They say shoes make a man. A good pair of shoes can enhance your overall look. Whether you are a corporate junkie or a pub-hopper, leather shoes can easily transition your look from morning to evening. Although leather shoes come across as a long lasting piece of footwear, the daily wear and tear can actually harm them.
The leather is a tough material, it can dry, crack, stain, bend, etc. and we all want to keep them good-looking and shiny for years to come. Whether it is loafers, boots, slippers, sneakers, in different kinds of leather from nubuck to suede, these tanned skins are used for their different qualities and finesse.
The first step in deciding how to treat your leather is simply asking yourself “what you want it to look like”. Different category of shoes requires a different kind of care, like a pair of rugged shoes, do not require much care, compared to a classy pair of loafers. You can extend the life of your favourite leather boots or oxfords by years within 10 minutes by following these easy tips:
Start by wiping off any extra dirt visible with a dry cloth or shoe brush. If your shoe has a texture, then use a mild soap and a damp cloth to clean the surface. Do not use a sponge, as many contain chemicals can leak out and affect the leather. To clean a pair of suedes, completely dry them first and then gently use a suede brush to remove the dirt.
Conditioning helps moisturise the leather. If leather dries out, it can crack. Which is why it is important to polish leather shoes every month. Use a clean cloth or an applicator brush to rub the conditioner gently in circular motions. If you live in a place with harsh weather, condition your shoes after every five to 10 wears. In general climate conditions, you can do it every 15 to 25 wears.
Using light pressure, add small amounts of polish to the shoe. Keep rubbing on the polish until the shoe is covered. Wipe any excess off. A wax-based polish provides more protection.
If your sole has been worn more than a quarter of an inch, the edge of the heel has bent over, or you can feel things through the ground, you must replace the sole. Widening the life of a dying sole can hamper the structure of the shoes.
If your shoes get wet, put some newspaper inside them and leave overnight, allowing them to dry. Leather shoes should be kept in shoe bags. However, suede shoes should be stored in open air, but away from sunlight.
With just a little bit of effort, you can save yourself a lot of money and cost that you would have otherwise spent on replacing or removing water stained, damaged, grease-stained leather shoes.
(Courtesy: Designing Team of Woodland)