Shoe Care: Nubuk, Suede, Waxy, Greasy, Patent Leather

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Kamou Shoes - Advice on Shoe Care

Your shoes will maintain their appearance better and last longer if you care for them properly. These notes will help you. We will be pleased to help if you need further advice or assistance.

General

Regular use of a protector spray on leather shoes will help to guard against staining and water penetration, although it will not make them waterproof. (NB: Do not use protector spray on patent, pearlised, or metallic shoes, as it can affect the finish.) Allow wet shoes to air dry naturally - never use artificial heat. Don't allow leather shoes to remain wet for long periods, as the leather will deteriorate. It is advisable to alternate wear between two different pairs of shoes, particularly in wet weather.

Using a shoe horn when putting on your shoes will prevent damage to their backs. Shoe trees inserted immediately after wearing will help to maintain the shape of the shoes and prolong their life. Check the condition of your shoes regularly, particularly the soles and heels, and especially during wet weather. Be aware that leather soles will wear more quickly than rubber, particularly in wet weather. Have wear repaired before the structure of the shoes is affected.

Cleaning

Mud, etc. should first be removed with a blunt instrument if necessary, taking care not to cut into the shoes, and then the final traces of dust and dirt removed with a damp cloth. The shoes should .then be allowed to dry before treating as follows:

Smooth and Grained Leather

Smooth and grained leather needs regular treatment to maintain its appearance and to nourish the leather, keeping it supple and preventing cracking. Use a wax or cream polish designed for shoe leather. Choose the closest colour match possible, or slightly lighter. Darker polishes can discolour the shoes, although used carefully can create interesting tone effects. If in doubt, use a neutral colour. A polish containing silicone will improve water resistance.

Nubuk and Suede Leathers

Nubuk and suede leathers should always be treated with a protector spray before first wearing, and regularly thereafter. Nubuk is much more durable than suede, and this should be borne in mind when following these recommendations. Nubuk will almost always respond well to the following treatments, and can be treated quite vigorously, whereas suede is more delicate and must be treated more gently. Two types of marks or stains can affect nubuk or suede leathers as follows:
  • Surface marks such as surface dirt or scuff marks should be removed dry to avoid driving them into the leather. A special rough nubuk/suede sponge will remove most surface marks, and also keep up the nap if used regularly. For more stubborn marks, or shiny patches, a nubuk/suede abrasive block should be used, followed by the rough sponge.

  • Penetrating marks such as liquid drips or grease marks should be removed with a damp cloth dipped in slightly soapy water. For really stubborn marks, a liquid soap such as washing up-liquid may be applied directly to the cloth. This should then be removed with clean water. After the marks have been removed, wipe both shoes all over to avoid colour differences. When dry, use a rough sponge to restore the nap.
After cleaning by either method, re-coat the shoes with protector spray before wearing. Nubuk and suede are not colour fast materials, and some lightening, particularly of dark colours, may be expected with prolonged exposure to sunlight. This colour loss can be restored by use of a liquid "colour freshener" in a sponge applicator, which can also be used to disguise stubborn marks.

Greasy, Oiled or Waxy Leathers

To maintain the appearance of these leathers, ordinary shoe creams or waxes should be avoided. For heavy greasy or waxy leathers, use of a waxed leather cream is recommended. For lighter oiled leathers and nubuks, nubuk oil should be used.

Patent, Metallic, and Pearlised Finishes

These finishes are produced by coating the leather with special materials, and their appearance will be spoiled if they are heavily rubbed or scuffed. Please take extra care when wearing shoes with these finishes. Patent Gloss spray should be used when cleaning - it produces excellent results, and also helps to protect against scuffing. Scuff marks may be touched in with metallic car paint, obtainable from car accessories shops. Do not use protector spray on these finishes!

Specialised Products for Branded Shoes

Some makes of shoes require special treatment. For instance, silicone tanned waterproof leather as used in Timberland boots requires special cleaning and treatment to maintain its waterproof qualities. Other makes offer special after care services. For instance, Church's, Grenson's and Loake's shoes can all be re-bottomed at the factory, resulting in a superior repair which will significantly extend the life of the shoes.
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