The term, poromeric, refers to a class of breathable synthetic leather.
Corfam (not “Corfram,” “Clorfam” or Clorfram”) is made by the DuPont Chemical Company.
Clarino, manufactured by the Kuraray Company, is another synthetic high-shine leather found mostly in flagstaff harnesses.
Patent Leather, first created in England in the late 1700s, gained popularity after inventor Seth Boyden of Newark, New Jersey created his own version with linseed oil.
Whatever you wear of the above, it’s all synthetic resins of plastics.
Pros: Never shine shoes again! Just keep the heel sole, and welts black with high-gloss edge dressing. You do not “shine” poromeric leather shoes, you clean them.
Cons: They can get HOT! If you are facing the sun for a long time, you may need to treat the tops of your toes for burns. Really.
Note: to clean poromeric shoes and equipment that have scuffs or run marks, use Brasso.
Edge Dressing: You have to use (you don’t have to) Angelus Roll Call Military Grade Edge Dressing Black. The nice thing is that Glendale (paradestore.com) sells it! It’s what many of us on honor guards use and is what is on my shoes in the picture above.
How to Remove Edge Dressing: After a few coats with edge dressing, you will need to strip the welt (where the sewing is) and also the sides of the sole so as not to have that buildup that eventually looks terrible. For the outside of the sole, use steel wool to scrape away excess, a putty knife works well also. For the welt, you can use the putty knife corner, but be careful. Sometimes the edge dressing will flake off or come off in small chunks. If not, you may have to use Leather Luster Remover. Sand (very fine sandpaper is best) the sole and the side heel tap (if attached) so that it is even and then reapply the Angelus Edge Dressing.
If using leather boots and you want the mirror shine without the constant maintenance, use Leather Luster! Here are the directions to use it.
Standard Leather Shoes/Boots
They can be tough to shine, but polish, a little water, cotton *** are perfect for making leather shoes like mirrors.
How to shine: Using shoe trees helps. Lightly wet a cotton ball, dab it in the polish and work the polish into the shoe making little circles. When the cotton ball starts to make scratches, get a new one. It takes many hours to build up a base coat of polish and then have it shine like a mirror, but once you have the base coat, you can easily touch up your shoes. If you are going to make all of the shoe mirror-like, be aware that as soon as you take your first step, where the shoe naturally bends with your foot, the polish will crack and flake off. So, you may want to limit the mirror parts to the heels, the sides and as much of the toe as possible, highly shine the rest-including the tongue!
Pros: Break-in period can be shorter than synthetic shoes/boots
Cons: Shinning them over and over and over and over.
Here is how the Sentinels at the Tomb shine their shoes
The man-made lighter soles are not the most desirable for the military Driller, but are the most prevalent.
Side heel taps (“Cheaters” or “Clickers”) are great whether you execute closed-toe movements or use the traditional 45-degree angle. You can get different colors: silver, gold or black. Silver and black are great if you want shiny and black will need to be coated with the Angelus mentioned above. Note: if you have black and put edge dressing on them (which you should), it will chip off and you will need to strip the metal and reapply so it doesn’t ‘cake’ up. Attach them with black wood screws.
If you have cheaters that are shiny gold or silver in color, keep them shined and attach them with the same color wood screws.
When attaching cheaters, you can put spacers (washers) behind them or screw them solidly into the side of the sole. Since these taps are curved, you can either match your heel curvature or put a space between the tap and the heel to see if there is better sound quality.
Horseshoe taps can be dangerous and mark up floors, but sound awesome- especially in a large formation. Ask any farrier, horseshoes need to fit a horse’s hoof exactly all the way around the hoof. Ask any cobbler, horseshoe taps don’t. As a matter of fact a cobbler usually offsets the tap into the center of the heel by 1/16 of an inch from the back and keeps a gap of 1/8 of an inch on the sides. Horseshoe tap sizes are for smaller and larger feet (heels) and nothing else.
Toe taps are excellent for creating sound marking time.
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