Shoes are a necessary staple in any wardrobe. If you buy the right pair, they will stick with you for life, however, only if you take care of them. This includes cleaning, polishing and deodorising. Good shoes begin with great leather, though you're going to have to pay for it. Leather is a natural material that will respond to the care you give them. With great care, your shoes will age exceptionally.
Before you wear your shoes for the first time, buy some water repellent (hydrophobic coating spray) and cover you shoes in it. This will allow your shoes to breathe, any moisture to escape and any water to be repelled. Follow your shoe maker's instructions for brand recommendation and application method.
Buy a pair of good shoe trees. Shoe trees not only help restore and maintain the structure of your shoe, but they also soak up any excess moisture left over by your feet and prevent any leather wrinkling. Look at cedar wood for the best shoe trees as the strong scent will help keep your shoes smelling clean and deodorised.
Polishing your shoes regularly achieves two things: It repairs the damage of daily wear and it keeps the shoe leather moisturised and healthy. So try to clean and polish your shoe as often as possible.
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Before your starting cleaning and polishing, you want to gather a few supplies:
- Tin of shoe polish - find a colour as close to your shoe colour as possible, otherwise you will discolour your shoe. You can either buy a cream or a wax. A cream will make the leather more lively and flexible, with the latter making the leather more water repellent. Depending on the build of your shoe, either will work well.
- A large cleaning brush, preferably horsehair
- Polishing brush
- Newspaper or old cloth
- Polishing cloth
- Nourishing cream
1. Lay your newspaper or cloth out on the ground. This will prevent any excess polish or dirt sticking to your carpet or floor.
2. Use your cleaning brush and give your shoes a vigorous scrub. This will remove any superficial stains and dirt. This is an important step as any dirt or debris left behind will be polished over and this left over dirt will scratch the leather and set underneath the polish. Pay particular attention to the featheredge, where the sole joins the leather.
3. Grab your cream or wax polish and apply a generous amount to your polishing brush. Using circular motions, evenly work the polish into the shoe. Ensuring the entire shoe is covered. You may like to use your toothbrush at this stage to reach the tighter corners and edges. Once finished, leave the shoe for a 5-10 minutes to allow the polish to set
4. Grab your cleaning brush and give your shoe a gentle brush to get rid of any excess polish.
5. To finish the polish, grab your polishing cloth and very lightly dampen it. Apply a little bit of cream or wax to your dampened cloth and with smaller circular motions, massage your fingers around your shoe. Continue this until a lasting and glossy finish appears. If you want a greater shine, it's just a matter of a little more polish and a little more water.
6. Take your nourishing cream and cloth and with small circular motions, work your cream along the sole of your shoe. This will keep the sole of the shoe alive and flexible to prevent any cracking.