Every man who cares about his image knows how important it is to regularly maintain leather shoes. However, polishing alone is not enough. It is worth checking how to take care of men's shoes.
Leather men's shoes are an all-time classic that will match any style – both traditional and modern. Leather shoes can be combined with formal or more casual outfits. However, regardless of fashion trends, appropriate care is essential to ensure that the shoes will serve us for many years.
What is leather impregnation and how does it work?
Although natural leather is a very durable material, after some time, it gets damaged and worn out. To preserve its durability for longer, it should be impregnated.
This will protect the material from dirt and humidity. It is enough to soak the surface of your shoes with a special substance that will properly protect the leather. We recommend doing it on freshly purchased shoes, before putting them on for the first time. The preparation should be adjusted to the type of leather the shoes are made of.
Before the treatment, it is worthwhile to try the product in a not very visible spot, to check how it reacts when it comes into contact with a given material. Impregnation should be applied until the product stops permeating the leather.
This will make shoes more resistant to weather conditions, especially water. It is recommended to impregnate the footwear before the beginning of the fall-winter season. In case the leather loses its resistance to humidity after some time, it should be impregnated again.
The preparation should be applied on clean and dry shoes – thanks to that it will be well absorbed into the skin and will be able to protect it properly. If the shoes are wet, they should be left in a dry place. Room temperature is optimal, because it helps with natural drying.
Do not put your shoes on a heater, because it can lead to cracking and hardening of the material. In order to achieve the best possible results, the impregnation process should not be performed on a day when the shoes were worn.
The skin must rest to be able to absorb the preparation better. It is not recommended to use agents that contain gasoline and turpentine to impregnate new shoes. These substances may negatively affect the color and quality of the leather.
How to clean men's leather shoes?
Every day, shoes are exposed to various types of dirt (dust, mud, sand), which settle not only on their surface but also under the sole. Sometimes contamination is not visible to the naked eye. Fortunately, it can be removed by using a shoe brush. However, do not clean your shoes under a stream of water, as this could permanently deform or destroy them.
Men's shoes made of grain leather, such as Marc Nolan models, are most easily cleaned with a damp cloth of chamois or cotton. These materials have a very delicate structure that prevents scratches on the leather surface.
In the case of suede shoes, cleaning looks slightly different. It should be done dry, using a special brush. It is also important to disinfect the interior of the shoes. For this purpose, it is worth using antibacterial aerosol preparations, which can be purchased in the pharmacy.
Cleaned leather should be properly protected. In this case, a shoe polish that greases, shines and prevents cracking and drying will work best. The product should be selected according to the color of the leather – this will mask scratches or damage.
There are also colorless polishes that can be applied to all colors of leather. The substance must be spread evenly, also on the tongue and heel. When the material sufficiently soaks up, the shoes should be polished. Ideally this should be done with a clean cotton cloth, rubbing the surface of the leather until it starts to shine.
Storing and using leather shoes
Impregnation, cleaning and polishing are not everything. Equally important, but often overlooked, is the proper storage and use of leather shoes. Although nowadays few people use wooden spoons, it is worth using them when taking off or putting on leather shoes.
It is not only a great convenience, but also an additional protection of shoe counters against damage. When it comes to storing unworn shoes (e.g. between seasons), the simplest solution is to stuff them with newspapers which will protect the shoes from deformation.
For this purpose, you can also use shoe trees that prevent deformation. This type of filling is adjustable, so it is easy to adjust it to the size of the shoe. Most of the shoe trees are made of cedar wood, which absorbs moisture and has an antibacterial function.