Gaziano Girling adelaides with patina

Continuing the shoe theme of recent posts, above are my Gaziano & Girling bespoke adelaides after repatination from Thomas at the Savile Row store. (Adelaide refers to the U-shaped section around the laces. The G&G model is the St James II.) 

The colour was meant to be brown originally (vintage oak), but was made up in tan (vintage cedar) by mistake – you can see the original post on the shoes here

Mistakes happen, and it gave me an opportunity to try out the patination service on a pair of G&G shoes. The results are great, creating a pair of shoes that will be incredibly versatile – applicable for everything from smart chinos to navy suits. 

There is quite a lot of variation in the colour, with the toe cap and heel almost black in colour, and significant darkening along the lines of broguing. I hadn’t anticipated that, asking for merely a copy of the G&G vintage-oak colour. However, it is both difficult to get that same effect through patination, and a shame. Difficult because the painting will never replicate the uniform finish of a dyed skin, with some burnishing, and a shame because patination can offer so much more in terms of variation and personality.

So my lesson for those considering a patinated finish is to expect it to be significantly different from a normal shoe finish – it will always look a little more ‘European’, a little flashier. But also that the patina will soften over time (my adelaides already have) with new layers of polish. If I continue to polish these with mid-brown polish, rather than black, the edges of the black areas will fade, and chips or scuffs will also take the brown colour. There’s still a lot you can control.