Leather is very durable but without proper care of leather shoes, it shortens the durability and also distorts the general appearance of the shoe. Leather makes the best shoe to wear with walking boot. Lack of conditioning and care makes leather dry out resulting to cracks then falling apart making the shoes unsightly. Coating them with a layer of polish once in a while helps but you also have to keep them clean and protect them from harsh weather conditions.
Important products for leather shoe care
Most of these products can be purchased at your local shoe repair shops, hardware stores and shoe stores. Make sure to buy good quality products that won’t be harsh on your shoes. Shoe shiners can also help you out if you are afraid of messing them up but for a fee.
For a shoe cleaning session you will need the following items;
- Soft shoe brush
- Soft cotton cloth
- Shoe polish
- Leather conditioner
- Weatherproof product (leather protector)
Cleaning leather shoes procedure
Start by wearing gloves to protect your hands because some of the products found in the polish may be toxic. Lay out the newspapers to protect your working surfaces and ensure that the room is well ventilated to allow free circulation of air.
Remove the dust or mud using leather cleaner specifically designed for soft leather and a soft bristle brush paying key attention to the crevices and cracks.
After you are done cleaning, allow them to dry then shin them using a soft cotton cloth like an old t-shirt.
Conditioning leather shoes
Ingredients found in the conditioner moisturize the leather membrane preventing it from cracking which is caused by drying out. When purchasing the conditioner, choose one that is designed for soft leather mainly a natural conditioner which gets fully absorbed by the leather. Synthetic conditioners basically sits on top of the surface of the shoe thus getting wiped off after a while.
Rub in a generous amount moving in circular motions until the whole shoe is covered. Then wipe the excess polish from the shoe and let it set for the leather to absorb a much as it needs for dehydration.
Polishing leather shoes
Shoes polishes exist in three forms: liquid, pastes or creams. Liquid polishes have the shortest durability and also in limited colors while the pastes last longer but are really messy to work with. So basically opt for creams because they have the longest durability, are available in many colors and are really easy to work with. Select the appropriate color for your leather shoes then apply a little amount to see whether it matches. If it does, rub in some more till the whole shoe is covered and move to the next. Allow it to fully dry then buff using a cloth or soft brush to shine.
Protecting leather shoes
Weatherproofing leather shoes generally protect them from water and other harmful elements which break down the leather shortening its durability. Beeswax products and spray protectants are ideal for protecting the leather from mild or moderate wet conditions and dirt.