How to care for your Alden Shell Cordovan Shoes
Since Renners Boots & Shoes began in 1927, we have been committed to offering the best quality service and products. We also recognize the need to share our expertise in the care of leather products with our customers.
Because the Shell Cordovan Leather is a unique material, it does require slightly different care than a normal leather item.
Shell Cordovan leather is horse hide instead of a cow hide leather. It is processed using the old fashioned method of pure vegetable tanning, hand staining, hand glazing, and hand finishing. This careful process takes approximately five months from start to finish, just to process a hide. Only butts from large work horses are suitable to use for this tanning process. Because of the dwindled numbers due to machinery such as the farm tractor, the supply and production of the hides is much more limited.
ecause this leather is a vegetable tanned leather, it already contains greater amounts of oils and natural waxes, therefore the polishing needs are different than calfskin.
The mistake that is made the most is using too much polish. An excess amount of polish creates a build - up which hides the natural luster of the leather, is easily scratched, and attracts dust. You should not have to polish your shoes very often. Most of the time, all that is needed is to brush and cloth them to remove dust and to buff out the scuffs.
Use only a thin film of high quality wax polish.- NO LIQUID POLISHES- Most brands sold in grocery, drug, or discount stores are usually a low to medium quality polish that can actually harm the leather.
After the polish has dried slightly, brush it off with a horsehair brush, and follow up with a final buffing using a soft buffing cloth.
Alden recommends using paste wax polish, and not shoe cream, to care for your Shell Cordovans.
Here is a list of things NOT to do to care for these shoes.
- Do Not clean using saddle soap or cleaners containing petroleum distillates or cleaning fluids. To clean, all that is required is to wipe them with a cloth dampened slightly with water.
- Do Not use a neutral polish.
- Do Not use any spray shines or aerosol waterproofs as these may harm the leather over time.
- Do Not use heat to dry wet Shell Cordovan leather. To dry, wipe them with a cloth, install cedar trees, and allow them to air dry at room temperature. Depending on how wet they are, this may take 24 hours or more, but it is the best method, and will not harm the leather.
- Do Not try to polish shoes while wet. Allow to dry using the method above, then polish if necessary.
If the shoes do get wet, sometimes tiny bumps can form. This is a normal reaction, and is usually no case for alarm, as the bumps should recede as the shoe dries.
The magic of Shell Cordovan leather is not only its beautiful color and luster, but its durability and comfort. The pure vegetable tanning allows the leather to assume the shape of one's foot. Over time, the patina improves with each polishing. With proper care, the Shell Cordovan leather in your Alden shoes will serve you well and will become one of your favorite as well as wisest investments.