Use quality wooden trees
One pair of trees will suffice, but make sure they're the best. That means no shiny finish, and no cheap synthetic options. Good quality trees, based on the designer's last, literally absorb the perspiration from the leather and increase the life of your shoes. A day's use will suffice.
Use Shoe Cream or Leather Balm
Many polishes create a surface shine, but shoe creams and leather balms permeate deep into the leather and keep it supple. Ideally, leave the cream or balm on overnight and then remove in the morning with a soft brush or cloth. You'll love the results!
Wear new shoes at home first
Don't punish your feet by submitting new shoes to a full day's wear, straight off. Ease them in by wearing around the house for a few hours over the weekend. This will soften up the construction and ensure a comfortable fit.
Grit your shoes
Try not to take your new shoes for a walk in the rain on day one. Far better to wear them in the dry and ensure a layer of grit works its way into the sole leather. This acts as a protective shield and makes sure the soles last longer and also helps to give the soles some grip as the new leather sole can be slippery.
Never wear two days in a row
Give your shoes a break. Wearing them on successive days can burn away the leather. Look for those tell-tale signs of blackening on the inside. Swap your shoes around regularly to prolong their life.
Wet weather advice
Never dry wet shoes next to a radiator or other source of heat: you'll crack the leather. Simply stuff them with newspaper or tissue paper and allow them to dry out naturally. If they are covered in mud, brush off when dry and then polish as normal.
Check the leather
Many modern shoes are made of leather that looks, and even smells, more like plastic. Closely examine the leather and learn to identify the real material. If in doubt, be sure to purchase your shoes from designers who care about the quality of the materials they use. Unlike any other material, great quality leather forms and breathes naturally on the foot.
Use a proper suede brush made with brass bristles which cleans the suede gently. For stubborn stains, try using fine sandpaper.
Shoecare - How to Care For Your Shoes
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19 February 2011
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