Invest some time and effort in your footwear and it will last you a lot longer. Here are a few of our top shoe care tips:
CLEAN YOUR SHOES
Cleaning your shoes regularly gives them a longer life, so remember to wipe off mud, dust and dirt after wearing them. For suede you can remove dry dirt with a special suede rubber that brushes the surface gently.
STAY IN SHAPE
Use shoe trees after you’ve worn the shoes and when you store them. It helps to keep their shape and also to dry them out (our feet sweat an average of 5cl per day). Just make sure the shoe trees are the correct size, and use a shoe horn when putting your shoes on so the back isn’t crushed.
Wet shoes should be dried slowly in a natural, warm environment. Avoid heat (no hair dryers, fan heaters or radiators) because it will dry out and weaken the leather which can lead to cracking. Simply fill them with newspaper to help pull out the moisture. Before the shoes have dried completely you can tuck in shoe trees to make sure they return to their proper shape. Remember to give them some love with shoe polish or spray (depending on the type of leather or suede) once they are dry.
Salt stains can be hard on shoes during winter – if they aren’t dealt with the leather could be damaged. Special agents for salt stains are available from shoemakers.
We have leather soles on some of our shoes. Be kind to them and have your local shoemaker add a rubber sole if you plan to use them as everyday shoes in a cold, rainy or snowy climate. It’s also a good idea to check the heels for wear every once in a while and have them replaced if necessary.
VEGETABLE TANNED LEATHER
We make some of our shoes using vegetable tanned leather. Each pair is hand-made and because this is a natural material it may have variations in colour and shade, which is a sign of quality. Over time your wear and tear may darken the leather and give it a personal touch and fantastic fit.
Avoid placing leather shoes in direct sunlight since it can have a fading effect and dry them out. Renew the colour as necessary with specialist sprays in similar shades to the original leather – ask your local shoemaker for advice. We recommend that you test the spray on the least visible place on the shoe to make sure the colour matches.
New leather or suede shoes need to be treated before use so they are better protected against dirt and rainy days. Smooth and shiny leather should be conditioned with polish while a water repellent spray is the best choice for suede and dull leather.
SHINE & CONDITION
For the best results, always use the correct shine and condition products for each material. Some shines are only for the surface and don’t nourish the leather while others may change its colour. If the leather seems shinier than before a treatment you can use a rubber brush to rub it and restore its matte appearance. Once you have the correct products avoid applying too much cream as the leather will not be able to breathe. If you have any questions about which products to use, ask your local shoemaker for advice or call & Other Stories Customer Service.