Quality shoe care starts with Saphir: one of the oldest, most traditional and best shoe care producers in the world. The French brand has evolved over the nearly hundred years it exists, but has never lost its glory. Distinctly Different had a glimpse behind the scenes.
‘The way you treat your shoes, is the way you treat yourself,’ exclaims Gael Birot (42), sales manager of what might just be the best shoe care in the world: Saphir. The French brand, originally established in 1920, won the Medaille d’Or (gold medal) at the Paris fair. Since then it is called Saphir Medaille d’Or. And although nearly hundred years have passed, it is still a leader brand when it comes to shoe care.
The product is the same, but the company has changed since then. The Spanish Avel bought Saphir in 1979 and enhanced the packaging, jar, communication, but left the creams untouched. Why? Because it already had a unique, high quality and beloved product. ‘We have a different formula than any other cream. It is solvent based, instead of water based. Solvent cleans and cares at the same time,’ explains Birot.
Leather is a natural product. And so it must be nurtured with natural products as well. Thats why the all of the shoe polishing products of the ShoeCare-Shop are made with natural ingrediënts. Saphir’s waxes and creams are made with beeswax instead of silicones. The same applies for the shine brushes which are made with 100% horse hair. Horse hair has been fed with natural oils from the horse itself. This is why the hair is so soft and suitable for shoe polishing.
We advise you to avoid all brushes which have manmade materials processed in them. Man made brushes of any type will scratch the applied polish. Synthetic hair also has the tendency to attract dust particles from the air. So when you try to polish your shoes with these dust filled brushes you’re mixing dust with polish and get a flat shine, not worth the effort. The ShoeCare-Shop offers a range of shoe brushes all made with 100% horsehair. We sell our brushes in set and individually.
Brush set: (Link to product EU/UK)
Saphir Brush: (EU/UK)
1. In order to prolong the life span of shoes, it is advised to alternate daily between two or more pairs of shoes. If you do not, the leather won’t have time to come back to its natural shape which leads to deformations and wear.
2. To ensure your shoes retain their natural shape, it’s advisable to immediately place shoe trees into your shoes when you put them away. Its best to use Cedar shoe trees (Link to product EU/ UK) because the adjustable split-toe enables you to adapt the tree to your shoe. Aromatic cedar is famous for its natural benefits. When unfinished, cedar protects the leather, fabric, stitching and soles of your shoes by absorbing moisture, salts and acid. Cedar trees smooth out creases, linings and wrinkles in your shoes, making your shoes last longer and look better.
3. Polish your shoes regularly! As explained in the previous blog posts, beeswax based polishing wax and cream provides the leather of your shoes natural protection en nourishment. How frequent you need to polish your shoes is entirely dependent on how intensively the shoes are worn. We recommend using Saphir’s line of products available here: (EU / UK)
We have been uploading tips, tricks and other video’s on our international YouTube channel. Whenever you’re experiencing shoe care related issue we advise you to visit our YouTube channel. There is a high chance we can help you with your issue/question.
Here you will find video tutorials on subjects such as polishing, cleaning and treating suede.
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Wax or cream? Which do I use to polish my shoes? A frequently asked question.
The biggest difference between a wax and a cream lies mostly in the method of application , and your own preference. A wax is best applied with a cotton cloth. (Something like an old t-shirt). By using circular motions to rub over the wax it gets softer and easily attached to the cloth. With the same circular motion the wax is applied to the leather.
A cream is usually applied with a brush. There are special applicator brushes available (Link to product: EU / UK) . Shoe cream is soft on itself so it doesn’t require any special proceedings before applying. Do you, for example, have a pair of shoes with punctured holes on the top? Then it’s preferable to use cream instead of wax. The wax which gets stuck inside the holes is difficult to remove. An example of a high quality nourishing cream is Saphir Médaille d’Or Cordovan cream (EU / UK). A wax offers on the other hand more protection than a cream. A wax I recommend is Saphir Médaille d’Or wax shoe polish, Pate de Luxe (EU / UK)
A good shoe polish or shoe cream is based on beeswax. For some brands only the cream contains beeswax. Pay close attention to this detail when buying a cream or wax. With brands such as Saphir (EU / UK) and La Cordonnerie Anglaise both the wax and the cream are based on beeswax.
The final decision regarding cream or wax is usually based on the method which is used to apply both cream and wax. With the high-end brands there is usually little difference between nourishing and protective qualities the wax or cream offers. For optimal results its recommended you alternate between wax and cream.
Winter is still going strong, snow is melting and is slowly replaced by rain. Recognize this scenario? When you do, you know it’s time to give some extra care and love to your shoes.
