Brushes Cleaners Shoe Care Sole Care

How to Waterproof Suede Shoes

In today’s post, we will show you how to waterproof suede shoes. Don’t be intimidated by getting your suede shoes wet, we’re here to help. Follow these 3 easy steps to get your favorite pair of suede shoes ready for any rainy day activity.

Preparing to waterproof your shoes:

Waterproof Suede Shoes - Step 0: Brush

Before Step 1, it is important to brush the suede on the shoes. Here we used our Hanger Project Suede Cleaning Brush. Brushing the suede ensures that there is no dirt accumulated before sealing it with Saphir Super Invulner spray.

Step 1: Spray Saphir Super Invulner

Step 1 - How to Waterproof Suede Shoes

The first step is to spray the Saphir Super Invulner 6 – 12 inches away from the surface onto your suede shoes. After applying, allow 30 minutes to dry. It’s important to spray the Super Invulner into the welt of the shoe — it is a potential entry point for water into the shoe.

Make sure to complete this step outside or in a garage to keep the aroma of from lingering for a long period of time.

Step 2: Apply Wax Polish to Welt

Step 2: How to Waterproof Suede Shoes - Welt

Next, is to add some Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax Shoe Polish in Neutral onto a welt brush and apply the polish at an angle to the welt. As a result, this step’s essential to protecting and cleaning the welt of suede shoes. Be careful not to apply too much polish onto the brush because you run the risk of getting the polish on the upper suede of the shoe.

Bonus Tip: Bonus Tip: Waterproof Suede Shoes

In addition, if you are worried about getting polish on your suede, we learned a cool tip from shoemakers. Simply apply masking tape onto the suede surface edge of your shoe before applying the polish.

Step 3: Apply Saphir Sole Guard

Step 3 - How to Waterproof suede shoes

Also, it’s important to waterproof the soles of shoes, Saphir’s Sole Guard was created to do that. Shake the bottle well and apply onto a cotton chamois. Then, rub the cotton chamois onto the sole of the shoe. Lastly, allow approximately one hour for the Sole Guard to dry.

Cleaners Shoe Care

How to Use Saphir’s Gommadin Eraser

Caring for Suede & Nubuck Shoes

Like other fine dress shoes, suede, nubuck, and velvet shoes require special care in order to keep them looking new. The Saphir Gommadin suede & Nubuck eraser is meant to remove dry stains and should be used as a supplement to the suede cleaning brush. The suede eraser is perfect for spot cleaning your shoes and removing dry stains, so use it as needed. However, the eraser will not be able to remove any oil based or color based stains so for those issues you will need to use the Saphir Omni’Nettoyant Suede Shampoo or the Saphir Hussard Oil Stain Remover.

How To Use The Suede Eraser

Using the Saphir Gommadin Suede & Nubuck eraser is a lot like using a pencil eraser: identify the dry stain you are trying to remove, then take the eraser and rub it into the stain using moderate to firm pressure. Then, take a suede cleaning brush and brush it off. The natural-bristle suede cleaning brush is used to remove dirt from suede after daily wear to re-fluff the shoe. The cleaning brush is an essential tool in maintaining and caring for your fine suede shoes.

The products listed below should be in your shoe care box if you have suede, nubuck, or velvet shoes:

Saphir Gommadin Suede & Nubuck Eraser…

Saphir Crepe Brush for Suede and Nubuck…

Saphir Brass Suede Brush…

Large Round Shoe Polish Dauber by La Cordonnerie Anglaise…

Cleaners Shoe Care

Suede Waterproofing Made Simple

Although Suede can be the very difficult to clean, using a waterproofing spray on a clean shoe will keep the suede from getting dirty in the first place. Using the Saphir Super Invulner waterproofing spray will provide a protective coat to a shoe almost instantly. Just spray liberal amounts to the outside of the suede, nubuck, or any other leather shoe and let dry. Now your shoe is covered with a protective, anti-stain treatment that will bead off liquids preventing them from soaking in on contact.

Cleaners Shoe Care

Cleaning Dirty Boots

Being based in Texas, we understand that cowboy boots are made to go anywhere you want to go. Sometimes that means they are going to get really dirty. But that doesn’t mean your dirty boots can’t be revived back to as good as new!

Here is a beautiful pair of ostrich boots that had mud dried and crusted to them before we had a chance to work on them. This video is a great example of the power of the Saphir Leather Soap and Nappa Balm to bring a shoe back to life.

The details:

1: Wet and scrub the boots with Saphir Leather Cleaning Soap thoroughly shampooing the dirty area of the boots. We recommend using a large dauber and in a sink you don’t mind getting dirty. The great thing about the Leather Cleaning Soap is that it will prevent the leather from dehydrating and is much gentler than saddle soap. This product is great for use on most if not all leathers.

2: Rinse off the soap thoroughly. It is fine for leather to get wet just be sure to pat the shoe down to remove excess moisture. Excess moisture will result in undesirable water spots when dry. We also recommend you lay the boots down on their sides to dry. Laying them down this way gravity will not affect the shape of the drying boots.

