Shoe Care Shoe Polishes

Which Saphir Shoe Polish Color is Right for You?

Saphir has over 13 different colors when you combine the Saphir Cream Polish colors and the Saphir Wax Polish colors. Of these 13 colors, there are six different shades of Brown and several very close cousins (Bordeaux, Mahogany, Hermes Red). And the Saphir Cream Polishes can be mixed together to create an infinite number of possible finishes. So, which Saphir shoe polish color is perfect for your favorite pair of new shoes? Hard to say.


We provide color swatches on all of our product listings, but sometimes it is difficult to reproduce the actual color of a shoe polish on the computer screen. The Bordeaux #8, for example, actually contains much more purple than what the color swatch shows. You can purchase the Saphir Nuancier Color Card, but this lists every color that Saphir has ever produced (aka. many more colors than the 14 offered in the Saphir Medaille d’Or line) and can be a little overwhelming.

When trying to match a difficult color, I recommend buying two different polishes that you think are close and then testing them on a piece of paper. Polishing your shoes is more an Art than a Science, so an exact match is not required. Perhaps you want a shade that is slightly darker so that you can work a little antiquing into your shoes. Or perhaps you want to retain the natural patina of your leather so you choose a shoe polish that is lighter than the original finish. Or perhaps you even use a neutral, like the Saphir Renovatuer, that does not contain any pigment.

The best way to test a shoe polish out before applying it to your shoe is to use a piece of white paper. This test is actually quite educational (as illustrated in my Shoe Polish Comparison post back in March). The below pallet shoes the different shoe polishes I was experimenting with to write the Allen Edmonds Shoe Polish Colors post. This is where I really discovered the departure of some of the polish colors from the swatches provided by Saphir (especially with the Bordeaux!). So, before you test your shoe polish on your shoes, try testing it on a piece of paper first!

Saphir Shoe Polish Colors

Below is a list of all of the Saphir Shoe Polish colors in the Medaille d’Or line. The Wax Polishes marked with an * are available in a 50 ml format.

Saphir Cream Polishes Saphir Wax Polishes
Black #01


Black #01*


Neutral #02 Neutral #02*
Light Brown #03


Light Brown #03*
Medium Brown #37  Medium brown polish on white paper Medium Brown #37


Dark Brown #05  Dark Brown wax polish on white paper Dark Brown #05
Tobacco brown wax polish on white paper Tobacco #34


Mahogany #09 Burgundy wax polish on white paper Mahogany #09


Grey #14


Cognac #10  Cognac wax polish on white paper Cognac #10


Marine Blue #06 Marine Blue wax polish on white paper Marine Blue #06


Dark Green #20 Dark green wax polish on white paper Dark Green #20


Tan wax polish on white paper Tan #19


 Bordeaux wax polish on white paper  Bordeaux #08


Hermes Red #12  
Shoe Care Shoe Polishes

Try Navy Shoe Polish on Your Black Shoes

I am currently experimenting on how to create a high-gloss mirror shine using Saphir Shoe Polish. When I was in Paris, I had the honor of spending some time with master shoe finisher Paul Bolten at It was he who when shining my black pair of Alfred Sargent shoes, which needed an embarrassing amount of love after a week in London, recommended using Navy shoe polish to build the high-gloss shine on the toe box.

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For as long as I had been selling the Saphir Navy Polish #06 (called “Marine Blue”), I never really understood how or on what type of shoes one would need navy polish. Do people really have blue shoes? But after seeing what Paul was able to do with the Navy polish, I was astounded.

The principle is the same when applying navy shoe polish to a black pair of shoes as with a midnight blue tuxedo. At night, navy on black looks more black than black itself. And during the day, when sunlight reflects off of the navy shoe polish it generates a subtle patina or hue that catches the eye. Never obvious enough for one to realize that you used navy shoe polish on your black shoes, but just different enough to be noticed.

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In this photograph, you can hardly tell. However, click the image to enlarge it and you can kind of see the difference.

We sell the Navy Shoe Polish in the 50 ml and 100 ml formats. So, if you are looking to experiment, pick up a small 50 ml tin of Saphir Shoe Polish and test it out for yourself. If you are not happy with the results, simply use some Saphir Reno’Mat to strip off the polish and start over.

Also – once I master the art of the mirror shine, I will post an in-depth tutorial on how to produce this at home. I am still working out the finer points. You’ll see that the left shoe has a much higher-gloss mirror finish than the pair on the right, which I recently stripped with the Saphir Reno’Mat and then simply applied Saphir Renovateur polish. However, I know I can achieve even better results, so I am still working…

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.

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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.

Shoe Trees

Shoe Tree Comparison

Shoe trees are essential to the care of any pair of leather dress shoes. By filling out the interior of the shoe when they are not being worn, they help keep the shape of the leather and minimize creasing. We offer two pairs of cedar shoe trees and one pair of fully-lasted beechwood from France, our Perfecta Shoetree.

There are two basic styles of shoetrees:

Split-Toe American Shoetrees, which are probably the most commonly-found shoetrees, at least in America, and feature a split-toe front and single-barrel spring mechanism.

Fully-Lasted European Shoe Trees, which feature a prominent vamp and a double-barrel spring mechanism.

All of the shoetrees we offer are of the highest-specification in their respective categories. They use as much wood as possible and have well-finished, fully-rounded heels. Choosing between the three is really a matter of personal preference and, in the case of the Perfecta Shoetree from La Cordonnerie Anglaise, budget.

