Owning a quality leather shoe is an investment pair in which efforts should be put in to keep them in their
best and ensure they last long. They require proper care because they are organic objects which can be durable when handled with love. The two main concepts that makes up a proper care routine for your leather shoes centers around keeping it clean and dry. Sustaining leather is dependent on being able to allow air and water vapor to pass through but preventing water from having contact with it. Caring for your leathers is almost like caring for your skin, it requires regular cleaning, moisturizing as required and regular touching up to preserve appearance. So, if you love your leather collections and would love to increase its durability, then you should consider having these tips as your go-to care routine for caring for your leather shoes.
Rotate between shoes
Just like your skin needs to breathe, so those your leather shoes. Avoid having to wear the same pair of shoes everyday by having at least two pairs you can regularly rotate between. Since leather absorbs moisture from your feet as they sweat throughout wear during the day, it makes your leather damp and prone to stretching, creasing, scuffing and staining. Wearing your leather shoes rotationally gives them enough time to dry, increasing their lifespan greatly. So learn to give your shoes a day-off so they can rest and breathe before wearing them again.
Clean up after wear
Cleaning after wear keeps off dirt and grime build-up and saves your shoes from staining. You can remove dust and dirt with a horsehair brush after every wear or before applying on any products. You can also use a damp cloth to completely wipe off dirt, making sure to let it dry afterwards.
Store with cedar shoes trees
This is a very important tip and shoe care step but yet, it is mostly overlooked. Leather breaks down when it absorbs moisture and odor because of its porosity but a shoe tree assists in moisture and odor absorption ensuring the shoe is kept in proper shape and reduces creases. Your shoes lifespan can be extended just with this single step. So, stuffing up your shoe is important.
Protect from weather conditions
Avoid wearing your leather shoes in the rain or through snow covered sidewalks. Beeswax can be used to weatherproof your shoes since they provide a coat for your shoes sealing it against moist and other weather conditions. But I’d like to say that water can still stain waterproofed shoes and even more the exposed soles becomes open to abrasion on concrete when wet. Wearing a pair of galoshes to protect your leather shoes all round is preferable. Carrying a pair in your bag or car is an easy fix just in case. Alternatively, you can wear flip flops and change into your leather shoes afterwards after drying out your feet.
If you happen to get your shoes wet, avoid sun drying them or drying them near a heat producing source because heat and sunlight cracks up and damages leather. The best option is just to let it air dry on their own for a couple of days with a shoe tree placed in it.
Store your shoes in a dust bag
Make sure to throw out your shoe boxes. Storing your shoes in boxes will not give your shoes the chance to breathe or dry making them prone to humidity which is damaging to leather materials. If you decide not to store your shoes in boxes, dust is also a major factor you have to deal with. Dust can affect your leather shoes over time leading to staining and reducing the material grade. The best way to store your shoes is to place them in a dust bag preferably a breathable fabric bag to protect them from dust and allow them breath at the same time.
Conditioning helps to moisturize and soften your leather shoes. Leather is also prone to drying out and once it does, it can crack ruining your shoes. Conditioning maintains and increases your leather’ lifespan.
To apply conditioner on your shoes, you can do so by applying using a clean cloth and rubbing in on shoes using small circular movements and wiping off excess. Allow to dry and rub with a horsehair brush to remove excess.
Apply conditioners at least once after every 25 wears or once a month but in places with extreme weather conditions; you should condition your shoes after 5 to 10 wears.
Polishing is an easy way to keep a balance between your leather shoes getting damp or drying out. Shoe polishes moisturize leather alongside providing protection from dust and water. It also hides scuffs and imperfections restoring shoe colors. There are majorly 2 categories of polishes – cream polish and wax polish. The cream polish provides color restoration with a natural finish and it is more moisturizing while the wax polishes offers shine by coating and can be more drying. Wax polish is mostly recommended because it guards and promotes smoothness of the polish finish but you can either use both or one of both depending on the finish you desire, the choice is yours.
To apply on polish, start by removing shoe laces and apply on polish in circular motions using a cotton cloth. Use a pig brush to work the polish in deeper and finish off with a polishing glove or brush to buff shoes and restore shine.
Apply on polish after every 6 wears depending on your need and preference.
Finally, always clean out your shoes properly before storing otherwise, the stains on them sets in and
makes it almost impossible to get off when brought out of storage.
You can safely remove odors from smelly shoes by dropping in black teabags to soak up smell and allow to air dry often. You can also take your pairs to a cobbler for rejuvenation.
Do all of these and you will be amazed on how long your shoes can last. Let me know what you think in the comment section, thank you.