A customer recently purchased a pair of Allen Edmonds Long Branch Boots in Brown and wanted to know what Saphir Shoe Polish color would work best on them. Dark brown would be far too dark and a light brown would be a tad too light. And Tobacco, although it contains more red undertones than the dark brown, would still be a little too dark.
So, the question remains: what color Saphir Shoe Polish best matches the Allen Edmonds Long Branch in Brown.
The answer is, like with many shoes, that there is no “perfect match” so it depends on where you want to take the shoe. And Saphir has a lot of different brown polishes and, often, the online color chart doesn’t perfectly represent the nuances of many of these polishes (especially when Saphir has seven different colors that fall under the family of “brown”).
So, I pulled out all of our different Saphir Wax Polishes in brown and put them to the paper to showcase their nuanced differences.
You can see from this image some of the differences. I’ll explain my thoughts below.
Cognac Saphir Wax Polish – this is a light brown with slightly more “butter” than the light brown polish.
Mahogany Saphir Wax Polish – this is defined by it’s “red” tones
Havane / Tobacco Saphir Wax Polish – this is very similar to the dark brown but slightly more “red” than brown
Bordeaux / Burgundy – there is no question that this polish is purple; this is actually a fantastic finish on a shoe.
Light Brown – Saphir’s light brown is a very light brown.
Mid-Brown – again, a nice middle-of-the-road brown polish.
Dark Brown – the dark brown Saphir shoe polish is actually very dark.
So, going back to the shoe polish for the Allen Edmonds Long Branch in Brown, based on the customer’s photograph, I would recommend either the Mahogany Saphir Shoe Polish or the Tobacco Saphir Shoe Polish. Which he chooses really depends on whether he wants to accentuate the “reds” or the “browns.”
If it were me, I’d go with the Mahogany and see how it works out. If I were totally unhappy, the Saphir Reno’Mat could be used to completely remove the polishes so that you could start over.
Once you go beyond the basics, shoe shining really becomes more art than science. The shoe is simply a canvas. Combining different colors and antiquing can produce both beautiful and unique shoes.