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Tag: saphir

Saphir Shoe Care Products

Leffot is a U.S. stockist of the ever popular Saphir shoe care products. Saphir MDO (Medaille d’or 1925) is produced in France and is one of the finest shoe polishes available. We stock 100 ml wax tins, 75 ml creme jars, and 75 ml rénovateur arguably the finest leather cleaner and conditioner on the planet. We also stock horsehair brushes and baby soft cotton chamois to buff and shine your most precious shoes.

This exclusive line has its origins in formulations that have earned Saphir the award of the GOLD MEDAL, PARIS 1925. Composed of turpentine, vegetable waxes, animal and mineral fossils, its formula is unchanged and has not suffered the technical progress of chemistry such as the addition of silicones and resins.

Check availability of all Saphir products HERE.

Rénovateur 75 ml Jar

Wax 100 ml Tin

Créme 75 ml Jar


Horse Hair Brush Large 8 x 2.5

Cotton Chamois  20.5 x 12

Large Spatula 6.5 x 1.5

Jar Brush 3.5 x 1.5

Dauber 3.5 x 1.5

Polishing Cordovan

Polishing your own shoes is a very gratifying experience. It need not be overly complicated and it should not cause you stress, relax and enjoy. Your shoes will mean more to you than ever if you have a little sweat equity invested. Remember how proud you felt after you washed and waxed your car in high school? Polishing your shoes is no different.

This tutorial is a “basic overview” of how to clean and polish your cordovan shoes; we hope you find it helpful. Like everything else there are many variations and everyone has their own personal preferences. It’s kind like asking how you like your steak cooked to each his own. The point is start with the basics; keep working at it and in time you’ll begin to develop your own technique.

Mild Mannered Shoeshine Boy

Shoeshine Boy was the alter ego of Underdog, one my favorite cartoon characters as a child. I conjured his image recently as I sat peacefully on our Ephtée polishing seat shining up our display shoes.

I enjoy polishing shoes it’s relaxing. I enjoy working with my hands, as well as the turpentine smell of Saphir, and admiring the fruits of my labor. I couldn’t help notice that passersby stopped to watch me as I worked. I’m not sure what the fascination is, perhaps the primordial use of ones hands performing manual labor is enough to provide a moment of reflection and respite in a busy world.

Shoeshine Boy - Leffot

The Ephtée Figaro polishing seat is extremely comfortable and perfectly designed for its purpose. You are welcome to stop by and try it out for yourself. If a polishing seat is not your style you may want to consider a leather-polishing map. These two maps keep your work area neat and clean and roll up for easy storage.

Ephtee Polishing Maps - Leffot

Whether on a seat or not I strongly encourage you to take an interest and polish your own shoes; I think you’ll find the results very satisfying. For you newbie’s be brave, be adventurous you’re not alone, and if you find yourself in a jam, “Have no fear Underdog is here.”

Narrator: One of the city’s most humble and lovable characters was… Shoeshine Boy.
Shoeshine Boy: [finishes shining a man’s shoes] All finished, sir.
Man: [gives Shoeshine Boy a silver coin] Thanks, Shoeshine Boy, you’re humble and lovable.
Shoeshine Boy: Bless you, sir.
[bites coin]
Narrator: Little did anyone know that whenever there was a call for help…
Woman: Help! Help-Help!
[Shoeshine Boy’s ears perk up in surprise]
Narrator: Shoeshine Boy became, in real life…
[Shoeshine Boy runs into a telephone booth, which explodes, and he emerges as… ]
Narrator: Underdog!

Leffot Premieres Ephtée

Mr. Franck Tressens is undoubtedly a masterful trunk maker. His trunks for shoes and wooden shoe care caskets and polishing seat are beyond gorgeous. We are very excited to have several examples of Franck’s creations in store and I encourage you to come and see for yourself the level of quality and passion that is put into each piece.

This is the U.S. debut for Ephtée and these products will be here for a limited time. Many of them would be a wonderful and special gift for the shoe enthusiast in your life, or for that matter for yourself.

Mr Franck Tressens on the Figaro Polishing Seat

Leather Polishing Maps in two sizes

Professional Polishing Casket

Top Model Polishing Casket

Shine Time

I’m old fashioned when it comes to caring for my shoes. I’m also pretty straightforward in my approach. I use two basic items, a white cotton tee shirt for application (which I’m considering marketing, think 70’s tie dyed).

And my grandfather’s old and well worn horsehair brush for shining.

Step #1
I know a lot of people polish their shoes with the shoetrees inside but I prefer to take them out. That way I can put my hand inside and keep a better handle on the shoe.

Step #2
If the shoes have laces, I remove them before I begin. This satisfies two objectives. It allows me to polish the tongue and prevents polish from ending up on the laces.


I begin with an application of Saphir Renovateur in order to clean and moisturize the leather. This is a very important step in my opinion. It’s always amazing how much dirt is removed from the surface and how much better the leather looks after being conditioned. It almost looks like it plumps up a bit.

To apply the Renovateur I wrap my tee shirt around a couple of finger and apply very sparingly over the surface of the uppers. I like using a cloth versus an applicator brush because I have better control over the product. I always use small amounts rather than a large glob which is A) messy and B) a waste of product.

I work the Renovateur into the leather but I don’t rub very hard, it’s not really necessary as the product does most of the work. After applying to both shoes I wipe them off with the tee shirt to remove excess créme.

Step #4
I’m a wax lover and use it almost exclusively.  I find it redundant to use créme after the Renovateur. I will use créme if I need to add color back since it has more pigments. I don’t really play around much with colors (again old fashioned). I use black wax on black of course and neutral on most non-black shoes. Occasionally I’ll use a color close or darker than a leather color to “enhance” it a bit. My feeling is if I liked a leather color to begin with why change it? I prefer to let it develop on it’s own.

I apply small amounts of wax with the tee shirt usually starting with the toes where I push the polish in, then move to the heel counters doing the same. The vamp and waist get a lighter, gentler polishing (so a wax build up doesn’t occur). After I polish one shoe I move to the second. I let the first rest and after the second is polished I usually apply another application to both.

I don’t like highly shined toes (bulled) so I don’t use the wax + water method for a high gloss finish.

Step #5
The brushing is my favorite step. I put my hand in the shoe and brush quickly and lightly back and forth across the toe and work back to the vamp, waist and heels. I prefer brushing to shining with a cloth because the bristles brush away any excess polish that gets into seams and brouging. I know I said I don’t bull my shoes and I don’t but once in a while when brushing I do spit on them, don’t ask me why I probably saw it in an old movie once….


Gaziano & Girling Mitchell in Vintage Maple

Step #6
Replace laces and trees and voila! Mission accomplished. I polish my shoes at least once a month even if I haven’t worn them. I do the same with the shoes on display in the store. They need the conditioning even more sitting under lights all day.

And that’s about it. It’s not brain surgery and you really can’t mess up too much. Personally I find the process relaxing and satisfying. I encourage you to try it for yourself. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions I’m happy to help.