Spent a little time this week re-working a pair of shell cordovan boots that has been thru the ringer, it appears. There are a lot of opinions out there on what is the best way to polish/clean shell cordovan, and there really is no ‘best’ way, IMO. Much of it depends on the finish that the factory that made the shoe or boot uses – not just how the material itself is tanned and finished in Chicago. Besides, there is a fairly large difference in the shells from the delivery to delivery…..it’s not plastic, so what works for one might not be as nice for another. This, however, is how I usually do it:

Arrived –






First step is to brush them off, and then a good bath with Renomat






Next step is a couple of wipe downs with Saphir Regenerant (a cleaner….sponge it on, let it dry, wipe it off) –






After that I make a mix of Renovateur and Cream and brush it on –






After 2 coats of that mix, plenty of brushing and a hard cloth buffing, it’s time for 2 coats of wax (I use Neutral….shell really doesn’t absorb much, if any, color) –







Usually, they turn out well…..and it’s really not hard at all. For everyday maintenance, a simply brushing will do the trick.