Much comparison has been made between different kinds of waterproofing protector sprays, but what should be the main function of a protector spray? There are 3 main characteristics. The durability, the strength and the drying speed of the imperviousness without affecting permeability. Let’s start with a spray that we are familiar with. For reasons that you will know, we will not name the brands, instead let’s just start to the acronyms.
For many years, the protector spray of a certain German brand starting with a letter ‘W’ has been one of the most popular options. It was and still deemed as the canon of the protector sprays as it is effective against, dirt, mud, water and oil. It is quite durable, strength is solid after 3 consecutive sprays and the drying speed of 20-30 minutes is considered normal by industry standards. Some sprays actually require you to leave the sprayed item overnight or 12 hours to dry!
“W” was also one of the first to switch to a PFOA & PFOS free formula which was required in the European Union for environmental issues, without affecting the performance of its imperviousness. However, there will always be weaknesses with the new formula of “W” and it has also taken the consumers quite some time to get used to it. But the fact is, people forgot that the spray was actually more effective in the past!
In Japan, the feedback from consumers were that the spray was too wet and it left visible marks on the surface of the leather, especially smooth leather. In Taiwan, the feedback was that the spray pressure was too weak and it took ages to spray a whole shoe. In Portugal, the customers complained that the spray took a long time to dry. So are all these feedbacks true? Yes, very much to a certain extent and the reasons are all related.
It’s true that the spray has become slightly wetter because the propellant inside the aerosol has been reduced, therefore more consistent strength of the finger is required when using the spray to ensure even spray pressure as the droplets are discharge in a downward projectile and a longer distance in between is required. In more humid countries like Portugal and New Zealand, the distance of spray becomes even more important. This is because humidity in the air merges with the spray droplets causing it to be wetter and a longer time to dry.
So how does Wren’s Total Protector compare itself to this King of Protector Sprays, “W”? We base our sprays on the same characteristics. The durability is in fact quite comparable to “W”. Strength is slightly stronger as 2 thorough sprays are usually enough to achieve strong imperviousness. The most obvious strength would be that it dries exceptionally fast even in humid countries.
However, Wren’s Total Protector is not without it’s rules to follow. Due to the high pressure required to even out the spray pressure, the spray droplets is sprayed in a more direct path and therefore, the distance of 20 centimetres in between the leather surface and the spray must be strictly adhered. Otherwise, there is a possibility that spray patches may appear if the spray can is held too close to the leather surface. Drying should be allowed to take place normally after which a polish or a cream can be applied to ensure a more lasting imperviousness effect.
“W” versus Wren’s is just like comparing cars. Different cars give difference performances and requires different handling. All it takes is a little getting used to. Hope this article clarifies all doubts and questions that resellers and consumers will have! If there are any more questions, feel free to contact us at the email addresses found on the website. Thank you!
P/S: Do not use any kind of protector sprays on synthetic or patent leather, unless there are specific instructions. This rule is applicable for most brands.
adminJust How Different Are The Different Kinds Of Waterproofing Protector Sprays?
A note from the writer: I cannot consider myself as an expert of shoe care but after conducting shoe care lessons to just slightly above a thousand people and cleaning about five hundred pairs of shoes, I can safely claim that I am experienced enough to have the most unfortunate profession of being a shoeshine boy. I am not here to bore you with long essays on how, what, who, when, why constructs their shoes and all that rubbish when you can already find six thousand and eight pages on that. Oh yes, you are allowed to argue and contest my opinions but who cares about what you say? I forgot to mention, I have thirty pairs of shoe trees. Three hundred and twenty-seven if you include those sitting in my company’s warehouse.
Shoe trees are important for maintaining your shoes because they;
preserving the shape of your shoes by stretching the creases
absorbing the sweat and moisture from your feet and preventing mould or bacteria
One of the most common question that consumers, shoe retailers and cobblers like to ask: ‘Why is it that your size 41/42 shoe tree cannot fit my size 42 shoe? First of all, we have to understand that different shoes are constructed in different shapes and shoe trees come in different designs as well.
Let’s talk about the shoes first. Italian and French shoes tends to be slightly narrow and tapered at the front for a very sleek and dapper look. The Italians and French do not really care if you feel like chopping off your aching legs after wearing their shoes for a full day, they just want to make you look like Don Juan DeMarco, one feet above ground.
English and German shoes tend to concentrate more on fitting and comfort which is why some English shoe maker makes four fittings, from narrow to extra wide, so even if you have Ronald McDonald’s feet, I am sure you can find a pair of English shoes that fit. I am not too sure about American shoes, as my knowledge is just limited to Allen Edmonds and a very old pair of normal fitting (You see, I told you I am experienced but not an expert.) So in short, the cutting and the construction of the shoe may affect the fitting of the shoe tree as well.
So, shoe trees usually come in three forms; made of plastic/foam, made of wood but without the full heel (good for traveling, but most people dun bother) and lastly, made of wood with a full contoured heel and either with adjustable front side pieces or the split toe (I personally prefer this because its versatile). So the one with the full contoured heel happens to be the best among the three and the most expensive.
Let’s just cut the crap and talk about the most expensive kind. They are usually made of lotus wood (usually painted black or lacquered to hide their ugliness and make it look expensive, manufacturers who do this and consumers who buy them are total idiots in my opinion, because shoe trees are supposed to absorb moisture and odours so painting shoe trees closes all the pores on them), beech wood (I like those but very uncommon and does not smell so fresh) and the wood that everyone pretends to know, cedar wood. To do justice to the wood, I will digress and explain them.
There are ten over kinds of cedar wood from all over the world and they can be distinguished by its slight red tinge and a woody musky fragrance, although some species may tend to be white in colour. Period.
Back to shoe trees. So a size 41/42 shoe tree may fit a wide fitting size 40 shoe but yet have difficulty fitting a narrow fitting size 41. This may be down to two reasons. The front part which is called the crown, is expandable at the side. So if the shoe tree is too wide at the front, all you have to do is actually tighten the side screw abit to make it narrower at the front and if the shoe is too wide, you can release the screw to make the shoe tree wider as well. Of course some times, the top part of the crown maybe quite tight, especially for a pair of Oxfords but usually not so bad.
The second issue is abit tricky. The contoured heel may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some contoured heels are very narrow while some are very voluptuous in shape. The voluptuous ones are the trouble makers but they can be corrected. If you have such a problem, just take a piece of not so abrasive sandpaper and sand the heel moderately until it fits your shoes.
Of course, the best solution will be to wear the particular pair of shoes you are buying the shoe trees for and fit them with the shoe trees you wanna buy. Do not buy from those retailers who do not allow you to try the shoe trees. Do not be restricted by the sizes. If size 41/42 fits your size 43 shoes, go for it. After all, it’s really just a number.