3: We waited overnight for the boots to dry out completely. Once dry, use Saphir Nappa Balm and a dauber to condition the shoe. For style purposes, we chose to use Nappa because it is wax free meaning it won’t affect the texture of these great boots.

4: Since cowboy boots are hardy and can go through all terrain, we wanted to condition the soles as well. Using the Neats Foot Oil for the bottom of a shoe will make the soles stronger and flexible for continual use, day in and day out.

5: Finally we used the Saphir Edge Dressing to enrich the color of the sole back to a robust shiny brown. We like to pay extra attention to the welt. After all, the attention to detail is what will end up standing out when finished.

That’s it! As you can see from these before and after photos. A world of difference can me made with just a little bit of effort.

Boot Cleaning Before and After-1

Cleaners Shoe Care

Putting Your Shoes to Bed

Alfred Sargent Suede Shoes

Now that winter has begun here in Texas, I am again enjoying my Suede Shoes. These Alfred Sargents, my favorite pair, were acquired through our last Special Project.

After wearing your shoes, one should always follow a few steps before storing them away, especially with suede.

First, always brush your Suede Shoes with a Suede Brush. I always keep one in my closet.

Next, insert a pair of Shoe Trees to help maintain the shape of the shoe and prevent any creases from forming after wear. Shoe trees should stretch the shoe flat, which also counter-acts the natural tendency of the shoe to want to bow upwards.

Third, after the Shoe Trees have been inserted, wash the laces.

And, va la, your Suede Shoes are ready to be put to bed!

Cleaners Shoe Care Shoe Polishes

Saphir Renovateur Cleaner Customer Review

Saphir Renovateur is probably my favorite of all of the Saphir Medaille D’Or Shoe Polishes. Not because the other shoe polishes aren’t as great, but because the Saphir Renovateur is so unique to Saphir. If compared to a general-purpose leather balm, no other shoe polish product comes close to the Renovateur in terms of quality. Many of our customers who have used it rave about how the product replenishes, renovates, and renews their fine dress shoes.

I recommend the Renovateur to all of my customers. Even if you have someone else shine your shoes (which I strongly discourage against), you should have at least one jar of the Renovateur for use at home.

Mario, a customer of mine in Canada, has been a hanger customer of ours for a long time. The last time he called, I recommended that he try a jar of our Saphir Renovateur. This is what he had to say:

“Kirby, just wanted to say how fantastic the Renovator is as well as the polish. I just put on a coat of the Renovator and WOW. Absolutely unbelievable. It’s like putting moisturizer on someone who has been climbing Mount Everest. Absolutely spectacular. Will put on some of the black polish later this evening.”


Another review from a satisfied Saphir Shoe Polish customer.

Cleaners Shoe Care Shoe Polishes

Saphir Renovateur Cleaner Customer Review

Saphir RenovatuerSaphir Renovateur Medaille d’Or continues to be one of our best selling Saphir Shoe Polish products. Probably Saphir’s most unique product, Renovateur is a mink-oil based (mild) cleaner and conditioner that is like “liquid gold” for leathers. It penetrates deep into the leather to deliver essential nourishment while cleaning the leather pores. This keeps leather soft, supple and, most importantly, prevents cracking that occurs when leather becomes dry and its pours clogged with embedded polish and dirt.

We recommend using Saphir Renovateur as a the base of any polish. However, this versatile product can also be used completely by itself should pigmentation not be required. The wax content of the Renovateur MDO can easily produce a soft patina that many like. And the absence of pigment keeps the polishing simple should the color of one’s shoes be fine. (If your shoes are scuffed or if the color needs to be renewed, then follow the Renovateur with Saphir Cream Polish.)

For more information about Saphir’s “liquid gold,” read our Shoe Care Guide on How to Use Saphir Renovateur.

However, the reason I’m writing this post is to share an e-mail I recently received from a customer who used Saphir Renovateur MDO for the first time.

I just wanted to write and express how pleased I am with the Saphir products. I’ve had a favorite pair of leather loafers for the last 7 years and I was about to give up on them and buy new ones (an expensive proposition).

As a last resort, I ordered the Renovateur and Burgundy creme polish thinking maybe it could help. When I applied the Renovateur and let it sit for a few minutes, I nearly fell out of my chair. The leather became clean, supple, and renewed within seconds. The creme polish only enhanced the effect and restored the correct color to the leather. The shoes took their best shine in years and now look fantastic.

The products paid for themselves because I feel confident I can get several more years of service from my favorite pair of shoes. Thanks for drawing my attention to these fine products. I feel I have taken another step up in my gentleman’s lifestyle.


The reality is that the quality difference between ordinary, readily-available shoe polishes and Saphir Medaille d’Or is not even worthy of comparison. The absolute commitment to quality with the Saphir Medaille d’Or collection is just unheard of within the shoe polish industry. If you have invested in high quality leather shoes, then a complimentary investment in high-quality shoe polish will ensure that they continue to pay dividends for decades to come.

