JC Penney Stafford Gunner Cap Toe Boot – $49.99 w/ DECORATE
First, know that this has been done before. Not that long ago in the shopping galaxy we all still inhabit, the same thing was done to the precursor to JC Penney’s Deacon Wingtip boot, the slightly lugged sole “Camlin.” I took black shoe creme to those bargain boots once, and only once. And I still have them, and they still more or less look like this. But the heels are starting to wear, and I prefer cap toes. So when JC Penney released a cognac shade of their cap toe “Gunner” boot, I knew it was time for a repeat performance.
Before: Already extremely good looking, and wearing, for the price.
If you like that lighter brown, cognac shade? Do nothing. Enjoy the boots. Don’t risk it. But I recently picked up the the BR chelseas in cognac, and those fulfill my light brown boot needs. I had the Gunner’s on hand, and wanted to give them more depth while bringing the shade down a few levels. Here’s how to do it…
Middle: Thin layer of black polish, evenly distributed.
- You’re going to give a basic shine to these like you would any other pair of shoes.
- Instead of using a matching shoe creme, go with black (I used Meltonian on my Gunners).
- Don’t gob it on. Apply a thin, even layer with a dauber and work it in with circular brush strokes until you get some decent coverage. Not thick blanket coverage. Decent.
- Step away for 10 or 15 minutes. Let that creme dry.
- Go over them with a horsehair brush a few times, then buff the hell out of them with an old t-shirt or soft buffing cloth. You’re going to take a lot of the creme off with the buffing, but that’s the point. You want some residual creme left in the leather, but not all of it.
- Err on the side of less. If after buffing, they’re not dark enough, or the coverage is too spotty for your tastes? You may have to repeat the procedure until you get the desired results.
After: Buffed out and noticeably darker with a bit of marbling.
For maintenance post black shoe creme application, you’ll probably want to go with a closer matching, brown shoe creme from that point on (instead of layer upon layer of black.) But honestly, these boots are so cheap, that I personally don’t take the best care of mine. That said, they should look pretty good, and hold up for a surprisingly long time. Especially considering the dirt cheap price.
Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. If you end up mucking up the best pair of sub $60 boots on the market, then that’s on you. Code DECORATE is good for $10 off $25+ through 12/9/15.