Boning Up on Shells
My go to shoes for rainy days are these shell cordovan boots by Brooks Brothers. Shell cordovan is wonderful at keeping your feet dry. The leather is thick and naturally water resistant, so it won’t soak through even in the most torrential of downpours. When you couple them with studded Dainite soles, they can make for the perfect pair of rain shoes.
To wear shell cordovan in the rain, you only need to remember to give it a wax polishing every month or two. Unwaxed shell will still keep your feet dry, but the harsher elements can damage the leather. Which is what I found happened to mine after I wore them last week unprotected. I went out for three hours in the rain, and when I came home, I noticed small welts all over the vamps and sides. This happens every once in a while to a pair of calf chukkas I wear in the snow, and I usually fix them by polishing over the welts with the curved side of a metal spoon.
This time, however, I thought I’d try using this deer bone I bought from A Suitable Wardrobe. I brushed off the dirt with a horsehair brush, wiped the shoes down with Allen Edmonds leather conditioner, and then rubbed the bone over the leather in circular motions. To my pleasant surprise, with a bit of work, the welts came down and a few minor scuffs were even taken out. According to this video, the bone is also infused with essential oils that help restore the leather. To be honest, mine seems perfectly dry, and it were oily, I’m not sure I would keep it around the house. Nonetheless, while I’m not sure any oils were imparted, it did its job of smoothing the uppers.
Now, I usually say shoe care supplies are things every man should own, but a deer bone isn’t one of those essentials. If you’re just trying to take care of welts or minor scuffs, you can probably achieve the same results using a spoon, horsehair brush, some leather conditioner, and a bit of wax polish. If you enjoy polishing, however, a deer bone is nice in that it allows you to do things the old fashioned way. Sometimes, these things are just as much about the process as they are about the results.