A Shoemaker's Blog

Shoe Shine Weekend: Water Resistance Test

Herring Burgundy Tassel Loafers before shoe polish

Rainy days

It has been pouring recently and it got me wondering exactly how water resistant Pure Polish water resistant cream could get.

Typical leather care products provide water-resistant properties by either:
→ stuffing the leather fibres with oils or
→ sealing the leather surface with waxes

Then there is sodium bentonite, a natural clay which is also found in beauty face masks. Used on leather, it binds with the protein molecule and expands with water to create a protective barrier of sorts, similar to the way Ventile fabrics work


 Set Up: Ilcea Misty Calf

I dug out a pair of fitting shoes, note the cork sole instead of leather, and applied some polish on only the right half of the shoe.

More polish was applied on the toe and gradually less towards the back to get a sense of how much polish was needed.

The shoe uppers are misty calf from Ilcea and nothing has been applied to them since leaving the tannery. Misty calf is very absorbent and is a pleasure to work with during the finishing stage.

They would readily accept colour from shoe creams and this results in a leather with so much depth and lustre.

Herring Burgundy Tassel Loafers after shoe polish
Close Up Burgundy Tassel Loafer shoes after polish

Results & Conclusion

Using a spray bottle, I spritzed some water and, very quickly, took a photo. By the time I had set the shoe down and snapped the photo, the unpolished side of the shoe had already absorbed all the water.

Ironically, in photos, the wet leather appears dry while the dry leather looks wet. Droplets forming on the surface of the leather actually means that water was being kept out of the leather and that the cream was doing its job just fine.

Considering the nature of misty calf and how "unfinished" it was, the water resistant cream performed well to my expectations. On finished shoes, I would expect these to perform even better.

Well in any case, stepping out into the thunderstorm with your leather shoes is definitely not recommended but if you're caught in a shower, the cream should offer more than adequate protection

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