How to properly maintain your leather shoes

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Ihuoma Chiedozie

Taking care of your shoes would not only make them look better, but also make them last longer. This is especially the case for leather shoes.

Most of the shoes are made from various types of leather, which are proven to be reliable, stylish and durable. But despite being tough materials, they still require a certain level of care. Whether it’s boots, brogues, sneakers or slippers, your leather shoes demand that you care for them accordingly.

Cleaning and conditioning are two simple steps that could extend the life of your leather shoes by years and at the same time make them even more pleasing to the eye.

Here are some tips on how to properly care for your leather shoes.

Start by cleaning well

Cleaning is the first and most important step in caring for your shoes. You can start by cleaning the shoe with a soft brush to make sure it is free of dust and dirt.

Then, if the leather has a finish, use a mild soap and a damp cloth to clean the surface of the shoe. But, while doing this, you should avoid using a sponge. Some sponges contain chemicals that can seep in and damage the leather.

If the leather is not finished, use saddle soap. Lather gently and rub gently on your shoes, making sure to wipe off any excess. Allow to dry naturally as saddle soap contains wax that will help seal and protect unfinished leather.

Condition your shoes to keep them looking new

Your shoes should be regularly treated with a good quality shoe polish to protect the leather and give it a very shiny finish. It helps to extend the life of the shoes and keep their appearance. You need to make sure your shoes are dry before you apply the shoe polish.

Also try to avoid using unsuitable liquid varnish applicators as they can potentially damage the surface of high quality leathers and often create a lacquer that is difficult to remove.

When polishing the shoe, try to get the shoe polish into every crevice in your shoe – it can be time consuming with brogues or delicately designed shoes, but it’s worth it.

After applying the polish, you need to apply a conditioner or a protector, whether it is a resin or a spray.

Remember to treat and condition your shoes with shoe polish and conditioner every month or so, or more often in bad weather to make sure they stay fresh.

Keep your shoes safe by storing them properly

Correct storage of your shoes also plays an important role in their lifespan. If they get wet, fill them with newspaper overnight and let them dry naturally, but also invest in material to keep them looking new.

Leather shoes should also be kept in shoe bags. Shoe bags help protect shoes from potentially harmful dust and sun. Follow these rules and your shoes will stay fresher for longer.

Also, if you need to change the soles of your shoes, find someone who will do a good job.

One more thing. Try to replace your shoe laces every six months. It will give new life to your shoes.

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