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Shoe Care

Shell Cordovan

SShell cordovan shoes are renowned for their exceptional quality, durability, and timeless style. Crafted from the dense fibers beneath a horse's hide, shell cordovan leather is highly sought after by shoe enthusiasts worldwide. However, owning a pair of these exquisite shoes comes with a responsibility: proper care and maintenance. Let's explore some essential tips to help you preserve the beauty and extend the lifespan of your beloved shell cordovan footwear.

1. Invest in Quality:

When it comes to shell cordovan shoes, investing in quality is paramount. We at Bridlen source our shell cordovan leathers from Shinki-Hikaku of Japan, known for its expertise in the production of horse leather, including cordovan. High-quality shell cordovan shoes are built to last and will be more resistant to wear and tear.

2. Regular Cleaning:

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your shell cordovan shoes looking their best. Start by removing any loose dirt or debris using a soft horsehair brush or a slightly damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water, as it may damage the leather's finish. Allow your shoes to air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.

3. Conditioning:

To maintain the suppleness and luster of your shell cordovan shoes, conditioning is crucial. Apply a small amount of high-quality leather conditioner allowing it to penetrate and nourish the fibers. Conditioning helps prevent dryness and cracking. Gently rub the conditioner into the leather using a soft cloth, focusing on the areas that experience the most flexing and creasing. We suggest the Pure Polish leather cleaner and conditioner. Allow the shoes to absorb the conditioner overnight, and then buff them with a clean cloth to restore their natural shine.

4. Brushing and Polishing:

Shell cordovan develops an exquisite patina over time. To enhance its luster, Regular brushing and polishing will help maintain the shine and smoothness of your shell cordovan shoes. After each wear, use a horsehair brush to gently remove any dust or dirt particles. This process also helps redistribute natural oils within the leather, keeping it nourished. For added shine, use a soft cloth to apply a thin layer of wax polish in circular motions, followed by buffing to a glossy finish.

For a more detailed shoe care process, refer to Pure Polish's Shell Cordovan Care Guide

5. Rotation and Rest:

Frequent wear can take a toll on any pair of shoes, including shell cordovan ones. To extend their lifespan, consider rotating your shoes and allowing them to rest between wears. This practice allows the leather to recover its shape and minimizes the risk of excessive creasing. Using shoe trees or other moisture-absorbing materials can also help maintain the shoe's structure and absorb any excess moisture.

6. Protecting Against the Elements:

While shell cordovan leather is naturally water-resistant, it is still important to protect your shoes from extreme weather conditions. In wet or snowy conditions, consider using a waterproof spray or cream designed for leather to provide an extra layer of protection. Additionally, avoid exposing your shell cordovan shoes to prolonged sunlight, as it can cause fading or drying out of the leather.

By following these essential care tips, you can ensure that your shell cordovan shoes remain in pristine condition for years to come. Regular cleaning, conditioning, brushing, and polishing are key practices that will help maintain the beauty and durability of this exquisite leather. Remember, investing in quality, allowing for rotation and rest, and protecting against the elements are all vital steps in taking care of your shell cordovan shoes. With proper care, your shoes will continue to be a timeless and stylish addition to your wardrobe.

Recommended products:

Leather Cleaner Conditioner


High Shine Wax Polish


Horse Hair Shoe Brush


Neutral Cream Polish