Shoe care is significant for the look of your shoes and so for the first impression a person gets about you.
It isn’t just enough to brush your shoes, shoe care is more. The following items I will deal with in this article:
1. How to buy and wear shoes
Well, to have less problems with the shoe care as possible it’s important to buy the right shoes. Leather shoes adjust themselves to ones feet. If you buy too tight shoes the leather will stretch out and the shoes won’t look nice anymore. A good shoe should fit perfectly.
Another important aspect about buying shoes is the quality. If you buy shoes for $ 50 you get shoes for this amount. You can imagine how good the quality will be. Good shoes start from $ 200 and up. For some men it might be more then they usually spend on shoes, but high quality shoes have a longer lifetime. With the right shoe care you can wear your high quality shoes in ten, fifteen or even twenty years. You’ll even think they became more beautiful over the years because of the patina.
For this reason you should wear your shoes carefully. Try not to get them wet, and really, really important: Make a pause for your shoes. Don’t wear the same pair two or even more days in a row. Change the shoes every day. One day shoe pair A, the next B, then again A and so on. Leather needs this time to dry. Whether it’s hot or not, through your feet’s transpiration the leather has to absorb this moisture. If you wear the same shoes day after day the leather have no chance to release this and it will begin to smell and look bad.
The main two things are: Buy high quality shoes and don’t wear your shoes for two days in a row.
Another advice: Buy shoes in the evening. Feet are by the end of the day bigger than in the morning.
2. How to storage shoes
The second part of our shoe care article is about how to storage shoes. Shoes should be stored somewhere the leather can breath and they’re not affected by sun or heat. A shoe rack in the corridor should do it. If you’re not wearing a pair very often, a clear shoe box may be a stylish alternative. Your shoes are safe and you can easily look at them.
2.1 What’s a shoetree and how it should be used
The most important thing about storage is the shoetree. Every time you get home put a shoetree in your shoes. It will keep your shoes in form and also absorb the moisture. Especially for moist leather shoes that are shrinking, while they’re drying, shoetrees are really important.
The best material for a shoetree is of course wood. Plastic material for example cannot absorb the moisture.
2.2 When you’re travelling
When you’re travelling you should think of a good possibility to storage your shoes. For example if you’re on a business travel for a week you need more than one pair of shoes. Or maybe because you want to play golf with your business partner or something like that.
If you buy high quality shoes you always get a shoe bag with them. If not, you should buy some because it’s the best way to take your shoes on a travel.
3. How to put on shoes and how to remove them
To put shoes on or to remove them use always a shoehorn. It makes it a lot easier to slip in the shoe and spares the shoe from damage. Most shoehorns are made of plastic, but there are also great one made of wood or metal.
For boots there are special longer shoehorns.
4. Basic shoe care
For the basic shoe care you’ll just need a brush, a cloth, some warm water and few minutes. Start brushing the leather only with warm water. Don’t use soap or other special substances. Soap makes leather fragile.
After you’ve removed rude dirt use the rag again in connection with the warm water to remove the fine dirt. Rub a little till you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the shoe.
You’re done. Do it periodically. Now, let’s start with the real thing.
5. Real shoe shine
To start make sure you’re wearing old clothes that can get dirty. Prepare the place where you are going to clean and polish your shoes and put down newspaper.
You can leave the shoetree in the shoe, it will make the procedure even more easier. Remove the shoe laces. They shouldn’t get in contact with the shoe polish.
First, remove all the rude dirt with a dry brush or a cloth. Then you should use the cloth and some warm water to get rid of the dust and fine dirt. Don’t forget the heel and sole.
Now it’s time to use shoe polish. Polish moisturizes, makes the leather flexible. The colour of the polish should be the same one as of the leather. If you’re not sure if the colour is right ask the local shoe repair person. He can give use you also some advice which brand is good and which you shouldn’t even try.
Lay the polish very thin on your shoe. Every care product should be used very sparely. Don’t forget, less is more.
Apply the polish with a fine cloth or a very fine brush, for example a horsehair brush, carefully over the leather. It’s recommended to start with the heel, going to the toe and on the other side back to the heel. Polish in circular motion. A trick is to use hot water to keep the polish soft, so it can be soaked in more easily.
After the first shoe is ready, let the polish soak in and do the second.
For a spit shine drop one or two drops clean water on the shoe when you’re polishing. Just don’t use spit. It’s often quite aggressive and can destroy the patina, especially if you like to drink coffee, tee or love candy.
After the polish let the shoes some time to dry and then buff them with a horsehair brush and a dry cloth till they have a nice shine.
5.1 Cordovan shoes
For shoes made of cordovan leather you shouldn’t use shoe polish because it leaves often a white film on the leather. Use instead special cordovan colour paste wax polish.
5.2 Fabric shoes
Fabric shoes can be easily cleaned with a special spray fabric cleaner. After the cleaner is dry just brush it off.
5.3 Suede or nubuck shoes
These kinds of leather are extremely sensitive. To clean shoes and boots made of suede or nubuck you should use just special for this leather designed products. Ask in a shoe repair shop for advice. To remove stains on suede footwear you can use a suede cleaning block. After using the cleaning block you can use a soft suede brush. That’s a special brass-bristle brush.
To repel the water and stains from the shoes you should also use a protective non-silicon finish spray.
5-4 Wet Shoes
Wet shoes should immediately been dried. Therefore stuff them with paper towels and let them dry at room temperature. Don’t put them near a heater. Direct heat isn’t good for the leather.
6. How to find a shoe repair shop
Sometimes your shoes need to be repaired. The first choice is always the fabricator of your shoes. If he doesn’t offer a repair services or if it would take too long you should contact a shoe repair shop. How to find one? Well, just use the yellow pages or the internet. Search for Boots & Shoes Repair. It’s always clever to make a short phone call to make sure they do the kind of work you need, before you drive there.