin, think about putting a ñ you know, a lotion on your
skin during the winter months. I know my skin gets cracked. That same thing happens to your
leather. Whenever the moister leaves, thatís when you can damage and destroy the leather
and thatís why conditioners are so important. And in fact, if you use saddle soaps, you
have to use a conditioner afterwards because that soap is going to dry out a little bit.
Itís not as abrasive or hard as detergents or any of these other soaps that we use on
our clothing, but saddle soap does pull a little bit of moisture out. And so, you want
to be using a conditioner. I recommend ñ again, this melatonin all-purpose cleaner
is something I would recommend probably more than the saddle soap because for most men,
youíre not clogging through, unless youíre wearing, you know, boots that youíre going
out and going through mud. I mean, you donít have a lot to clean. Now, there are specific conditioners. And
this is leather, honey. This is a product thatís fairly new, although actually itís
been around for 30 years, but Iíve spoken with the ñ itís a family-owned business.
I really like their product as of the viscosity of the liquid. I mean, itís really thick.
It almost looks like ñ itís clearer but it almost adds viscosity of motor oil. I really
like it though because it goes in and it penetrates. Itís also waterproof. It does a great job
conditioning. And how do I know this, because it slightly does change the color of the leather.
This isnítí happening with all conditioners, but I really like how this goes in there,
and you can just see it penetrate. Itís thicker. It goes on really well. But this is not so
much a cleaner as a conditioner. Although theyíll probably say that you can use it
as a cleaner as well, Iíd like to think a leather, honey, more than the conditioner.
The difference between melatonin and leather, honey, Iíll talk about later. But letís talk quickly about mink oil. You
hear this thrown around. Now, mink oil is for, I think, tougher leathers. I donít recommend
it for shoes. And the reason being is that it normally does change or darken a leather.
And any of these products Iím talking about, you make sure to test them. I mean, you need
to always test. Donít go by what they say. I mean, good luck trying to get, you know
ñ they end up darkening your shoes and in your mind ruining them trying to get money
back from one of these companies. Theyíve got lawyers which protect them and theyíre
very clear. Always test a small part of your shoes. So take your shoe or you put a little
bit on the tong where no one is going to see it, and make sure that it has the effect you
expect to have. So weíve cleaned the shoe, weíve conditioned
the leather, the next part would actually be polishing the shoe. But before we get to
polishing, there are these things called creams. And this is Cole Haan shoe cream. Iíve also
got melatonin. It makes a great neutral cream, which I love because in this neutral cream,
you can use a wide variety, you can use it on black, you can use it on browns. It doesnít
really matter what color your shoes are. Although another reason I love melatonin products is
theyíve got a wide variety of colors. So, you can actually get a brown cream or a black
cream or walnut cream or ñ all these other variations of the colors. The difference between creams and ñ creams
are kind of like a hybrid. Theyíre not a polish but theyíre also not a conditioner.
They are a little bit of both. So, you can match it ñ theyíre conditioner that has
polish in them. And they do provide some conditioning, but theyíre ñ like any hybrid, it never,
in my opinion, does the best of both. But I like creams because if youíre travelling
and then you only want one thing, use a cream. This is if youíre travelling to an airport,
usually this is what the guy there is using because he only wants you there for five minutes.
He does a good solid cleaning of your shoes in which, you know, you go from cleaning to
polish. Itís usually going to take you anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. By simply using a cream,
you cut that down to a couple of minutes. Now, the cream, youíre never really going
to get is good of shine as you never going to condition the leather as well. But if youíre
going to ñ if youíre lazy, if you want one thing that youíre going to use on your shoes,
I recommend the cream. And thatís simply because, you know, it does do both. And for
most men, weíre not out wearing out shoes in an extreme weather. And the cream will
take care of your shoes for a long time, although it does not replace a wax with shoe polish
ñ shoe polish wax. This is the last thing that youíd be putting on a layer. And this is not meant to condition. This sets
on the outside of the shoes and it forms a waxy layer which gets you that super shine,
if thatís what youíre looking for. Now, I donít recommend this for something like
western boots. And the reason being western boots, they have leather thatís really soft
and is meant the sole over in multiple spots. But for most menís dress shoes, like the
Allen-Edmonds weíve talked about, if you want to get a really nice shine, using something
like the mitt, youíre going to be putting on layers of wax. And those layers of wax
are going to form a film, and that film is what gives you the really sharp shine. In
addition, think about it, youíre forming a layer of wax, wax repels water, so youíre
getting ñ youíre putting out a layer of protection. The thing is that once that layer
is gone, you need to reapply it. So wax needs to be reapplied pretty much after every time
you wear your shoes. And even the wax, theyíll probably ñ and
thatís why you get buildups because you apply it on so much. But wax is pretty much ñ there
has to be a seal. There has to be that layer. And anywhere that you donít have that seal,
obviously the wax cannot protect. And thatís one of the things like, you know, water and
stain protector, you know, again, this one is made by melatonin where these things come
in really handy because you can spray them on areas of shoes, especially if youíre going
to be in increment weather, you know. When youíre in Seattle, letís say and you know
youíre going to be walking through paddles, youíre not wearing a pair of glosses, you
know, this is where ñ this is going to become really useful because itís going to really
be above that layer. Youíll see a few other products out there.
And Iíll talk briefly, this one is made by Torego, and this is an instant shine. Youíll
see a lot of ñ I know a lot of coddlers use this. This comes out in Spain. So, harder
to find off the rack. Iíll try to find a link to it. But this is something where you
can apply it on to the shoe and it gives an instant shine, no buffing required. So, thatís
a little time-saving. Youíll see that a lot of guys are doing shoe polishing for a living
or working with shoes. Theyíll use this. Itís a quick shortcut. Itís a good product,
but it never provides the same level that you get from using all of these products together. Well, that is an overview of shoe products.
And Iím going to get…


