If your shoes are going to last a long time, you need to take care of them. It's not rocket science. But it can be challenging to know which products to have at home, in which order to do everything, and how often.
What do I need?
To get the perfect finish on your shoes, you only need a few products at home:
◊ A smaller brush with thicker straws to wash your shoes.
◊ Shoe wax.
◊ Shoe cream.
◊ A regular shoe brush (for wax and shoe cream).
How do I do?
1. The first thing to do is to clean your shoe. You can use a mild soap (I prefer bile soap but take the one you have at home) and lukewarm water. Scrub off any dirt with the smaller brush and make sure the entire shoe gets wet to avoid salt streaks.
2. Wipe the entire shoe with a cloth or paper and let the shoe dry, preferably overnight if you have the opportunity. You will get a gold star if you use a shoe block to maintain the shape of the shoe.
3. Now the dirt is gone! And it's time for the shoe wax to make the leather soft and pliable again. Use a sponge and apply the wax all over the shoe. Work the wax extra carefully where you see that a little extra love is needed. The wax forms a protective layer over the shoe. Let the wax sink into the leather for another couple of hours.
4. Then brush off excess wax with the shoe brush. When you brush it up after waxing, you also give the shoe a little extra shine.
5. If the shoe are chafed and lost color, I recommend a supplement with shoe cream. First, apply the shoe crem all over the shoe with the soft side of a sponge or cloth. Then finish by brushing up the shoe to get the extra shine.
So, now your shoes are ready for another season!
How often you should repeat this procedure is very individual, depending on how you use your shoes. During the wet parts of the year, you may need to maintain your shoes a little extra with the wax to keep the leather water-repellent and avoid salt stains.
One last tip is to have two pairs of shoes to change between. Whether you admit it or not, we all have sweaty feet. The salt in the sweat affects the tanning of the leather, which then becomes brittle and hard. Therefore, let your shoes get a chance to rest and dry out!
I hope you got a little wiser!
/ Linda Lundahl