Footwear addicts dread the bad weather. Anyone who can appreciate a fine pair of leather brogues or a set of pure white sneakers, will feel their heart sink when those grey clouds gather. The flooding, the hazard of wet leaves and the possibility of snow, just means that our wardrobes are going need a little more attention. No one wants to get soaked wet through on their way home from work, but unfortunately we live in the UK and it’s something that we have to deal with. Buying a good pair of shoes does make a dent in your wallet but it’s an investment that’s worth it. Cheap shoes don’t last, good leather shoes do, just make sure you look after them.
There are a couple of key points that are good to keep in mind all year round when lacing your shoes every morning. Number one is that however expensive or well-made your shoes are, they cannot last forever if you wear them every day. Alternate. Number two, remember to care for your shoes. If you put them away properly and clean them correctly they have the potential to last for quite some time. And finally, wear and tear is inevitable. Unfortunately over time cracks, folds and scuffs will appear. Soles will need replacing, so finding a reliable cobbler is always recommended.
WET SHOES: If it’s pouring down outside, we’d recommend choosing something other than your best leather brogues or new white sneakers. But, for those days when you get caught in a downpour, it’s important to dry your shoes properly when you get home. Stuff them with newspaper and leave them to dry slowly. Do not put them next to a radiator or in an airing cupboard. This will cause the shoes to dry too quickly and could lead to cracking on the leather.
SHOE TREES: Invest in a set of shoe trees. They allow your recently worn shoes to dry and reshape correctly. Go for the unvarnished ones, less decorative but they absorb the moisture much better than the fancy ones.
SUEDE SHOES: Unfortunately suede is a tricky one. Never good in the rain, but when you buy a pair it’s advisable to get a spray on protector that will help maintain the texture and colour. Suede will show wear and tear more than leather, it’s a softer material that needs to be well looked after.
LEATHER SOLES: Dangerous at the beginning, especially in the wet or frost. Leather soles are so smooth that they can cause a bit of a slip and slide. You definitely need to wear them a few times before even venturing out in drizzle. Let the soles scuff up and develop their own grip. Staying silky smooth is the last thing you want them to do. Plus no ones looking at your soles anyway.
ODOUR CONTROL: Beyond washing your feet daily and wearing clean socks, there’s not too much you can do about odour. A new insole is always a good idea if they start to get a bit pongy, I’d recommend getting a cobbler to fit a new set for you. Don’t spray aftershave on them. It’s not good for the leather.
Spare an extra thought for your shoes this winter. They’re going to need it.
© John Anthony 2017