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More Love for Cordovan Shell

Given our history of connecting with the wonderful community over on Styleforum, I subscribe and value reading their regular email newsletter. 

This last one had a nice gem I thought I'd share with you, written by Alexander Freeling (@afreeling) covering the background of Shell Cordovan. Cordovan is loved among shoe & boot communities for its long life and low-care requirements. But Freeling does a good job covering the history of Cordovan, where the termcomes from (Cordoba, for those of you who skip the article), and the common usages, tanneries, color options, and care techniques.

While I'd love to get my hands on more shell cordovan footwear myself, I will continue to use our recommended care techniques (small amounts of low-solvent cream polish to replenish oils and protect the shell, and lots of brushing), on the few well-taken-care-of pieces I do have.

For products, we typically recommend Neutral Cream Polish for Cordovan Shell products, as it doesn't impede the natural patina, while still protecting the item. However, for the highly-loved color #8, we also sell Burgundy Cream Polish, which is close to the natural starting color.

Here's the article. 

For additional reading, we did an Overview on Shell Cordovan recently on our blog, as well.

Shell Cordovan Oxford Shoes in Color #8



  • Hi Sako – It sounds like your wax-to-solvent ratio is off. Perhaps it was left without the lid for some time? Or, over time, the solvent will evaporate through the threads of the tin itself. What I recommend is two-fold: 1) Scrape the top surface of wax off the High Shine, perhaps 1-2mm deep, using a butter knife or spoon. This will access the solvent-rich under-layer. And 2) “Dab” into the fresh solvent top, and apply the product very thinly. When I say very thinly, I mean very thinly. This will help you apply it, and should remove any spots or dots left behind (likely excess wax). Let me know if this doesn’t answer your question, though. Thanks!

    Andy Vaughn
  • I have the high shine wax. I’ve been trying to use it. It consistently leaves a residue of little yellow dots. Its nearly impossible for me to buff out. How do I get rid of this?!!

    Sako Janessian

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