Shoe Care Tips for the Modern Man
Basic Shoe Care Rules
Use a shoe horn
It’s inexplicable that there are people out there in the world not using shoe horns. If you are one of these people, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Then buy a shoe horn. And use it every time you put on your shoes without exception. They will protect the backs of your shoes and also your socks.
Use shoe trees
You need at least one pair of wooden shoe trees; put these in the most recently worn pair of shoes. They absorb moisture and protect the shape of your shoes as they cool and dry. Shoe trees will honestly help your shoes age well gracefully.
Use shoe bags
Many shoes companies will provide shoe bags with each sale. These are not unnecessary bits of fluff to make the punter feel that they have bought a luxury product, they are genuinely useful to help maintain the finish on your shoes, and as essential as a passport when travelling.
We also strongly recommend that if you send your shoes to use for a service, that you include the shoebags. It helps protect the shine when the the shoes are on their way back to you.
End of the day routine
Let your shoes breathe
Take off your shoes and let them breathe for five to ten minutes or so. Your feet will have warmed up the shoe and moisture will be milling around the inside, so let the air get to them for a few minutes.
Put in your shoe trees
Before the leather cools completely, place your shoe trees in to maintain the shape of your shoes. This is particularly important; a true shoe care guide is not complete without advocating shoe trees.
Brush them down
Once the trees are in, you have a firm surface to start brushing down your shoes. A very quick going over with a horsehair brush to get rid of any dust and dirt is all that is required here.
Pop them in shoe bags
When you are ready to put your shoes away, put them in their shoe bags (and – if you have it – the shoe box). Now they can rest soundly and will be at their best the next time you need them.
After the flood
Stuff with newspaper
When you take off your shoes, stuff them with newspaper. Try to keep the shape of the shoe as much as possible. The paper will quickly draw out the worst of the moisture.
Brush them down
Give the shoes a brisk brush with a horsehair brush to get rid of any mud etc sitting on the surface
Place them on their sides
To ensure that the soles of the shoe also get air to them and so dry properly, place the shoes on their sides, and rotate every few hours. Do NOT place them near a heat source such as a radiator – drying your shoes too quickly will lead them to curl up. We’re in this for the long haul. At least an overnight procedure.
In go the shoe trees
Once the newspaper has taken most of the moisture, remove it and put in shoe trees to retain the shape of your shoes and to absorb still more moisture.
Depending on how damaged your shoes are, you may need to use a specialist product to deal with salt stains, such as Saphir’s Hiver.
Give them a thorough cleaning
Follow our advice on how to give your leather or suede a good cleaning. After this, they should be ready to re-enter your shoe rotation and to be enjoyed for many years to come.