What is Whiskey Shell Cordovan?
Shell Cordovan leather comes from a ligament in the hindquarters of the horse. Whiskey is a special color used on Alden Shell Cordovan shoes. It is a light tan color that may exhibit red or olive tones. Alden starts out their finishing process with a semi-clear color with some shading in it, called a "clear". Because this color is so light, Whiskey Shell Cordovan shoes require a more perfect piece of shell in order to keep the color uniform.
How do I care for my Whiskey Shell Cordovan Alden shoes?
Due to the light color of Whiskey Shell Cordovan shoes, it is imperative that you keep them very clean. Once you start polishing over dirt, that's what you'll have in there. You do not need to polish these shoes often, but you should brush them fairly often.
When you are ready to polish your Whiskey shell cordovan shoes, start by inserting shoe trees. Then you can brush your shoes with an Alden Horsehair Brush. To avoid darkening, always use separate brushes for separate colors. As stated above, you really want to avoid settled in dirt on your Whiskey Shell shoes before you polish them. So after brushing, you may want to take a damp cloth and clean it a little bit more. A small amount of water shouldn't hurt the shoe.
How often should I polish Whiskey Shell Cordovan Alden shoes?
We recommend polishing your Whiskey 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 Whiskey 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. Some might say to use tan on Whiskey, but we find that it's a little too dark. Instead, we recommend starting with a neutral polish. A neutral polish will always give the most natural effect.
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 Whiskey shoes in top shape?
While we do urge you to avoid set-in dirt on your Whiskey Shell Cordovan shoes, 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.