Caring for your leather shoes is about more than just ensuring that you look sharp and professional when you’re wearing them. Leather is an organic substance and ensuring that it is well fed and cared for will keep extend its life and make sure you get the most out of your shoes. Here are the fundamentals of leather care to help you keep your shoes healthy and youthful.
The first step of leather care is to keep it protected. Don’t wait until a shoe looks dull or unpolished. Treat it regularly with a polish or other product formulated to nourish and protect the leather. These kinds of protection will usually need reapplication at least every couple of months – more if the shoes in question are the ones you wear to work most days of the week.
You can start off by using a regular shoe polish – the old brush and buff method never fails. Work the polish in deeply into the leather with a good brush. Then buff it with a soft, polishing cloth to bring out the shine. Then you may want to apply a leather conditioner. These usually come in the form of a wax or a spray. Both aesthetically and from the point of view of your shoes’ longevity, you will find this process well worth the effort.
Keep a soft, dry cloth handy and wipe your shoes with it every day. Remove any dirt or dust before it makes itself at home. This will make your regular polishing and treating routines a lot easier as well.
When your shoes pick up spots or bits of dirt – assuming that you are regularly treating them with a good leather protection product – it’s perfectly okay to wipe away the spots with a damp cloth. However when we say ‘damp’, we mean ‘damp’, not ‘soaked’. You can also make use of a mild soap – in small amounts – to remove stubborn stains. Water can definitely have a detrimental effect on leather. Never rub too hard and certainly never immerse the leather in water.
When you are trying out a new leather care product for the first time, test a small amount on an out-of-sight part of the shoe. This is to make sure that the colour of the product matches the colour of the shoe and that it does the job you want.
Be careful of where you keep your shoes. Never throw them into the back of your cupboard where any number of your other belongings can end up on top of them. They need to maintain their shape and they need to be protected. Invest in shoe bags or set aside a special shelf that your shoes can rest on.
If you follow these basic rules of leather care, your shoes will serve you for many years to come. If you are in the market for some fine, new leather shoes, take a look at our exhaustive range. Shop online, or visit one of our KZN stores to find the perfect pair of shoes for you.