journal: Leffot

Before and After

A customer recently brought us a pair of Alden color 8 Longwings to sell as part of our pre-owned program. Sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious to find the true beauty in things. This pair had some miles on them but there was still plenty of gas in the tank.

As you can see in the photo below, there was a build up of black polish on the vamp. It felt slightly gritty, not smooth the way shell normally feels.

Alden color 8 Longwings before polishing.Repeated polishing had left a buildup of black polish on the vamp.

We started by simply wiping the shoes off with a cloth, followed by a coat of Saphir Renovateur. Many of you are familiar with this product. It’s milky, gentle, and spreads well, so a little dab goes a long way. You may notice on Alden color 8 shoes the Reno removes a bit of color. That is what we were looking for. We cleaned the the entire shoe, then buffed.

We needed a stronger product to remove the polish buildup. We went with Saphir Réno’Mat, which is a strong leather cleaner with a pungent smell. We applied small amounts to a cloth and rubbed lightly over the wax buildup. You could immediately see the old polish coming off onto the rag. We repeated this step several times.

Réno’Mat can leave the leather looking a little dry. We went back to the Renovateur, and then a combination of both together. The important thing is to go little by little, using small amounts. On hard-to-clean spots we used the rounded end of a deer bone to rub away the polish.

One light shoe and one dark shoe.One shoe was darker than the other, so we used Boot Black Collections Creme to match them.

After repeating the process for the second shoe, we noticed the colors weren’t quite the same. The solution was to use Boot Black Collections Creme to darken and match the pair. Collections Creme contains very intense color pigment, so it’s best used for burnishing or adding color saturation. Take a small amount on a cloth and rub in lightly until you achieve the desired color.

Before and after polishing.The final result

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Announcing Leffot Pre-owned

Leffot Pre-owned — a marketplace for high-quality shoes.

We’re excited to announce our new pre-owned marketplace on We’re buying and selling high-quality pre-owned shoes. It’s all the brands you’d expect from us, plus a few more for good measure.

As a buyer in other online marketplaces, you never know exactly what you’re getting. We take the guesswork out of shopping so you can be confident in your purchase. We grade each pair and document them clearly. Best of all? We’re now accepting returns, so if they don’t work out, you can send them back.

For sellers, we offer cash or store credit in exchange for your shoes. For those not in New York or Chicago, we provide a prepaid shipping label so you can send your shoes to us without hassle.


Sell your unworn shoes.
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Leffot gift cards

Leffot gift cards.
Leffot gift cards make the perfect present for dad this Father’s Day. They’re available in any denomination. Simply call, email, or visit either of our stores. These cards never expire and are valid toward any in-store, phone, or email purchase.

Contact us

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Father’s Day gift ideas

A collection of Father's Day gift ideas from Leffot.

June 18 is Father’s Day. We’ve got you covered with five gift ideas for dad. And if you don’t see anything here, we also offer gift cards in any denomination. Email us for more information.

The L

The L wallet
A good wallet can be hard to come by. Thankfully we have the L. It’s minimal, classic, and made from 100% Horween shell cordovan. With three slots for card or cash, it’s all you need to keep things organized.


Gimlet kit

Boot Black Gimlet Kit
Boot Black makes some of the highest-quality shoe care products around. Their Gimlet kit includes black and neutral shoe cream, two kinds of brushes, two chamois cloths, and shoe cleaner. It all comes in an elegant black box, so dad can finally ditch the tattered shoebox he’s been using.


Bleecker Belt

Kreis Bleecker Belt
Kreis has been crafting leather goods in Germany since 1963. They’ve made our Bleecker Belt out of three pieces of shell cordovan. It’s the perfect match to a pair of Alden color 8 longwings or plain toe bluchers. There aren’t many shell belts around these days, and Kreis makes them as good as they get.


Abbeyhorn shoehorn

Abbeyhorn shoehorn
These beautiful shoehorns are both a one-of-a-kind handcrafted gift and a practical tool essential for preserving the life of your shoes. Made from real oxenhorn, each Abbeyhorn has a unique, natural pattern.

Jill Platner bracelet

Jill Platner bracelet
Jill Platner jewelry is handmade in New York, each made of sterling silver on a crocheted cord with toggle clasp. They’re all personal pieces with a unique tactile quality. They’re gorgeous in photos, but there’s nothing like having one on your wrist.

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