Saphir Shoe Polish Overview

This guide gives a brief overview of the most popular Saphir Medaille d'Or shoe care products organized by leather type.

Saphir Medaille d'Or is widely considered by shoe aficionados to be the best collection of shoecare products in the world. It is recommended and used by some of the most prestigious luxury brands, including: Louis Vuitton, Burberry, John Lobb, Hermes, Berlutti, etc.

An exclusive premium line by French-manufacturer AVEL, Medaille d'Or is appropriate for those looking to take the best possible care of fine shoes and leather accessories. The line traces its origins back to the 1925 Paris International Fair, where the line won a gold metal. Its hallmark is an absolute commitment to using only the highest-quality ingredients available in the concentrated, time-honored formulations in its products. Most importantly, the Saphir cream polishes and Saphir wax polishes do not contain any of the harmful silicone or petrol products commonly found in ordinary shoe polishes.

Complimenting this collection of shoe polish is Saphir's Beaute du Cuir line, which is more extensive and contains many complimentary products not offered in the Medaille d'Or collection. However these products are not inferior to the Medaille d'Or collection; but because of their more technical formulations, they do not qualify to wear the Medaille d'Or label.

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Products for Smooth Leather

Saphir Renovateur Medaille d'Or - 75 ml

Saphir Renovateur Medaille d'Or is easily Saphir's best-selling product and the one most unique to the company. Based on a proprietary formulation of beeswax and mink oil, it is like liquid gold for fine leathers and is incredibly effective at providing deep nourishment to protect and restore leathers.

We recommend using it as the base of any polish or to provide a soft patina between more robust shines.

How to use:

  • Remove dust and dirt from shoes.
  • Apply a small amount of polish with a cotton chamois or dauber (less is more).
  • Massage the polish into the leather using circular motions.
  • Allow to dry and then buff using a horsehair brush.

Notes:

If the leather is particularly dirty, first clean using Saphir Cleaning Soap. If using Saphir polishes for the first time, use Saphir Reno'Mat to remove any deposits of silicone, resin, or accumulated wax.

If the leather is scratched, faded, or scuffed, use Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish afterwards to re-establish color saturation and provide a soft shine. For a high-gloss shine, use Saphir Pate de Luxe Medaille d'Or wax polish.

Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish

Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish Medaille d'Or is uniquely formulated to produce a soft matte patina (vs. a wax polish's high-gloss patina) while providing deep nourishment and recoloring. Because Saphir's Medaille d'Or Cream Polish contains a high concentration of pigments and nutrients, we recommend using cream polishes every time you polish your shoes. Then, if you want to make more of a statement with your shoes, you can use the wax polish on the toe box where a gloss finish shows up best.

This cream polish is especially effective at recoloring faded, scratched, or scuffed leather while providing deep nourishment of the leather to maintain overall leather health and prevent cracking.

The unique formulation of Saphir Medaille d'Or Cream Polish allows the use of a greater variety of waxes (more than seven), shea butter, all-natural pine-based turpentine, and high-quality pigments to make this cream polish the best and most effective you will ever use. It is guaranteed to produce an incomparable patina while protecting and maintaining the overall health of the leather.

Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish

Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish provides a high-gloss shine most often associated with a mirror finish. The wax polish contains a higher concentration of waxes than cream polish.

It is formulated with beeswax (8.6%), which nourishes and softens the leather, vegetable waxes, which provide a long-lasting shine, and mineral waxes, which provide water resistance. The waxes are dissolved in an all-natural pine-based turpentine which penetrates deep into the leather to deliver these waxes and other nutrients. This wax is of such high quality that it even smells nice!

How to use:

  1. Remove dust and dirt from shoes.
  2. Apply a small amount of polish with a cotton chamois, such as the Wellington High-Shine Chamois. 
  3. Massage the polish into the leather using circular motions.
  4. Allow to dry and then buff using a horsehair brush.
  5. Can be used as part of a High Shine Routine. View our How to Create a Mirror Shine guide for more information. 

