When you are spending $200+ on a pair of shoes, you want them to last as long as possible. Assuming you have read my shoe care guide ( find it here if you haven’t), you will know that the first steps in looking after your shoes are cleaning and conditioning them. Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovateur does both these things, and the Saphir range is generally regarded as one of the best line of shoe care products in the world.
Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovateur is marketed as a two in one leather cleaner and conditioner for smooth leather. It is Mink Oil based (which has a bit of a bad reputation), so just remember that a little goes a long way. It contains no pigment, so it won’t stain, and it works on any leather goods. At ~$20 per 75ml bottle though, I don’t recommend using it on your leather couch.
From A Fine Pair of Shoes (who I use for all my shoe care needs), the Renovateur cost £9 ($15), and another £8 ($13) for postage.
You may be able to find it cheaper, depending on where you live. Postage in the UK from A Fine Pair of Shoes is much cheaper than it is to Australia.
Short: I like it, and will definitely buy more when I run out.
Long: I’ve read a lot of good things about Saphir Renovateur, so while I wanted to withhold judgement until after I had tried it, I was expecting good things. I can happily say that if not exceeding those expectations, it at least met them. As far as cleaners go, it is rather mild. I tried it out first on my new brown oxfords (article here), and it worked well to clean them and remove the old polish. The last time I striped the shoes it took a while to remove the old polish, so it definitely helps, but will not completely remove the old polish.
As far as conditioning goes, the shoes are still new so the effects are not incredible obvious, but they do appear to be somewhat smoother and softer. Not much, but enough that I noticed a difference.
I also applied the Renovateur to the sole of my shoes, and now they look like new again.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Saphir Renovateur, and most of the products in the Saphir range.
How to use
Brush the dust and dirt off of your shoes. Once they are free from visible dirt, use a rag to apply a smallish amount of Renovateur to your shoes (use your best judgement). Apply it in small circles like you would the polish. Let the shoes dry for a while, and buff off the excess with your horsehair brush. Polish the shoes as you normally would.