How to properly care for your leather shoes?

Looking to protect your leather brogues, boots, sneakers and slippers?

These are the steps you should be taking.

Take a look at your shoes. Leather?

We thought so. In fact, we’d wager that the majority of your shoe collection is made from varying types of leather. From full-grain to split-suede, these tanned hides and skins are reliable, stylish and hard-wearing. But, despite being tough natural materials, they still require a certain level of care.

Be they boots, brogues, sneakers or slippers, your leather shoes demand that you look after them accordingly. Cleaning and conditioning are two simple steps, but ones that could extend the lifespan of your loafers by years. So unlace your shoes, show them some love and invest in the best in shoe care.

Start off by thoroughly cleaning your shoes

The first, and arguably most important step in caring for your shoes is simple: keep them clean. But, depending on the type of leather your shoes are crafted from, the method changes.

“Leather shoes are like a brand new car,” says Sam Gill, store manager for Duke & Dexter. “Treat them well and they will return the favour. That’s why leather care is a practice that you can’t afford to neglect. Begin, whatever the leather, by making sure it is free of dust and dirt by giving it a quick clean with a soft brush.”

Next, if the leather has a finish, use a mild soap and a damp cloth to clean the surface of the shoe. Avoid using a sponge, as many contain chemicals that can seep out and detrimentally affect the leather.

If the leather is unfinished, use saddle soap. Gently create a lather and rub softly onto your shoes, making sure to wipe off any excess. Allow to dry naturally as saddle soap contains a wax that will help seal and protect unfinished leather. If your shoes are water or salt-stained, take a mixture of two parts water to one white vinegar, and apply to the affected areas, wiping until the stains disappear.

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