  • It's pronounced "Mel-TOE-nee-an," and spelled "Meltonian," in case anyone was trying to find the stuff.
    Melatonin is a hormone.

  • @thecommissionerj Thanks – probably will go back someday and edit but at least I pronounced almost everything else right!

  • Great video. Usually when I watch videos for information I have more questions at the end than when it started but you really cleared everything up! Thanks a lot great video again!

  • Great to hear!

  • You're welcome!

  • I just boot a fairly expensive football/soccer cleets/ boots are these products ok to use? And there calf leather cheers dude 😀

  • Mr. Centeno

    First, let me thank you for these videos. I was wondering if you have used the Meltonian Water/Stain Protector. I've been advised against water repellants because some discolor leather. However, this one is not silicone-based and I really need some extra protection on my business casual leather boots (I am using cream instead of wax polish because I'm not trying to get a bright shine). Also, have you had any experience with either AE Cleaner Conditioner? Thanks.

  • Taking your advise I went out today to thrift stores for a look. I found a pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes only slightly used for $4.00. I jumped on them. I dont know much about company but they are a sight nicer than anything I have currently. I'll take this video's lesson on getting them cleaned up. It isn't much but it's a start. Thank you for what you're doing!

  • Advice*

  • Little bit of an old video but great one! I am getting into men's style and what would you recommend as a package? or what are the necessities for shoe care even for casual oxfords or moccasins? I don't want to go out there and buy all these and find that I won't use them as an absolute necessity. thank you! love your videos and site

  • I have a pair of sperry top siders the original boat shoe. I was just wondering if you could point me in the right direction on a good conditoner? For my leather sperrys thanks in advance.

  • Melatonin..ahahhaa..Hey..sold women's shoes for almost 10 years..Nylon hose give the best buff after a polish…just a tip..

  • What a great video. Really broke down everything I needed to do to care of my shoes in a simple, straightforward manner and gave product recommendations to boot.

  • Thank you!

  • Hey Antonio, I've always looked at creams as being the layer that adds color back to the shoes and wax as the layer to make them shine. So I only use cream maybe once a month during my deep clean when I also use conditioner. And then every week just do a bit of touch up with wax

  • Mink oil does darken like he said, but the color reverts to normal over maybe a month of on – and – off wear. Take what you hear with a grain of salt.

  • Now I understand the way to clean many of my shoes 😉 thanks for this video Antonio

  • Thank you for the video!

  • Mr. Centeno,
    I was recently caught out in the rain with my tan AE shoes and they now have some pretty severe water spots.  I am supposed to be getting married in these shoes next month and my fiancé is not pleased with my carelessness.  I was wondering if you knew of any tricks or products to help me out with this issue?  Thank you.

  • Awesome video clarify the sublte differenbe between cleaner, conditioner, cream, wax.

  • do you have tips on cleaning suede shoes?

  • How many times should I condition my leather shoe if I wear it 4 times a week ?

  • You should do an updated video of this one.

  • This is excellent. Thank you.

  • My tanned shoe from Otto was ruined because of a conditioner from Otto. It was tan and I love it, but when I conditioned it, it turned brown. Light brown. I do want to know if the leather would later on turn into its original colour just to ease my distraught for the shoes discoloration. If it doesn't return to its original colour, then help me with some knowledge.

  • Next time record in a bigger room plz

  • Do you follow this leather shoe shine guide?

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