Sunday, 29 July 2012

Patina & Why Cheap Italian Shoes Are Useful

This is a pair of shoes made by Andrea Cammelli, one of the million or so shoe makers in Italy. I've decided to give it a new lease of life with a bottle of Cutex nail polish remover, leather conditioner, shoe cream and polish.

Actually, I wanted to experiment a little on it. As I mentioned earlier I got this pair of shoes at a bargain. RM150.00 at Tangs down from its original list price of around RM500.00. Typically Italian budget brown shoes with glued/stuck on construction (which I've added a thin slice of Vibram to the sole and heel so that it'll be a perfect beater work shoe for me and the Malaysian weather). It also had a full leather lined upper but it has that sliightly square toed look to it. Not like those ridiculously square toed crap. Almost, but with the elongated shape of the last it is wearable with a pair of slim cut trousers.

The brown leather of this cheap pair of shoes is typically Italian. Thin, and well, cheap feeling. Not substantial like some of the other shoes I have but not as thin as those glove leather shoes that Italians seem to use most of the time. Anyway, I think they made this shoe using polish instead of dye. So I resorted to cutex to get rid of the polish in a few strategic spots. Rubbing harder in those spots which you want it to be lighter and lightly rubbing the parts you want it to retain some darker shade on the leather. After that, condition the leather using leather conditioner, then a layer or two of shoe cream (in light brown, mid brown and dark brown) and then a layer of dark brown polish.

I must say it somehow worked for me. The shoe with new waxed laces looked a million times better than the tired old look. More patina/antiquing making it look slightly more special to wear. And the investment was basically a bottle of cutex and some time to kill.

Not bad for a first time effort eh? And this is why a cheap pair or three of Italian shoes come in handy.

Update: The shoe gets another rework three years on. Read it here folks.


  1. Cant believe you got this for only RM150. nice.. Im looking for a nice pair of brogues, it would be great if you could suggest me some. but pls be nice with the price, i just started working. Thanks man

    1. Hello,
      Try Plal store in Petaling Jaya. It is the shoe store to go if you want a PROPER shoe. Clarks Malaysia or Hush Puppies will not get you into this sort of stuff although if you're lucky, Tangs at One Utama have nice Made in Italy shoes. Currently nothing in the Brogue department if I am not mistaken.

  2. Gonna try to Patina my tired looking dark brown shoes that I also got from Tang's. Thanks mate.

    1. A belated you're welcome.




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