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  1. #51
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    Nice pair of boots Tobus and good piece of work on both character and polishing front. I do like the darkening process, it does emphasise the worn in areas of the boots and gives them a bit of extra depth.

  2. #52
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    I use the parade gloss on most of my black shoes. I didn't know it came in brown until I read this thread. Apart from a pair of rarely worn dress shoes, I mostly polish a pair of black work boots. As an aside I found a second reason to keep them polished apart from appearance. As an EMT I have read a couple of uniform policies that require polishing of leather boots to add an additional barrier to the leather against certain contaminants.

    I should also tell about my failed experiment with polishing. For years in my office there was an electric shoe polisher in the corner. The sort with two soft brushes that spins fast and really just buffs shoes quickly. So I got the idea that I could get a similar bit for my drill and speed polish the boots. I got it and it appeared to work fine. I went to work, and looking down at my boots saw what looked like dust, then I realized it was far worse than dust, it was little red fibers from the polishing head, that was not lint free. Getting the lint off the boots was somewhat challenging, but I was able to get it eventually.

  3. #53
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    Tobus beat me to it, I was going to post a photo of these Thistle Shoes Scotland "grained" ghillie brogues



    which I'm strongly considering ordering.

    I wouldn't try to bring them to a shine. I would think "why?" When they look great just as they are.

    BTW my grandfather joined the US Army around 1913, the very small peacetime army. He said that the boots were rough-out and yet they brought them to a high polish.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 23rd September 18 at 05:29 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    I wouldn't try to bring them to a shine. I would think "why?" When they look great just as they are.
    Those are good-looking shoes. They do appear to have some degree of light shine in the original finish. Wearing them as-is or taking them to a higher shine is, of course, just personal preference.

    There are good reasons to polish leather shoes, though. Just like waxing the paint on a car, it will protect the leather from the elements. In arid regions, it also helps keep the leather from drying out and cracking. The wax gets worked into stitching seams to keep them more waterproof. And when you scuff them, shoe polish helps restore colour to the scuffed areas. For the life of the shoe, polishing is what I would consider essential preventive maintenance. They just won't last as long without regularly maintaining the finish, and a polish is the standard for that purpose. It doesn't necessarily require a high shine; the amount of shine you get really depends on the method you use to apply the polish.

    Grained leather isn't really conducive to building up thick layers of wax, so I do agree that they're not the kind of shoes that could (or should) be bulled to a mirror finish unless you flatten the grain like the military guys do. In which case, why bother with buying grained leather? The toes do have some natural flattening of the grain when they are stretched around the last, which is why I like to bull the toes only. The rest of the grained leather just gets enough polish and brushing to gleam a little and show off the texture. The natural dulling of the polish happens within a couple of days.

  5. #55
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    With regard to brogues with pebbled leather, you should not expect them to come to a mirror finish. Take a look at the brogues issued to highland regiments - you will discover that they are kept clean and polished, but not bulled. Indeed, their soldiers are instructed that they are not to have a mirror finish.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by plaid preacher View Post
    With regard to brogues with pebbled leather, you should not expect them to come to a mirror finish. Take a look at the brogues issued to highland regiments - you will discover that they are kept clean and polished, but not bulled. Indeed, their soldiers are instructed that they are not to have a mirror finish.
    Interesting! Where can we see the details of those instructions?
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father Bill View Post
    Interesting! Where can we see the details of those instructions?
    Bill, I suspect no where! Highland regiments all have their own traditions, many of which are particular to the unit and do not appear in the dress regs of either the Canadian Forces or Ministry of Defence. Indeed, I suspect it is their non-conformity that sets them apart.

    I know this because: 1) I have had friends who have served in highland regiments and we have spoken of it, and 2) because of the fact that it is an impossibility. As the previous post noted, the only way to bring the shoe to a high polish is to first "bone" it to remove all the pebble and render a flat surface. In days gone by, many items of footwear did come pebbled and "boning" was a standard practice to remove the grain of the leather so that they could be polished.

  8. #58
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    Yes the Highland regimental brogues are interesting.

    I looked at some photos of Highland soldiers and their shoes are polished, but they don't seem to have the mirror-like polish that American soldiers put on their smooth-leather shoes and boots.



    (BTW the modern pipers' crossbelts and dirk belts are plastic.)

    Here's a pair of worn ex-army brogues showing that the polishing did not get rid of the pebble grain.

    Last edited by OC Richard; Yesterday at 06:23 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  9. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  10. #59
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    27th October 09
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    Thanks for those photos, Richard. The shine on those officers' shoes seems about the same as what I've done with mine. Glossy but not built up and bulled to a mirror finish.

    It does make sense that the pebble grain should stay on a military brogue, since most of the shoe is covered by spats anyway. But I'm certain that I had read accounts of Highland units taking down the pebble grain with heated spoons or some such. Maybe that was just done on the toe area?

  11. #60
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    Just a thought on this but you're talking about Highland Regiment, but surely the same convention re brogues would be covered by None Highland regiments as well? Thinking of for example the Scots Guards tending to go for bulling of boots but what of their pipers? Presumably their brogues are not bulled? Also the former various Lowland Regiments such as the 1st or the Kosbies?

    Should ask my Dad's Cousin as he was one, but I'm sure that the rule would be the same.

    Come to think of it the wearing of brogues by officers in certain orders of dress is not confined to Scottish Regiments either...but they're brown rather than black...

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