A well-polished pair of shoes is a great way to make a fantastic first impression. This is something that has been known for generations, but it’d seem that the subtle art of shoe care is being lost as convenience and mass production takes over from craftsmanship. Where once a pair of shoes would last for decades, now we seem to be disposing of them on a regular basis.
Here are some helpful hints on getting maximum mileage out of your shoes.
Rotate your leather shoes
If you’ve been out in the rain, snow or overheated in summer, your shoes might be a little damp. It can take a day or so to fully dry out the leather so have another pair ready to wear when needed.
A great way to absorb moisture from shoes while maintaining their shape as they dry is by using a wooden shoe tree. Sometimes seen as old-fashioned, they work well and will prevent the leather from creasing too.
Treat your shoes to a good polish
Make sure the shoe is nice and clean by using a soft brush first and remove the laces to ensure that the tongue and upper get a good dose of polish. Use a clean rag, rather than a brush, to apply a good quality polish sparingly across the surface and leave to dry – this should take around 15 minutes but if you can, leave overnight).
Now it’s time to buff those shoes with a soft brush until the shine is to your liking. You need to be polishing on a regular basis as this protects the leather and maintains a high shine. You can apply a layer of wax as additional protection but make sure the shoes are clean and dry first.
If leather isn’t your thing, make sure you protect your suede shoes too
Honestly, don’t keep your hands off those blue suede shoes, they need some love and attention too. Both suede and nubuck can be treated with a suede protector spray before use, and any dirt and debris can be removed using a rubber suede brush.
Suede needs to be dried slowly and naturally rather than exposed to heat so factor this in when needed to treat stubborn stains with a suede specific shampoo or using steam to revive the shoes for a natural clean.
Avoid the washing machine with canvas shoes
Although canvas shoes claim to be machine washable, this will quickly break them down leaving them looking worn out. It’s far easier to hand wash with fabric shampoo and water and leaving them to dry naturally for long-lasting results.
And there you have it, four useful tips that’ll keep your shoes looking their best for years to come. If you have any hints or tips you’d like to share about shoe care, drop them as a comment below.
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