Owning a handmade pair of Goodyear welted shoes by an English shoemaker such as Barker shoes is a wise investment as men’s handmade shoes are well made using the finest materials and can be refurbished in the future because of the welted shoemaking process. Alongside investing hard-earned money in handmade shoes it’s advised to spend a considerable amount of time and effort caring for your shoes as this will make all the difference in the longevity of the shoes.
Caring for your shoes starts with how often you wear them? It is advised to wear your handmade shoes on a rotation to give them enough time to dry following wear and to avoid excessive wear where ever possible. Factors such as gravity, humidity and aridity can have a detrimental effect on your premium leather shoes. Storing your shoes in a dry space prevents any possibility of dampness and allows them to dry fully especially if they get very wet, this may take several days to ensure they are completely dry before wearing them next. Over time, wearing your leather shoes will result in folds and creases naturally appearing in the leather uppers and if not treated they may become permanent deformations.
A pair of well-made shoe trees will prevent the shoe from misshaping when being stored and aromatic cedar wood, in particular, helps absorb moisture while naturally deodorises your shoes when not being worn. When wearing your shoes it’s wise to invest in a shoe horn to use every time you’re putting the shoes on to protect the leather, in particular, the heels.
To clean your shoes it’s a good idea to invest in leather shampoo or soap to give a deep clean ensuring all old shoe cream and polish is removed before polishing your shoes. Cleaning your shoes should include removing the shoe laces fully unless its a standard everyday routine that is time-restricted. Once cleaned leave the shoes to dry completely with crinkled newspaper inserted inside the shoes to keep the shape of the shoe until shoe trees can be inserted.
Polishing, if completed regularly shouldn’t take up too much of your time and won’t be seen as a mundane task you come to dread. Prior to polishing your shoes ensure they aren’t wet, insert the shoe trees and remove the laces before giving them a thorough once over with a horse hair brush to remove any unwanted dirt they may have been missed. There must be no dirt or dust on the leather before applying any polishing products as it will affect the outcome.
Owning good quality aftercare is a must, leather is a natural product and will respond well to being well looked after. To start polishing your shoes take a cotton cloth (old t-shirts also work well) and use it to apply the polish over the entire 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.
Leave the polish to work anywhere between twenty minutes to overnight before buffing your shoes with a fine horse hair brush which removes any excess polish that the leather no longer needs while the friction from brushing causes heat which will bring out a shine.