I acquired these Vass shoes from eBay and they came looking terrible and really smelly. So I then took on a project to revive them to a respectable condition and here is the process that I took.
Along the side of the shoe there was also a lot of cracking and the leather was just very dry.
So the first thing I did was sand off the cracking. I used coarse sand paper followed by fine. As I did this outdoors, the smell that came from the leather being sanded off was like burnt rubber.
After it was more level and better than before, it was important to start feeding the leather with nutrients and conditioning. I lathered on a lot of mink oil lotion over a couple of days to help the leather return from its state of dry disrepair to an acceptable look.
As I was experimenting with the shoe, I took this opportunity to try black cream polish on this burgundy oxblood coloured shoe to create an interesting patina. The sanded part of the shoe obviously took on a lot of the pigment.
After this process I took the shoes to Nathan Baxter in Newtown to do a disinfectant and odorising job to get rid of the smell and the germs. When I got them back, I then used my usual routine of cream and wax polishing to get them shining and looking very handsome.
This just comes to show with proper care, good quality shoes with high quality leather uppers can be made to look great for their lifetime of many years. They can also be made looking alive again even when neglected for a long time like this pair. You won’t get this with cheap cemented crap that you can get for $400 for 3 pairs at a factory outlet.