Cordovan is derived from the Spanish word, Cordoba, used in traditional men’s dress shoes by luxury powerhouses for decades. Favored over other leathers because of the fit and the beautiful patina it produces, cordovan is exquisitely unique and requires special care. Cleaning and conditioning cordovan shoes require the following products:  Saphir cordovan shoe polish, Saphir Pate De Luxe wax polish, deer polishing bone, a horsehair brush, and most importantly, Saphir Renovateur.

How to Shine Cordovan Shoes:

Step 1: Clean off Shoes

If your shoes are lightly soiled, use just a little bit of water and a Horse Hair Shoe Shine Brush to brush off any type of dirt or soiling that may be on the surface. If your cordovan shoes are more soiled than this, you can use the Saphir Leather Cleaning Soap to actually shampoo the leather.

Step 2: Apply Conditioner

Apply a small amount of Saphir Renovateur on the shoe with a soft cloth over your index and middle fingers using small circular movements. It soaks right in and darkens the leather before drying.

Step 3: Smooth Out Creases 

Allow the shoe to dry completely. Then use the Deer Polishing Bone to smooth out the creases along the vamp of the shoe. Using moderate to firm pressure, in small circular motions, rub the bone against the creases of the shoe. When finished, store the bone in a Ziploc bag to keep the oils moist on the bone.

Step 4: Apply Cream Polish

Wrap a cotton chamois tightly around your two fingers and then put a little bit of the Saphir Cordovan Cream Polish on the cotton chamois and apply it using circular motions and massage it into the cordovan leather. Allow the cordovan at least 30 minutes to fully absorb and nourish the cordovan leather and for the waxes to dry. After it has dried, buff it off using our Hanger Project Horsehair Shoeshine Brush.

Step 5: Apply Mirror Gloss Wax Polish

Use our Hanger Project High-Shine Cotton Chamois to apply the mirror gloss wax polish. Since this is a relatively dry polish, it’s necessary to use a little bit of water on the shoe when applying it. Begin massaging the mirror gloss on to the toe box of the shoe. Concentrate that only to the hard-countered areas of the shoe that don’t bend or flex. After you’ve built up that foundation using the Saphir Mirror Gloss then you can come back on top of it with some water and then a little bit of the standard Saphir Pate de Luxe wax polish for an even higher gloss shine.

Step 6: Apply Wax Polish to Welt and Edge

Take a welt brush and put a little bit of Saphir Pate de Luxe polish on it. Then just go through the shoe and massage the wax polish into the welt. Then let the wax polish sit on the edge for a little bit and then take a slightly larger welt brush and work in that polish.