Shoe care is often seen as a dirty business and a chore we tend to shy away from but when it comes to the lifespan of your Barker handmade shoes its time well spent and a worthwhile investment. Each pair of English Goodyear welted shoes are made from the finest materials sourced from around the world at the Barker Earls Barton factory with over 100 operations spread across several different stages including the design room, through the clicking/closing, bottom stock, lasting, making and finishing room.
Barker source leather from established tanneries including Annonay, Horween Leather Company and Charles Stead to make our Goodyear welted shoes and boots. As leather is a natural material it will age with wear and will last the test of time resulting in comfortable shoes providing they are well cared for. To keep your Barker shoes in their best shape we’d recommend these essential shoe care accessories to prolong the shoe life.
Wearing your Barker shoes over time will result in folds and creases naturally appearing in the leather uppers and if not cared for they may become permanent deformations. A pair of shoe trees are a sensible investment to prevent deformation and will keep your leather shoes in good shape. Barker shoe trees are made from aromatic cedar wood as this helps to absorb moisture while naturally deodorises your shoes while unworn. When investing in a pair of shoe trees be sure to select the correct size that matches your shoe/foot size otherwise the leather may be stretched or misshaped.
It may only be a matter of seconds but taking the time to loosen the lacing system before putting your shoes on will avoid damage to the leather uppers alongside investing in a shoe horn. A well-made shoe horn will protect the leather, in particular, the heels which is an area of the shoe most likely to become damaged if placed on your feet without care.
The Barker horse hair brush (available in black and natural) and wax polish (Black, Burgundy, Brown, Tan and Neutral) are essential tools when it comes to polishing your Barker shoes. Before polishing ensure the shoelaces are fully removed before cleaning and once cleaned leave the shoes to dry completely with crinkled newspaper inserted inside the shoes to keep shape until your shoe trees can be inserted.
Polishing should be completed regularly so the polishing process doesn’t take up too much of your time and won’t seem to be a tedious task. It’s important the leather shoes are dry before starting to polish to ensure the best results and we’d advise keeping a thorough once over with the Barker horsehair brush to remove any unwanted dirt. There must be no dirt or dust on the leather before applying the Barker Wax Polish to achieve an overall shine.
Before polishing your shoes take a cotton cloth (old t-shirts also work well) and use it to apply the polish over the entire dress shoe upper in small circular movements. A little goes a long way when polishing so be careful on how much you apply to the shoe but don’t forget to polish the sides of the soles and heels as these get dirty when making contact with the ground.
Individual Barker brushes, polishes and creams can be purchased online or in-store at Barker London flagship stores or official stockists. Alternatively, the Barker shoe care kit includes all the necessities needed for caring for your shoes.
Alongside the essential shoe cleaning kit and accessories mentioned it’s recommended to wear your shoes or boots on a rotation to give them enough time to dry following wear and to avoid excessive wear where ever possible.
Explore the full Barker shoe care and accessories range online.