How to Take Care of Your Shoes
Here are some of our key tips on how to ensure that you are doing all you can to lengthen the life of your much-loved shoes.
No. 1 - Shoe Trees
No. 2 - Alternate Shoes
No. 3 - Storage
No. 4 - Brushing
No. 5 - Nourish with Cream
No. 6 - Use a Shoe Horn
No.1 - Shoe Trees
Inserting wooden shoe trees into a pair of shoes after being worn absorbs the moisture expended throughout the day. This helps retain the shoe's shape and prevents the leather upper from wrinkling excessively and eventually cracking.
Our cedar wood shoe trees are available in men's and ladies' sizes and are spring aided to neatly fit the width of your shoes which helps prevent collapsing of the upper. It is also worth noting that leather shoes will naturally develop a fold/crease as one walks in them. Leather is a natural material which moves and flexes as we walk making it ideal for footwear. This also means that a slight fold may appear in time and use, but fear not as this is both natural and normal. For other ways to retain the integrity of your shoes, go on to tip No 2.
No. 2 - Alternate Shoes
We recommend alternating between at least 2 pairs of shoes every other day. This way, you allow your shoes to dry properly which prevents the leather from becoming damaged from exposure to too much moisture. This is also where the use of shoe trees definitely helps to retain the shape and structure of the leather due to the cedar wood's ability to absorb the residual moisture from a day's work. As a result of alternating between shoes, you'll see that they will last longer compared to if you did not.
No.3 - Storage
How you store your shoes is often overlooked when taking care of footwear. If possible, you should retain the original shoe box. This way you always have a safe place where you can keep your shoes, protecting them from exposure to direct sunlight, scratches and scuffs. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to fading of the leather's colour and of course scratches and scuffs can compromise a highly polished finish. We also advise our customers to keep their shoes in cloth bags to prevent the leather uppers from getting scuffed. A cloth bag is also a great help when it comes to travelling as it takes up far less space than the original shoe box. Shoe trees will also help to prevent your shoes from getting squashed by everything else which accompanies them in the suitcase.
No.4 - Brushing
Leather - Lightly brush the leather upper of your shoes after every use to remove dirt and you will also find that you'll have to polish them less often as a result. Briskly running the brush over the shoe's upper without applying excessive downward force on the shoe should be adequate. One brush should be used for light shoes and another for dark shoes to prevent the polish from a darker shoe getting onto a pair of lighter shoes. This small addition to your shoe care routine can go a long way to maintaining the high polish appearance of your shoes.
Suede - Run a suede brush over the napped surface of the suede in different directions to remove small amounts of dirt and scuffs.
Welts - It is also wise to use a small welt brush along the welt to unclog the build up of any dirt. Doing this carefully will also help look after the stitching of the welt which is important to the structure and performance of any Goodyear welted shoe.
No.5 - Nourish with Cream
Applying shoe cream to the leather upper of your shoes is a great way to nourish the leather and keep it moisturised. This will keep the leather supple which allows it to flex and move naturally as you walk. If the leather is left undernourished, it is more likely to become brittle and dry out to the extent that cracks can appear. Apply the cream with a soft cloth and massage it into the leather. We provide a large array of coloured shoe creams which help to retain the specific colour of the leather. If the the colour of the leather does not need to be revitalised, neutral shoe cream is ideal. It is also worth noting that shoe cream does not provide a high shine finish like wax polish. If you do want to provide a high shine finish, we recommend nourishing the leather with neutral shoe cream first before using wax polish - which can be applied and buffed in a vast range of ways which we will cover in a future article!
No.6 - Use a Shoe Horn
No shoe enthusiast's home is complete without a shoe horn. It might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how often such a simple aspect of shoe care is overlooked. By using a shoe horn, you will look after the backs of your shoes which are necessary to the structure of the whole shoe, not to mention important to the comfort and fit of the shoe. If you forget to use a shoe horn the leather around the heel will begin to lose its shape and eventually crumble, as well as damaging the lining on the inside of the heel. If you add this very easy step to your shoe care routine, your shoes will thank you for it and last longer as a result.