Cleaners Shoe Polishes

How to Repair Scratched Shoes

Saphir Cream Polish, from the MDO line, is great for repairing and concealing most superficial damage to shoes. Minor scuffing or scratching can most often be fixed with a few extra coats of Saphir Cream Polish. However, sometimes shoe polish is not enough to repair or conceal shoe damage. Sometimes, the damage is just too deep, too bad. In these cases, Saphir Renovating Repair Cream is designed to do just the trick.

201 201

The above picture shoes some recent damage to a pair of shoes I have owned for many years. I am not sure how the damage occurred. What’s important is that because it gouged into the leather. Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish would not be strong enough to conceal this damage. So, this is where the Saphir Renovating Repair Cream comes into play. The resin-based formula is very simple. Resin + Pigment. It fills any cracks, rebuilds the surface, and will never come off. Once it dries, it will never rub off onto anything.

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You apply the Repair Cream with your finger. Massage it into the leather and try to smooth it out. Allow it to dry. Then polish over it with a cream polish to smooth out the surface. If you have any loose flaps of leather, cut those off with a sharp pair of scissors first. Sometimes even a very fine grade of sand paper might be necessary to prepare the surface. The objective is to get the area to be as smooth as possible before applying the Saphir Repair Cream.


As you can see from the last picture, the Renovating Repair Cream was able to almost completely conceal the damage. For $11, it’s cheaper than a pair of shoes and is also EXCELLENT as Edge Dressing.

If you have any pairs of shoes with particular damage, feel free to email Customer Service for help.


Saphir Omni’Nettoyant Suede, Nubuck and Textile Shampoo

Saphir Omni’Nettoyant Suede, Nubuck and Textile Shampoo is a very good Suede Cleaner that efficiently cleans and renews Suede and Nubuck Leather plus other textile varieties found in your shoes. Suede shoes are easily the most-neglected shoes in one’s closet. This is unfortunate because suede is incredibly easy to clean, with the proper products, and is actually a very robust leather that should last years if cared for properly.

Saphir Omni’Nettoyant is a shampoo that can be used to clean Suede and Nubuck Leather. Depending on how light or dark the finish, suede needs to be cleaned at least every few months to remove dirt that accumulates in the pile. Omni’Nettoyant contains a solvent that penetrates into the suede to remove dirt and, in the process, brings the original pigment to the surface; thereby, renewing the finish. After a good shampooing with Saphir Omni’Nettoyant, suede shoes not only look cleaner but the finish is often brighter.

For our complete guide on how to renew your favorite pair of suede shoes, read our How to Clean Suede Shoes tutorial.

Cleaners Shoe Care Shoe Polishes

Saphir Shoe Polish Comparison

Saphir Medaille d’Or is unquestionably the best shoe polish available in the world. Crafted in small batches in Angouleme, France, the Medaille d’Or Shoe Polish uses the same formula and all-natural ingredients as it did when it won the “Gold Medal” at the Paris International Festival in 1925.

The difference in Saphir Shoe Polish is not just in the quality of the waxes in pigments, but how the various products are designed to penetrate the leather to deliver essential nourishment to the leather. A very easy experiment can be performed to show the difference amongst polishes: simply apply a neutral polish to a piece of paper. How well the polish penetrates the can easily be observed by how it saturates the paper.

To create this Saphir shoe polish comparison, I went to my local shoe repair shop and purchased as many wax and cream polishes they had available in neutral. The top row represents the other brands I purchased. Two waxes and two creams.

The bottom row is various Saphir Shoe Polishes from the Medaille d’Or Collection. As you can see, the two cream polishes do not penetrate the paper at all. Using these creams to polish your shoes, no nutrients are being delivered to the leather — you are essentially just rubbing waxes on the surface of the shoe. The Kiwi and Lincoln Waxes only demonstrate mild penetration. None are impressive when compared to Saphir Medaille d’Or (bottom row).

Saphir Shoe Polish Comparison

The Saphir Shoe Polishes penetrate deep into leather and deliver essential nutrients that keep leather moisturized while preventing cracking. However, amongst the different Saphir products, you will see varying degrees of penetration.

The Saphir Cordovan Polish, for instance, does not penetrate as deep as the others. This is because if the polish were to penetrate too deep into the pores of cordovan, it could cause the fibers to expand, thereby compromising the tight, closed fiber/pore structure unique to Cordovan. For this reason, we do not recommend using Wax or Cream polishes with Cordovan.

The Saphir Renovateur and Saphir Cream Polish both penetrate deep into the leather, as shown by their saturation of the paper. These two products are designed to deliver maximum nutrition deep into the leather. The Wax Polish still penetrates, but not as deep as the creams. If this photograph were taken after the paper dried, you would see that the Wax Polish thickest wax layer, again, by design.

With Saphir Medaille d’Or, rest assured that you are choosing the absolute best when caring for your shoes.