How to take care of leather shoes?
I am sure most of us have leather shoes, be it real or synthetic (for animal lovers). Don’t be stereotyped into thinking that leather shoe is only meant for men. It looks great on women as well. Or you may not realize it but you might already own leather shoes in form of heels, pumps or boots. Leather shoes give a very classy expensive look even though it might not be price wise. But taking proper care of your leather shoe & maintaining it in good condition can make it much more durable & look as good as new. Otherwise overtime the leather will dry out causing cracks to appear.
Cleaning Leather Shoes
Use a soft cloth or shoe brush for removing any dirt accumulated on the surface, sides & soles of the shoe. Bring shine to your shoes by polishing them. I would recommend using shoe polish in cream form compared to spray as it’s easier to use it for hard to reach places plus it will keep your leather much moist unlike sprays. Make sure to test the color of the shoe polish on a small patch of the shoes. Choose a place which might not be very visible so that if it’s not the right color it won’t be very noticeable. Apply the shoe polish on a cloth & then wipe it rather than applying it directly on your shoes.
Conditioning Leather Shoes
Next step would be conditioning. Apply a shoe conditioner specifically for the leather you are cleaning (oxfords, full grain, veal, etc) as not all conditioners are compatible with different chemical compositions using a lint free cloth rub it gently on your shoe. This will keep it moist and prevent the shoe from cracking. Then buff it gently later to maintain the shine. Make sure to use different cloths/ brushes for different leather shoes to prevent any color transference as a slight color change will make a huge difference.
Drying Leather Shoes
Avoid wearing your shoes in rain, snow or other wet conditions as it can corrode the chemical substance and damage their leather. In case you do, make sure to clean your shoes & dry them the right way before any more damage takes place. First of all let the leather air-dry naturally. Don’t place it near any heating machines or don’t use any other methods to speed dry. For cleaning, place a
newspaper or old cloth in the area you want to clean as it’s most likely to get messy. While holding the shoe with your one hand from the inside try brushing & then wiping all the stained spots with a cloth dipped in leather cleaning solution. Dry it for a while and spray them with a waterproof spray. This will create a protective layer which will act as a barrier against the water. This step of waterproofing should be done frequently. Same way the insides of our shoes also tend to get wet. For that just leave tissue papers inside to soak up all water. Air dry and then sprinkle some talcum powder to absorb the moisture.
Storing Leather Shoes
Just cleaning is not enough. Storing shoes is important too. After wearing shoes air dry them & then stuff the inside with papers to maintain the shape of the shoe. You can alternatively also use a shoe tree which is mostly shaped as a tree in wooden or plastic form according to the length of your shoes to prevent your shoes from creasing or bending. Then put them in a cloth dust bag and finally put them in a box.