Notes:

If your shoes are particularly dirty or full of wax, silicone, or resin deposits, it is important to first clean and unclog the leather pores with the help of Saphir Reno'Mat. This is especially important before using Saphir Medaille d'Or for the first time, as silicone and resin deposits from ordinary polishes seal the leather pores. Otherwise, first clean with Saphir Cleaning Soap 200 ml and Saphir Renovateur Medaille d'Or. 

If the leather is scratched, faded, or scuffed, use Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish afterwards to re-establish color saturation and provide a soft shine. For a high-gloss shine, use Saphir Pate de Luxe Medaille d'Or wax polish.

Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax PolishSaphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish
Saphir Pate de Luxe Wax Polish

Saphir Reno'Mat Cleaner

Saphir Reno'Mat is a powerful cleaner for stain-removing and in-depth cleaning of the pores of smooth leather, and removing resin, silicone, and dirt deposits that otherwise would clog or seal leather and lead to cracking.

We especially recommend using Saphir Reno'Mat before transitioning to an all-Saphir routine in order to remove any build-up of silicone, resin, or waxes left by ordinary polishes. (Saphir shoe polishes do not contain any silicones or resins, which are harmful for leather).

After fully removing prior finishes and silicone deposits, Saphir Shoe Polishes are able to deeply penetrate leather to deliver essential nutrients and nourishment. After using, it is important to apply several coats of polish in order to rebuild the protective wax finish.

 

Notes:
Saphir Reno'Mat is incredibly effective. Once prior polishes have been removed, it is important to rebuild the protective wax finish using first Saphir Renovateur (to restore nourishment) then several coats of Saphir Pommadier Cream Polish.

It is not appropriate to use Reno'Mat every time your polish your shoes. Instead, reserve it for extensive cleanings one to three times a year. For more mild cleaning, use Saphir Cleaning Soap 200 ml.

Reno'Mat can be used to remove dried polish from brushes and daubers.

Saphir Leather Cleaning Soap

Saphir's Cleaning Soap is used to clean finished leather prior to polishing. This non-alkaline, solvent-free formula is gentle on finished leathers yet effective at removing polish buildup and dirt, restoring the leather to its natural look and opening pores for polishing. Used before the application of polishes or Saphir Renovateur, it opens the pores of the leather thus facilitating the penetration of pigments and delivery of nutrients.

How to use:

  • Wet a large dauber and work up a lather.
  • Shampoo the shoe using the dauber in large, circular motions.
  • Wash the dauber and repeat as necessary.
  • When finished, wipe off any remaining Cleaning Soap using a damp cloth.
  • Allow the shoe to completely dry before applying any polish.

Notes:

The Saphir Cleaning Regenerating Soap is a mild formulation and appropriate for use before normal polishing. For more aggressive cleaning, use Saphir Reno'Mat. It is appropriate for any fine leathers -- from bespoke shoes to luggage and sofas.

The Saphir Cleaning Regenerating Soap contains nutrients that help prevent the leather from drying after use. However, it is always appropriate to follow its use with Saphir Renovateur Medaille d'Or (for shoes) or Saphir Leather Lotion Medaille d'Or (for larger leather goods).

For cleaning large leather goods, use a natural sponge instead of a dauber or brush.

Products for Special Leathers

Saphir Cordovan Cream Polish

Saphir Creme Cordovan Medaille d'Or Cream Polish is specifically formulated to maintain and protect the tight pore structure unique to cordovan leathers. Instead of a turpentine-based solvent, which can expand the pores of the leather, it uses Neatsfoot Oil to penetrate the leather and deliver nutrients while containing more than seven varieties of wax.

How to use:

  1. Remove dust and dirt from shoes.
  2. Apply a small amount of polish with a cotton chamois or dauber (less is more).
  3. Massage the polish into the leather using circular motions.
  4. Allow to dry and then buff using a horsehair brush.

