Shoe care may not seem high on your list of priorities, but it really is important to keep your eye on them. It’s one thing to continue wearing your favourite t-shirt even after the hole start to develop. However to walk around in your favourite pair of shoes with a good coating of mud covering them, not only ruins your outfit but destroys the shoes. Personally I think it’s a crime to neglect a beautiful pair of leather shoes when just using a shoehorn to put them on or storing them neatly can add to the longevity of the shoe. Avoid disappointment by following these few steps to help extend the life of any pair of leather shoes.
GRENSON X JOHN ANTHONY STANLEY BROGUE
Leather soles are very different to rubber, they need a little more attention paying to them. Brand new and just out of the box, wear them on at least 3 separate occasions in dry conditions before you take a step out in the rain. However much you may enjoy splashing around in puddles, you must refrain until the soles have been roughened up enough to help keep out the water. Leather soles and puddles aren’t really friends, so it’s probably best to jump over them…
PAUL SMITH PS MONK STRAP
It’s only natural to want to show-off your newest pair of shoes, they look amazing on and you feel pretty dapper wearing them. However it’s best to avoid wearing them on consecutive days. Perhaps keep it to every-other-day for work or only wear them with one particular suit? Wearing the same pair everyday, no matter how higher quality they are, will fast-track the wearing down of the whole shoe and will lead to the premature demise of a favourite. Gutted.
JEFFERY WEST SLIPPER
If you do get caught off guard and end up trudging home in the rain, DO NOT put them in the airing cupboard to dry. Either put shoe trees in them or if you don’t have any, use scrunched up newspaper to stuff them with and this will keep the shape of the shoe as it drys. Leave them for about 48 hours before you wear them again to ensure they are completely dry, they need to be kept at room temperature so they can naturally dry. You may have been planning on wearing them tomorrow but luckily patience is a virtue, so don’t try and speed up the process by sitting them next to a radiator – this will just make things worse. Neither leather nor suede is waterproof so it’s usually best to buy a protector spray to add a waterproof coating to the outside.
DR MARTEN’S TASSEL LOAFER
Giving your shoes a good polish ensures that they carry on looking as good as they did on the day you opened the box, but it also helps protect the leather. Find a polish or cream that matches the colour as best as you can, unless you want to darken them in which case find a polish which is a few shades darker. Apply evenly across the upper of the shoe and allow to sit before taking it off with a brush or cloth – it’s pretty similar to T-cutting your car. For the best results leave the polish on overnight so it gives it more time to absorb into the leather before being buffed off. Get a good cloth or brush to really buff them up so they look as shiny as the guards boots at Buckingham Palace.
HUDSON TASSEL LOAFER
Leather soles may look beautiful but like most beautiful things they come with danger sign strapped to them. You may want to take care when walking on carpets or other smooth surfaces as leather soles lack the grip of a rubber sole, so you could find yourself unceremoniously thrown onto your backside in the middle of the supermarket aisle…It would be our recommendation to replace leather soles with rubber to encourage the longevity of the shoe, but this is all down to personal preference and not necessary! Leather soles as a natural fibre do scuff and change colour quickly, even just trying them on in the shop will leave a mark, so don’t be alarmed when you see scratches all over them moments after opening the box – remember flaws add character!
HUDSON SUEDE ANKLE BOOT
This is where your Mum can turn around and say I told you so…Don’t just throw your shoes anywhere when you get home, yes Mum is right it’s messy and lazy but more importantly it’s bad for the health of your shoes! It’s best to put them back into their box with the tissue paper stuffed in the toecaps to retain the space. However if you don’t have the space to hold a multitude of shoe boxes, it’s fine to keep them out of the box but just make sure you don’t pile anything else on top of them, and try to replace the tissue paper to the toecaps after you’ve worn them. When it comes to packing them for business trips or holidays, always place them in a shoe bag or alternatively you can simply wrap them in a soft cloth to protect them on the journey – we’ve all seen the luggage being thrown about at Heathrow…Be gentle with your shoes, they might have been expertly crafted but general wear and tear will occur naturally, however doing something small like using a shoehorn to put them on with will help in the long run!