“It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.”
– Hardy Amies
You could look impeccable in that smart, custom-designed and fitted tuxedo, with a gorgeous bow-tie. But if you’re pairing it with cheap, damaged shoes, you’ve just ruined your look.
Whether you spend a lot on your shoes, or are budget conscious when shopping—caring for those leather shoes extends its life, making sure they look brand new for longer.
Know your shoes!
Before getting into the actual process of protecting your shoes from damage, learn about the type of leather you own.
The shoes stored in your closet were crafted with great care and intricacies. They deserve some attention. Different kinds of products suit the various types of leather available in the market. Do your research!
Most shoe labels have in-house cleaners and creams, specific to their type of shoes. Always remember to ask for care tips or recommended products.
Removing the laces is the first step. Use a soft bristled brush to get rid of dust. Keep your hand under the flap in order to keep the upper part firm, while you use your other hand to apply a suitable cleaner over all the leather parts of your shoe.
Use the same brush to make sure the cleaner is spread evenly on the leather, paying close attention to scratches and marks. Let it dry for about 20 minutes, before proceeding to shine it with a soft cotton cloth.
Don’t forget to Polish & Condition!
Without the appropriate care, over time, leather begins to dry, resulting in cracks and eventually falling apart. Conditioning is thus a moisturizer for keeping your shoes smooth and looking their best. Dab a little conditioner on a soft cloth and rub it gently over the leather in a circular motion.
Next it’s time to bring back the shine! Choose a polish that matches the color of your shoe; lanoline-based beeswax polishes are recommended by the experts. Wipe off the excess polish with a soft cloth, nylon definitely gets the job done.
Weatherproofing: Is it important?
Prevention is better than cure! Spray-on water repellant is a fool-proof way to safeguard your leather shoes from harmful elements. Before applying it, prep the leather with a warm sponge. This will increase the porosity, allowing for better absorption. Try to find a ‘breathable’ water-based repellant, which gets rid of excess moisture.
Our feet sweat throughout the day; the leather and lining of our shoes absorb all that moisture, causing the shoes to stink and crack over time.
Shoe trees are a useful investment, which holds the shoes in proper shape so they dry out correctly. The absorbent wood also helps to dry out the lining of the shoes so they don’t rot from the inside.
Shoe trees are also far cheaper than a nice new pair of shoes, and help your expensive shoes retain their shape and prevent odor.
Leather and suede are in this way high maintenance materials, for which proper care is essential.
To avoid risk, this task can be left to the Washington DC shoe repair professionals. Imperial Valet’s cleaning specialists help shoe repair & shine, preserve suede and leather garments of all kinds, so you can simply sit back and relax while they get the job done.