Helpful tips

How to Care for Shoes. Duty or ritual?

Unpleasant duty or weekly celebrated ritual - shoe shining must be! It prolongs the life of your shoes and keeps the leather supple, the shoe remains comfortable and pleasant to wear. In addition, well-groomed shoes are the icing on the cake in terms of appearance. What not everyone knows is that shoes should never be worn two days in a row, but should be aired out for a day or two to allow moisture to dry completely - this is also a highly effective life-extending measure for your shoe, and of course the use of shoe trees. But make sure that the tensioners are made of wood and they do not overstretch the shoes or deform the heel.

1. care suitable for material

Smooth leather
Smooth leather shoes have, depending on the origin, a slightly to strongly shiny surface, which is often already treated by the manufacturer with a special sealant to make it more resistant to environmental influences. Nevertheless, wearing them, especially in wet weather, leads to drying of the material over time. The leather loses its fats and thus its suppleness and shine. This is where leather greases, shoe creams or waxes help, which must be worked in and then polished up.

All types of suede, with their more or less velvety appearance, have a buffed surface which generally makes them more sensitive than smooth leather. Suede shoes should therefore only be worn in dry weather. Regular brushing removes dust and light soiling, and impregnation provides additional protection. Stains should only be treated with a mild soap, hair shampoo or a special care foam.

Textile surfaces
Shoes made of textiles are light and very comfortable, but they have the disadvantage that dirt particles - especially when moisture comes into play - can easily penetrate the fabric and become trapped. Again, first try to remove the dirt with the help of a brush. A wet cloth or washing it out with a mild detergent can also help. And as with suede types, impregnation also helps to protect the shoe from new dirt.

2. our product suggestions for shoe care

3. shoe care step by step

Thorough pre-cleaning Before you reach for the shoe polish, the shoes should be cleaned of coarse dirt with a brush. A rag helps to remove mud residues and damp soil, in the case of dried residues, the brush handle or a dull knife can be used. Also proven - for leathers that can tolerate it - leather soap. For shoes made of suede, suede or nubuck leather is best to take a special rough leather brush, as they should not be treated with cream or paste.

Cream or wax Not every care product is suitable for every shoe: fine women's shoes like cream, firmer and most men's shoes tolerate both: hard wax paste or cream. Square shoe polish cloths or special brushes are suitable for applying shoe polish. Shoe polish is applied thinly and evenly in the appropriate color with a rag. Once both shoes have been creamed, start polishing immediately, because dried-on cream is very difficult to polish out again.

When polishing with the brush, the polish is driven into the leather pores and excess wax is removed at the same time. Under no circumstances should strong pressure be used in this process. Rather, it is important to brush gently yet quickly so that the fine layer of color on the shoe regains its original, deep-gloss finish. After polishing, polish residues are removed with a soft cloth and the shoes are brought to the very highest gloss.

Sole care and impregnation
From time to time you should treat your shoes to care for the entire sole, so that it does not dry out and become brittle. This is because untreated leather soles are sensitive after a misstep into the wet and are at the mercy of every little stone without protection. Impregnating the sole with care oil prevents this. You should impregnate your shoes not only before wearing them for the first time, but also after every cleaning. The impregnating agent forms a protective layer on the leather, making it less sensitive to moisture and wetness.

The right shoe polish. Can or tube?

There are two basic types of shoe polish: hard wax paste (from a can) and emulsion cream (from a tube). The latter contains more water as a solvent and a lower wax content; it has a more liquid consistency and is therefore easier and faster to apply. In addition, it does not need to be polished as vigorously as hard wax paste. In turn, it should always be applied sparingly, and the leather should be intensively polished afterwards. This keeps it soft and breathable. Hard wax paste also leaves a shiny wax film that reliably protects the shoe against moisture, dirt and abrasion.

4. additional tips

What shoe trees do.
Shoes belong on shoe trees or shoe lasts after wearing. These not only keep the shoes in shape, but also absorb the moisture that has formed inside the shoe during wear. You can only do the latter if they are made of unvarnished wood. While it is indisputable that shoe trees or shoe lasts belong in every pair of shoes, there are two opinions about when to use them: While some say that you should put the shoe tree or last into the shoe while it's still warm, others advise letting it air out first.

The shoe repair.
Good shoes are also characterized by the fact that they are repairable, because even the best shoe must eventually be resoled or repaired in one place or another. However, you should only leave the repair or resole of your welted or through-stitched ones to a professional, i.e. a good cobbler who still understands his trade and whose repair will raise the value of a shoe instead of lowering it.