Alden Ravello Shell Cordovan Shoes

Alden Ravello Shell Cordovan Shoes - Bootmaker Edition NST Oxford

What is Ravello Shell Cordovan?

Shell Cordovan leather comes from a ligament in the hindquarters of the horse. Ravello is a special color used on Alden Shell Cordovan shoes. This color is very difficult to create.

How do I care for my Ravello Shell Cordovan Alden shoes?

 First of all, it is very important to keep your Ravello Shell Cordovan shoes clean. Shell Cordovan shoes do not need to be polished often, but they do require a good brushing. Before you do anything, tree it up. Shoe trees are not only good for your shoes, but they also give you a good surface to work on--you don't need to apply too much pressure when cleaning these shoes.

Always clean the dirt off of your shell cordovan shoes before polishing. If you begin to polish over dirt, that dirt can settle in and be very difficult to remove.  Regular maintenance and brushing will go a long way. You can brush your shoes with an Alden Horsehair Brush. To avoid darkening, always use separate brushes for separate colors. You don't want residual dark Color 8 polish on your brush getting on your Ravello shoes.  You can also use a damp cloth to remove dirt.

How often should I polish Ravello Shell Cordovan Alden shoes?

We recommend polishing your Ravello Shell Cordovan shoes about once a month--maybe even every two months--depending on how often you wear them. If you've worn them out in bad weather, they will need more attention.

Speaking of which, can I wear these shoes in the rain?

Yes, as long as you can devote a little time to care for them afterwards. As with all leather shoes, let them dry naturally and do NOT use any artificial heat. We absolutely recommend using shoe trees. In this case, we would also recommend protecting your shell cordovan shoes with the Alden Leather Defender at the end of your shoe care routine or as needed.

What color polish should I use?

No pair of exotic Shell Cordovan shoes is exactly alike, and you will most often find that the color even varies throughout each shoe itself. Because of this, we recommend a variety of polishes depending on how you have already treated your shoes and what kind of look you are going for.  We cannot guarantee that your Ravello shoes will remain the same color they were when you first unboxed them, but customers that send us their pairs for refinishing are usually happy with our results.  A neutral polish will always give the most natural effect, but if you would like to build a unique patina, you may want to start adding in some color. 

We have used Alden Neutral boot cream, Alden Tan Paste wax, and Meltonian London Tan or Cognac on Ravello shoes*.  You want to apply any color very sparingly.  While it is possible to remove polish when the shoe becomes too dark, it is a much easier task to add more. 

* We already know you are going to ask about this. Alden recommends to use Alden Paste Wax only on Shell Cordovan and using anything else comes at your own risk. At TheShoeMart, we have been caring for these shoes for a very long time, so we're willing to play around with the leather when it doesn't accept the polish we're using.  We have found that when starting with a neutral boot cream, the cream spreads more uniformly on the shoe than the waxes do. The average person who does not have the experience or equipment that we have may prefer to work with the waxes because it will be easier for them to get a higher shine that way.

How should I apply polish?

You can apply polish with a clean cotton tee shirt or, if you want the luxury experience, you can use an Alden Polishing Cloth. As stated above, apply waxes very sparingly. Shell Cordovan is already layered with fats and oils, so you don't have to polish these shoes often. By starting lightly and adding a small layer of wax at a time, you will have more control over the final result.

You won't have to wait long for the wax to dry, usually by the time you're done with the second shoe, you can go back to the first. Wipe and buff softly with the reverse side.

Finish off with a horsehair brush. Remember, the brush cannot have been used on any other color shoes or the color will transfer and darken your shoes.

What else can I do to keep my Ravello shoes in top shape?

While we do urge you to keep your Ravello Shell Cordovan shoes clean, we also urge you to actually wear them. Part of the beauty of Alden shoes is how they form to your foot with regular wear, and the brilliant patina they develop over time. If you love these shoes, they will love you back. 


Please note that all photos are for reference only and the shoes featured on this page are NOT available for sale