Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Guide to Caring for Leather Shoes

Which would you buy: a cheap pair of shoes or a pair of leather shoes?

A cheap pair of shoes lasts for a few months. But a pair of leather shoes will last you long and look great for as long as they last.

Leather shoes are organic objects that need regular cleaning and care to keep them as lustrous as they were when you bought them at the store. If regularly cleaned and conditioned, leather shoes can easily last you several years.

Caring for leather shoes is vital if you want them to maintain their luster year after year. Without proper conditioning or care, leather will dry out and crack.

Caring for leather shoes is more than coating them with shoe polish. There are steps you should follow to keep your leather shoes looking their best for long:

1. Clean
2. Condition
3. Shine
4. Waterproof
5. Store

1.    Clean
Prepare for cleaning by spreading a newspaper on the surface you are going to be cleaning your leather shoes. Make sure that it is a well-ventilated area and wear gloves.

Once you have all the preparations in place, remove dirt from the shoes with a saddle sop or a soft shoe brush. Make sure to get the dirt out from the cracks in the shoes as well.

You can also use a shoe cleaning for cleaning the shoes. For a home solution, you can use a mix of equal amounts of water and vinegar.

After you finish removing the dirt, let the shoes dry for a few minutes and then shine the shoes with a soft cotton cloth. You can use an old T-shirt or a shoe shine cloth

Once you have finished doing that, let your shoes dry for a day. Then it is time for conditioning your leather shoes.

2.    Condition

Conditioning will soften and moisturize your leather shoes and will prevent them from drying and cracking.

We recommend you use natural conditioners as they are absorbed into the leather unlike synthetic conditioners that just sit on the surface.

Put a dab of leather conditioner on a towel and run it on your shoes 20-30 times till the entire shoe has been covered with the conditioner. Wipe any extra conditioner off the shoes as the leather surface will absorb only what is can.

After conditioning, let the shoes rest for at least an hour before you move on to polishing.

3.    Shine

Shoes polish can be found easily in stores but be aware the shoe polish contains toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through skin or inhaled. Always wear gloves while polishing your shoes. Polish in a well-ventilated area. Keep shoe polish away from reach of children and pets. Throw away any cloth that you have used to polish your shoes.

A good alternative to commonly available shoe polish are natural oils such as olive oil or walnut oil. Work a small amount into your shoe and polish with a soft cotton cloth.

If you want to go ahead and polish your shoes with shoes polish, make sure you get the correct share of shoes polish. It should be closest to the natural colour of your leather shoes. Opt for shoe polish creams as they last longer than shoe polish liquids and is not as messy to work with as shoe polish paste.

Apply the shoe polish with a soft cloth and allow it to dry thoroughly. When the shoe polish has dried, buff the leather shoes with a brush to make them shine.

4. Waterproof

Waterproofing leather shoes is the most essential part of caring for your leather shoes but is often ignored by most people.

Choose your waterproofing product depending how much time your leather shoes spends in wet and messy conditions. If you wear your shoes outdoors and they get wet very often, use a beeswax product to waterproof them. If they spend very little time in the outdoors, you could use a protective spray.

Protective sprays are almost invisible and protect your shoes against moderate amount of wet and dirt.
Beeswax products form a protective layer on the surface of the shoes. They alter the appearance of the leather but do a great job of protecting your leather against the climate.

5.    Store

When you are not wearing your shoes, store them with shoe trees. A quality shoe tree is an investment that will last you the life of your leather shoes. Shoe trees maintain the shoe's original shape and prevent creases and shrinkage.

For shoe trees, we recommend you use unfinished cedar as it absorbs moisture and keeps your shoe free of odour.

If you are not going to be using your leather shoes for many months, we highly recommend you put them in storage.

Climate-controlled storage units are best for leather shoes as hot temperatures and dry weather can crack the leather. If you decide to store your beautiful leather shoes in a storage unit, you can find your closest storage unit here.

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