Leather footwear is not just a fashionable addition to your wardrobe, but it is also an investment that is worth preserving. If you made the smart decision of investing in high-quality leather shoes, do your due diligence and look after them properly. Good care and maintenance can extend the lifespan of leather footwear, and help them look and feel like they did from day one. Here are a few top tips to help you maintain the appearance of leather shoes, and improve their durability.
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Get into the Habit of Cleaning Them Regularly
If you want your shoes to look like they’ve just come from the shop, you need to get into the habit of cleaning them regularly. Begin by getting rid of dirt and debris from the surface with a cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Make sure you get into the nooks and crannies while you’re at it. Once the excess dirt is gone, use a clean cloth and either a specially-formulated leather or a mix of mild detergent and water to gently wipe down the shoes. Use a circular motion while you clean and take care not to saturate the shoes with moisture. The final step is to use a dry cloth to wipe off the excess moisture, then naturally air dry the shoes.
Conditioning the Leather
To keep your leather shoes soft and supple, you will need to use a quality leather conditioner. Conditioner can be applied using a soft cloth after you have cleaned your shoes. Once dry, it is a good idea to give your shoes a polish. Saphir Renovateur Creme is a great choice for fine smooth leather and can be used for other leather goods, such as jackets, bags, and even book covers. It is a water-based product that contains mink oil, lanolin, and mink oil. Not only will it nourish and protect your shoes from cracking and creasing, but it will also gently clean them too. Make sure you condition your shoes every few months, or more, if necessary.
Excess moisture or exposure to water can be incredibly damaging to leather shoes. Besides keeping them away from water, you can give them an extra layer of protection by using a waterproof product specifically designed for leather. You need to make sure your shoes are dry before applying these types of products. Waterproof products will help you avoid the risk of water damage, and will also help prevent stains.
Proper storage is important for maintaining the condition and shape of leather shoes. If you’re not using your shoes, make sure you store them away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry place. To avoid cracking, keep them away from heat sources. Try to avoid airtight containers or plastic bags, as this could lead to mildew and moisture buildup. Using quality shoe trees will help keep creases and moisture away. Alternatively, you can stuff your footwear with acid-free tissue paper. Besides storing your shoes properly, it is a good idea to alternate the shoes you wear so that they can rest and breathe. Rotating your shoes will prevent excessive wear and extend their lifespan.