Leather is associated with high class and high quality. Think about that arm chair at home. It is dad’s favorite. Don’t sit in it and don’t touch it. Let it always remain clean at all times. If you mess it up, you are in for trouble! Leather shoes are no different.
Although discouraging, leather shoes can be incredibly durable when given a little care. Whether dress shoes, casual sneakers, or boots, good care of leather shoes narrows down to two major concepts: keep them clean and keep them dry.
To students, it may seem time and money-consuming but it is worth it. You want to look classy thus you have to spare an extra hour to clean your shoe. Otherwise, your shoes will end up looking dull and faded. In this article, Peachy Essay has highlighted 7 tips to protect leather shoes in college.
Clean them after each wear
Always have a microfiber cloth or shoe brush to clean your shoes after each wear. This will keep any grime or dirt from grinding into the leather as time goes on, saving you from stubborn stains. Scrape off the mud with the back of a knife stick or blunt object and clean them with a damp cloth wrung out of warm soapy water. You can then rinse or wipe with a cloth wrung out of clean water.
Do not wear your leather shoes daily
Just like your skin, leather also needs to breathe. It is advisable to have at least two pairs for rotation to avoid wearing the same shoes every day. During the day, your feet sweat and this leather absorbs the sweat. This will make the leather damp and susceptible to scuffing, stretching, staining and creasing. Taking a break from wearing them gives them time to dry, hence increasing its longevity by a significant amount.
Place a shoe tree in the leather shoes during storage
A poplar or cedar shoe tree is the most vital part of leather shoe storage. Due to its porous nature, leather absorbs moisture and smell, hence causes it to break down. Having shoe trees during storage helps in absorption of that moisture and smell and also keeps the shoe in its proper shape to avoid creasing. This can dramatically increase your shoe’s longevity.
Also, avoid keeping socks in shoes. When socks are left in shoes, they wear off faster. These socks leave a pungent odor leading to awful smell that transpires into the socks worn with the shoes.
Polish them every 5 wears
Just like you do not want to see your leather wet, so will you not love it dry out. When left to dry out, these leather shoes can easily crack. Use a polish every five wears or so. Applying this shoe polish will help moisturize the leather while adding an extra layer of protection to keep off water and dirt. The shoe polish also restores color and hides blemishes and scuffs. You can use either cream polish or wax polish or both.
Cream is more moisturizing than wax and creates a natural finish. On the other hand, wax polish gives slightly better protection and a higher level of shine but can be more drying. I would recommend you start with cream polish and finish with wax polish but the choice depends on what you really want.
Apply the shoe polish in a circular manner using a microfiber cloth. If you want to go extra miles, use a pig hair brush to work it in deeper like you want. Finish off with a brush and/or polishing glove to buff the shoe and restore the shine.
Avoid extreme weather
Avoid wearing your leather shoes (if possible) in downpour and avoid traipsing through salt and snow-covered sidewalks during winter. Water can easily stain even water-proofed leather shoes and their soles will become more susceptible to abrasive surfaces like concrete when they are wet.
If you know you are going to wear the shoes in snow or rain, wear a pair of galoshes to protect them all through. You can keep a pair of swims in your house and car just in case.
If by any mistake your shoes get wet, avoid drying them near a window or radiator. Heat and sunlight can destroy and crack the leather. Just allow them to air out on their own, with a shoe tree, for some days.
During hot weather like summer, keep the shoes away from direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight makes the leather to fade faster. When kept away from direct sunlight, it will naturally fade but over time.
The best place to store them is in a place with slight humidity and ventilation to prevent mildew formation.
When not in use, store shoes in a dust bag
Over time, dust can work its way into leather shoes over time. This results in degradation and staining. If you don’t wear your shoes more often, store them in a fabric dust bag to protect them while also allowing them to breathe.
Avoid storing shoes in grocery or plastic bags. Air should be able to pass through the leather easily. Use breathable bags and pillow cases for storage.
Cleaning and conditioning
Use Boar’s hair brushes to clean the shoes. The hair is gentle enough to avoid scratching the leather and at the same it being strong enough to brush it. After brushing off the dirt and grime, use a leather conditioner to replenish moisture in the leather. Moisture helps the leather to remain soft and supple. This conditioner also helps the leather to prepare for polishing. Ideally, you can leave your leather shoes to air dry overnight after cleaning and conditioning them.
There are several steps you can take to increase the longevity of your leather shoes but the above-mentioned seven steps are more important and do a majority of heavy lifting. To add on the above methods, you can use a leather conditioner or take them to a cobbler for rejuvenation. If you take good care of your shoes, you won’t believe it how longer they will stay.