Shoe polish will add a thin layer of protection against the perils of mother nature. Use Saphir’s Médaille d’Or crème Pommadier: (Link to product: EU / UK) to nourish, recolor and waterproof your shoes.
Don’t have much time? An easy to use alternative is Saphir’s Médaille d’Or Crème de Soins (EU / UK). With the included sponge the tube’s foamy content is easily applied to the shoe.
And don’t forget! Grant your shoes a day of rest between wearing them.
By regularly polishing your shoes you extend their lifespan and good looks. It’s important that you use a good and natural shoe polish for example: Saphir’s Médaille d’Or line of products (Link to products: EU / UK).
After choosing a cream or wax (whats the difference?) its important to focus on choosing the correct color for your shoes. Choosing the correct color for black shoes isn’t much of a difficulty. But for brown or cognac shoes it’s a whole different story. There are many different shades of brown from which you can choose. Between two pairs of “cognac” shoes there can still be a difference in colors. Then which color do you pick?
The probability of a color of a cream or wax matching exactly with the color of your shoes is very small. If you accidentally do find the same color, just go with that one. But otherwise it’s advisable to polish your shoes with a neutral cream or wax and only occasionally polish with colored shoe polish. (With a color that closely matches your shoes). This way you sustain the original color of your shoes.
Colored shoe polish also comes in handy when repairing scratches or any other forms of damage to the leather of your shoes.
Well maintained shoes are polished regularly. However, because of using too much or the wrong shoe polish (synthetic or color) which is not good for the leather, It may be necessary to remove these layers of polish before polishing them again. By removing the old layers of dirt and polish, you allow the new nurturing layers of polish and/or cream to be absorbed better into the leather. But how do I remove these old layers of polish correctly? The ShoeCare-Shop offers multiple products that will do the job.
Saphir’s saddle soap is a soap specially designed for cleaning leather and shoes before polishing them again. With the included sponge and some hot water you clean the dirt off your shoes. When you are sattisfied with the amount of dirt that has been washed off your shoes, simply wipe the remaining soap with a moist cloth. To complete the process please dry your shoes with a dry cotton cloth. Do not apply new layers of (beeswax) before the shoes are completely dry. It’s advisable to let the shoes dry for a couple of hours.
Renomat by Saphir is used to thoroughly rid leather from dirt and synthetically based layers of polish. Renomat is applied with the included brush and cleaned without adding any water. Afterwards wipe your shoes with a dry cloth, and let them dry for about fifteen minutes. For extra details regarding the cleaning process please view the video below.
Before buying shoe polish we advise to first check the product label for its ingredients. The standard shoe polish , which you can buy in your local supermarket, is often synthetic and contain silicone.
Silicone-based shoe polish, provides a protective layer over the leather. This layer completely seals the leather, depriving it from oxygen. Leather needs to breathe. Over time, partly because of the moisture on the outside that can’t go nowhere, the leather will deteriorate.
Shoeshine based on beeswax and (animal) oils has the property that it is not only a protective layer on the shoe , but also immediately absorbs into the leather. This way the shoe is protected from within the leather, while being naturally cared for and maintained. Because of the natural ingredients used in the formula, the looks of the leather are longer sustained.
How do you remove old or synthetic shoe polish?
Are your shoes polished with synthetic shoe polish or you are not sure what it is ,just remove the old layers! With Saddle Soap (Link to product: EU / UK) or Renomat (EU / UK) old layers of synthetical polish are easily removed. In the next blog article we explain how. After a good cleaning, you can apply a natural shoe polish like Crème de Luxe by SCS (EU / UK) or Saphir’s Médaille d’Or cream shoe polish, Pommadier (EU / UK).
How do you know if your shoe polish contains beeswax?
A shoe polishing product containing beeswax will promote this on its label because that’s one of its distinguishing features.
1. First off, clean your shoes with a mildly moist cloth or the required Shine Brush (EU / UK). Secondly, apply the Renovateur (EU / UK) in small circular motions. Afterwards let the shoes sit for a moment, to let the leather absorb the Renovateur. After about 5 minutes lightly brush your shoes with the Shine Brush. You will notice that your shoes will already start to shine a little bit!
2. Directly after, apply the Pommadier (EU / UK)the same way you did with the Renovateur. (*Regarding the Pommadier: Please make sure to choose the correct color for your shoes). After applying, let your shoes rest for another 5 to 10 minutes. Afterwards Firmly brush your shoes with the Shine Brush. To get the perfect look, please repeat step 2. for one or two more times.
3. (optional) Instead of treating your shoes with Pommadier an extra two more times, replace the Pommadier in last repetition with Saphir Médaille d’Or Pate de Luxe (EU / UK). This way you will get a more glossy look.