Notes:

If your shoes are particularly dirty or full of wax, silicone, or resin deposits, it is important to first clean and unclog the leather pores with the help of Saphir Reno'Mat. This is especially important before using Saphir Medaille d'Or for the first time, as silicone and resin deposits from ordinary polishes seal the leather pores and will prevent Saphir from penetrating the surface. Otherwise, first clean with Saphir Cleaning Soap to remove any dirt.

Use Saphir Renovateur Medaille d'Or as a base coat to fully nourish and moisturize the leather then follow-up with Saphir Creme Cordovan polish. Colors can be mixed to achieve desired patina.

Saphir Reptan Reptile Beauty Milk

Saphir Reptan Special Reptile Beauty Milk is specially formulated to provide essential nourishment and protection for exotic skins, including lizard, crocodile, and snake. Normal creams and polishes are not appropriate for these fine skins.

 

Notes:
Saphir Reptan Beauty Milk can be used on all exotic skins and is appropriate for both exotic shoes and leather accessories. Because exotic skins accumulate dust easily, first brush with a horsehair brush or clean using the Saphir Cleaning Soap.

If you are going to store your exotic shoes for extended periords, leave a light coat of Reptan on the leather and store in a box in a cool, dark place. This will help protect the skin against drying during storage. When you are ready to wear the shoes again, buff off using a horsehair brush.

Saphir Oiled Leather Cream Polish

Saphir Medaille d'or Oiled Leather Cream is designed to both condition and recolor oiled leathers, such as Horween's Chromexcel. These leathers are infused with oils during the tanning process and are distinguished for their rugged, natural look. Enhanced with Neatsfoot Oil, Apricot Oil, and a beeswax emulsion, the Saphir Oiled Leather cream nourishes and restores greasy leathers without altering the finish. The addition of a light beeswax emulsion helps to add a soft shine and waterproofing.

Saphir: The Gold Standard

Saphir Médaille d'Or (“Gold Metal”) is the highest-end collection of shoe care products available worldwide and is widely considered by shoe aficionados to be the best. Made in France, this exclusive line has its origins in formulations that earned Saphir the award of the GOLD MEDAL, PARIS 1925. Saphir is the brand of choice for the world’s most respected cobblers—from John Lobb and Louis Vuitton to Corthay, Edward Green, and the list goes on. The polishes are formulated using all-natural ingredients of the highest quality and they contain no silicones, resins or petroleum products, which are often found in less expensive products.

Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Shoecare

Like many things, shoe care has various levels, from basic to intermediate and advanced, with each successive level requiring a wider range of products, time, knowledge and techniques. However, the care process can be easily tailored to match one’s comfort level and to fit one’s schedule.

It is important to note, though, that even the basic shoecare will make a tremendous and noticeable difference in how well your shoes look and wear each day.Do not let the complexities of the Intermediate and Advanced shoe care routines discourage you

Basic Shoeshine Tools

Two Horsehair Brush (one for black; one for brown)
Two Chamois (one for applying polish; one for buffing)

Optional Shoeshine Tools

Leather Shoeshine Matt
Lambswool Polishing Mitt
Saphir Pommadier Polish Dauber or
Deluxe Shoe Polish Dauber
Deer Polishing Bone (for Cordovan Shoes only)

Optional Shoeshine Tools

Leather Shoeshine Matt
Lambswool Polishing Mitt
Saphir Pommadier Polish Dauber or
Deluxe Shoe Polish Dauber
Deer Polishing Bone (for Cordovan Shoes only)

Specialty Shoeshine Conditioners & Polishes  

Saphir Cordovan Cream Polish for Cordovan Leathers
Saphir Reptile Milk for Exotic Skin Shoes
Saphir Vernis Rife Patent Leather Cleaner

And, if you do not already have them:

Horsehair Brush (one for black shoes, a second for brown)
Two Cotton Chamois (one for applying polish; one for buffing)
Cedar Shoetrees (essential for storage)
Shoehorns (essential for putting on your shoes)

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