We offer two shoe trees in American cedarwood. Most shoe trees in the United States is made from American cedarwood because it is readily available and inexpensive. In addition, the wood is very absorbent, which allows it to wick away moisture left inside the shoe after a long day wear. However, many Europeans will argue that importance of this property of cedarwood is overstated and, in turn, prefer shoetrees made from hardwoods, such as beechwood.

Both of our cedarwood shoetrees are made in China. Because a high-degree of manual sanding is involved in their production, there is always a degree of variation between two pairs of shoetrees, even of the same size. However, the beechwood shoetree manufactured by La Cordonnerie Anglaise in France is created on a high-precision, computerized wood carving machine, so there is absolutely no variation at all between trees. The overall degree of finishing of the Perfecta Shoetree is unparalleled. Everything about this shoetree is absolutely perfect. However, at $125 a pair, the do not come cheap.

Which type of shoe tree is right for me?

The biggest functional difference between our three styles of shoe trees is with the split-toe vs. fully-lasted styles. A split-toe style shoe tree will fit a wider variety of shoes than a fully-lasted tree. The single barrel design has more play while the split-toe mechanism accommodates a wider variety of shoe widths. If you have a non-standard width shoe, I always recommend going with the split-toe ULTRA Shoe Tree.

Shoe Care Shoe Horns

Long-Handle Luxury Shoehorns from Italy

We have just launched a new collection of luxury shoehorns from Italy crafted from exotic woods. These shoehorns are unlike any other that I have ever seen and are truly distinctive. They are crafted from an Italian company in Milan that is one of the primary supplier of umbrella shafts and walking sticks.

We have a collection of seven of their most distinctive shoehorns. All except two feature a spring that attaches the shoehorn tip to the shaft of the shoehorn, making the shoehorn easy to use while standing. Most measure approximately 22 inches in length.

The above Chestnut Root Shoehorn is one of my favorite. At the current moment we only have two of this particular style. The shaft is chestnut root with the root knot at the end of the shoehorn. This is a very impressive shoehorn and could just as easily be used as a club as it could a shoehorn. With the exception of the knot-end, the chestnut root has retained its bark. It measures approximately 23-inches in length. Each is a little different.

This long-handle Bamboo Knot Shoehorn is another one of the more distinctive shoehorns. The bamboo shaft is knotted into an interesting loop. The craftsmanship required to work the bamboo in this manner is exceptional.

As I have stated before, I believe that a man should never be without a shoehorn. This is why I continue to seek out exceptional shoehorns from around the world. With one of the largest selections of luxury shoehorns on the internet, any man should be able to find an exceptional shoehorn that reflects his unique quirks and personality.

Click here to view our entire collection of luxury shoehorns.

Shoe Care Shoe Horns

Stag Antler Shoehorns from AbbeyHorn

During my April trip to visit London tailors, my wife Bianca and I had an opportunity to visit the AbbeyHorn Factory, where our beautiful horn products are handcrafted, I had an opportunity to pick the last remaining 20 Stag Antler metal shoehorns from closeout.

What immediately drew me to the shoehorn was that it was completely unlike anything else that I have ever seen from AbbeyHorn. You see, they primarily work with horn to create the actual spoon of their luxury shoehorn. This was the first that I have ever seen utilizing a metal spoon. And the use of a stag antler was just as uncommon. This shoehorn resembles more conventional shoehorns than it does the typical handcrafted horn shoehorns from AbbeyHorn. So, I picked up their entire lot. We have about 20 remaining at $35 each.

Stag Antler Letter Opener

In addition to the Stag Antler Shoehorn, AbbeyHorn had a few of these smart stag antler letter openers. I kept one for myself, leaving just three available on the website. $30.00.


Saphir Crepe Brush for Suede and Nubuck Leather

Although Nubuck Shoes appear to look like Suede Shoes, they are actually quite different and require different shoe care handling. Sanding the inside of calfskin leather creates Suede while sanding the outside of the calfskin leather creates Nubuck. The difference results in a texture similar to suede but much, much finer in texture and nap. Because of this, Nubuck Leather is very delicate. A normal brass or hard-bristle suede brush that would be appropriate for brushing out Suede would damage the more delicate Nubuck Leather.

Nubuck isn’t very popular here in the United States but has been gaining popularity in the United Kingdom and Japan for its distinctive and rather uncommon texture. The photograph below displays Edward Green Cherwell’s Chukka Boots made in Nubuck Leather. This fine texture is difficult to discern from a photograph, it really must be seen in person.

Our Saphir Crepe Brush is perfect for cleaning Nubuck Leather and is a great Suede Cleaner. The softness of the natural, rubbery crepe cleans Nubuck but will not damage it. An additional characteristic of crepe is its gummy texture, which “lifts” dirt from the shoe. With use, the color of the crepe begins to darken as it picks up dirt. This can easily be cleaned by simply rubbing it off with your fingers.


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.

Shoe Care Shoe Horns

La Cordonnerie Anglaise Perfecta Shoetree

Strengthening our commitment to Luxury Shoecare, we have just received new shoetrees from European-based La Cordonnerie Anglaise. Crafted in France from beechwood, instead of the more common cedarwood, LCA’s Perfecta Shoetrees are the highest-specification, most finely-crafted shoetrees I have ever seen. You definitely pay a premium for the finishing, no doubt, as they are not cheap at $125.00. But if you are spending more on your shoes than most televisions cost these days, you you really cannot afford to be using the best shoetrees.

Available in six different sizes. Click here to purchase.