With the change in weather conditions fast approaching as we look forward to the Autumn / Winter months the need to look after your leather shoes is as important as ever. Unpredictable weather results in your mens leather shoes facing various elements including rain, sleet and snow therefore it’s not only your mood that changes. Due to the nature of handmade leather shoe factors such as temperature and humidity can have a significant impact on the lifespan of your shoes.
There are several ways to make your leather shoes last longer starting with how often you wear them, by rotating your leather shoes it allows each pair to fully dry out after wear and will in turn last longer. Where you keep your leather shoes also makes a difference as gravity, humidity and aridity can affect how long your leather shoes last, therefore is important to keep your shoes in a dry space to avoid dampness.
As you wear your leather shoes folds and creases will naturally form over time due to the movement of the foot. When not wearing the shoes it’s wise to use a pair of shoe trees to prevent misshaping. An investment that comes highly recommended by the Barker store teams, the Barker Aromatic Shoe Trees keeps the shape of the shoe to avoid such creasing but make sure your use the correct sized shoe trees as the incorrect size may also misshape the shoe. Furthermore, the Barker shoe trees are made of aromatic cedar wood as it absorbs moisture and naturally deodorises.
If your find yourself caught in a heavy downpour or torrential rain and your leather shoes get very wet it’s important to leave them to dry completely as the upper leather, sole and cork filling wear down excessively if they are used when damp. It is good practice to use a shoe horn when putting your leather shoes on to again protect the shape of the shoe and the leather, in particular the heels.
Regularly cleaning your leather shoes means that it’s never too big a task to complete and will help in prolonging the shoe life especially if they’re worn often. Leather shampoo or soap is advised to deep clean the shoe ensuring any old shoe cream and shoe polish is completed removed prior to treating your shoes again. It’s good practice to remove the shoelaces while cleaning unless its a standard daily routine. Always allow your leather shoes to dry out preferably with shoe trees inserted. When completely dry, polishing can begin.
Conditioning and moisturising the leather keeps the shoe in a good state and prepares them well for polishing. Prior to polishing ensure any excess dirt is removed using a fine horsehair brush. Wrap a cloth around two fingers and apply the polish evenly over the shoe (working from heel to toe) ensuring no areas are missed, you can even use a toothbrush to reach the difficult areas. Polishing in small circular motions helps to apply the polish well on the leather and tips on what to use to polish a shoe includes an old t-shirt or women’s tights as the texture helps get shoes to a high polish.