How To Protect & Maintain The Look & Feel Of Men's Leather Shoes Faded and dull shoes are definitely the last thing you want to see when you open your 'shoe-drobe' in the morning. Or during evenings, for that matter, when your social calendar is bursting with activities and you simply can't find that one perfect pair of leather shoes to complement the rest of your outfit. In this guide, we'll be covering all the essentials you need to know to keep your leather shoes looking fresh and ready to take on the world.
What Can Good Storage Solve?
For one thing, leather fades much faster than other shoe materials, more so when exposed to direct sunlight. You can certainly don them outdoors, because then you'll be moving between places and thus will sooner or later meet the shade. Just avoid placing your shoes in a spot where you know sunlight will linger for hours. The more frequently you do this – often without even being aware that you are – your shoes can dry and crack in all the wrong places. Opt for mildly humid dark spaces, like cabinets and cupboards crafted exclusively for shoes. They will also need to have some sort of ventilation to prevent mildew formation on the exterior of your footwear.
Diversify Your Selections
This is a straightforward idea, one that has a firm basis in fact. You need to let your shoes 'breathe' after each day's use. This means you will have to don a different pair of leather shoes for the following day, and keep your style statement diverse. Good thing there are plenty of amazing leather shoes for men to choose from, eh? On a scientific note, leather has a tendency to absorb moisture from your feet. This is why letting them 'sit on the sidelines' for a day after use is a step in the right direction. By letting your shoes dry up during their well-deserved break, you ensure longevity and much lesser wear-n-tear over time.
You Wear The Socks, Not Your Shoes
Some of you won't believe that shoes have a tendency to smell worse if you accidentally or intentionally leave your used socks bundled up inside them. While this may seem convenient to some men, the bad odour that accumulates as a result of this decision will only make you not want to wear that shoe. Additionally, you might just leave the shoes, with or without the socks still in them, and choose another pair for a special occasion. This means more time for your previously worn shoes to smell worse, and the pungent smell in turn seeps into the leather. Over the course of a few weeks or months, this will leave your leather shoes looking and feeling ten times their age. Nobody wants that, do they?
Be it polishes, waxes, or horns to help you slip into your favourite pair of leather shoes, tools for shoes have been of great use to footwear owners over the decades. Allow us to draw your attention to the almost-magical powers of the 'Shoe Tree'. You simply slip this beauty into your leather shoes – one for each – and leave them in your shoe-drobe. The very design of a shoe tree is intended to reduce creases on the main shoe body. It thus helps maintain the original shape of your leather shoes, even after repeated use on your part. Shoe trees are also 'maestros' when it comes to promoting ventilation in your leather shoes. This means reduced soaking up of excess odours and moisture. Talk about a face-lift!
With regular cleaning, conditioning, and polishing, you can protect the look and feel of your leather shoes, and maintain their original firmness and appeal. Authentic leather is a gift, and comes bearing numerous benefits. Taking care of your footwear will improve their lifespan, and add to your desire (hopefully) to pursue 'slow fashion'. This is where the real sustainability magic comes in, and it will definitely help not just the Earth but your 'style expression' as well.