5 shoe care tips from the professionals
The life of your shoes or boots depends directly on how well they are made and how carefully you look after them
Why care for your shoes? The answer is obvious: they will last longer and look great. Without specialized knowledge, it’s often hard to know in a store how good a pair a salesperson is offering you. But shoe care is something you have complete control over.
- Start at the beginning
Expensive shoes last longer, but they require more attention. The sooner you start taking good care of them, the longer they will last. All leather shoes are very sensitive to moisture. Shoes made of smooth leather in most cases have already been treated with wax while the manufacturer, so it requires almost no care after purchase. If the shoes are made of suede or nubuck, you should immediately worry about water-repellent impregnation. If the sole leather – it is recommended to grease it or put a preventive. This will increase the resistance of the sole to wear and moisture. If you are not afraid of a few extravagant solutions, buy galoshes and use them in rainy weather or slush.
- Don’t wear the same pair two days in a row
This is a very old, time-tested way to extend the life of your shoes. The fact is that even in dry weather, shoes absorb moisture from your feet and get wet. Thus, by evening, regardless of whether the shoes are leather or textile, they are most prone to deformation. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours at room temperature. Use pads made of wood. They absorb moisture and help get rid of unpleasant odors, and pads also straighten the folds and return the shoe to its original shape. The most suitable material for pads is cedar.
3. Clean properly
The lifespan of your shoes depends on how well you clean them. Smooth leather shoes require regular maintenance. Shoe polish and wax are not only used for aesthetic purposes. In addition to the noble shine, there are a few things that manufacturers of cheap shoe cosmetics prefer to keep quiet about.
Carefully selected set of fats contained in quality creams, nourishes the skin, preventing it from drying out, and saturates it with color. Beeswax, which is the base of any good wax, coats the skin in a thin layer, keeping out moisture and creating a soft sheen. If you do not nourish the leather of your shoes with a good product, after a short time it will begin to crack in the folds.
By the way, suede or nubuck shoes require more attention than smooth leather shoes. When taking care of your suede shoes it is strongly recommended to use only the best brushes, cubes for suede, and do not try to wash them. If your chamois pair gets very dirty, you should take it to a specialized dry-cleaner, where the shoes will not only be cleaned, but also filled with color.
What not to do:
– Use products containing silicone. They allow you to “clean” shoes in 15 seconds so that they shine. The effect is short-lived. A thin layer of silicone does not allow the skin to “breathe”, and since it is quite sticky, it instantly adheres to the dust. In half an hour, the shoes will be dirty again, and the process of proper cleaning will only become more difficult;
– Do not wipe shoes with a damp cloth, do not wash them under water, do not wash them in a washing machine, even in a delicate mode;
– Do not use greasy products when caring for smooth leather shoes. Grease penetrates its structure, and it is almost impossible to get it out. This advice does not apply to shoes made of leather originally soaked in grease, but there is a special product for them;
– Do not dry your shoes mechanically: on the radiator, under the radiator, with a hair dryer or with an iron. The consequences are often irreversible.
When it’s time to make basic repairs (put in preventive maintenance or change heels), do it immediately. If during cleaning you notice that the sole is already quite worn or the heel is knocked down – do not put off a visit to the repair shop. “I’ll lap one more time and take” – this is a sure way to a more expensive repair. Leather sole shoes is more practical to protect the prevention of immediately after purchase. Give your shoes only to proven craftsmen who work with good materials. They can pick up the color of the prevention (yes, it comes in many colors, not just black) and make it almost invisible. Topy or Vibram preventatives are the best on the market.
- Not all is lost
Let’s tell you a secret: shoes can be restored. If you, reading this article, think that you should have known about it before, if you have already managed to bring your shoes to a state when you feel sorry to throw them out, but are ashamed to wear them, then not all is lost. Your favorite comfortable sneakers, shoes that make you stretch your shoulders, boots that are warm in winter, and slip-ons that are not hot in summer – they can all get a second life. Using paints and materials similar to those used by manufacturers, you can return your shoes to almost their original appearance. The only request is to be very careful when doing it with your own hands, but better to entrust this process to professionals.