Wondering how to maintain your pair of shoes? Do not forget that a pair of shoes is made from a noble and natural material: leather! The latter aged and evolves with time, it patina while embellishing. However, it requires regular maintenance if you want to maximize its longevity. In the absence of a regular and adapted maintenance, your pair of shoes could wear prematurely and lose its superb.
In all stores in US or abroad, teams of passionate professionals will be happy, on request, to provide you with the best tips of “purists” to complete your shoe culture. However, if you wish to delegate the maintenance of your shoes, for lack of time to do it yourself.
RULE 1: THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOE TREES
It dries the leather by absorbing moisture from the shoe, minimizes unsightly wrinkles and retains the shape of the shoe by restoring the leather handled by a day of walking.
For it to be effective it must:
– Be in wood! Its primary function is to absorb moisture, so it cannot be plastic!
– Be used constantly as soon as you leave your shoes. Each pair must therefore be equipped with its shoe tree.
– Be adapted to the size of the shoe. A good shoe tree should not be offered in 41-42 but in 41 or 42.
– Be adapted to the shape of your shoe. The strength of the shoe tree could deform a shoe if it is not adapted.
RULE 2: ALTERNATION
This is not a care to bring but a focus for the longevity and good aging of your shoes: a pair should never be worn two days in a row!
Leather is a natural material that needs rest! Ideally it is recommended to use alternately 4 or 5 pairs of shoes which will allow you to wear each of them a maximum of 2 times per week. Thus, you will greatly improve your comfort and the longevity of your shoes. It also becomes very economical because you will reduce your shoe budget! (This will also give you pleasure by offering you a more beautiful variety of colours in your own collection of shoes)
Of course, when it is not worn, your pair of shoes must be kept on his shoe tree!
Contrary to what the legend says, it is imperative to put your shoe trees in your shoes as soon as you take off, (and not the next day) to absorb all the moisture in the shoe. It will only be necessary to remove your shoe trees only when you will get up a few days later…
RULE 3: THE VIRTUES OF REGULAR POLISHING
As leather is a living material, it is essential to hydrate it regularly to optimize its flexibility but also its permeability and longevity.
The good frequency is to polish your shoes every 4 to 5 ports. By respecting the rules of alternation (RULE 2) this is equivalent to wax your shoes 2 to 3 times a month on average or even weekly if you have only two or three pairs.
It is important to use a quality polish, based on beeswax, presented in a metal box. Any form of polish with applicator or sponge, or liquid products or spray are to be avoided! Never spray bomb proofers! These are exclusively reserved for velvet calf leather. Obviously, good quality cleaning products are rarely available in supermarkets.
Be careful not to wax your shoe too much. The amount of wax used in each polish should be small. A succession of too important waxing applications could generate white marks on your leather preventing the pores of the leather from breathing.
The best shoe polisher is applied with a soft cloth or with the polishing pads. Carefully apply the waxing in a circular motion, still not small amount, so that the wax penetrates to the leather fibber. Allow a minimum of 15 minutes to dry before polishing your shoes with a horsehair Finsbury brush (in practice, we recommend polishing them in the evening to polish them the next morning).
Also remember to cream your shoes every two weeks to feed the leather of the shoe.
RULE 4: THE MAINTENANCE OF SOLES
The sole of shoes is available in rubber or leather. In the latter case it is a real leather sole that deserves, as well as the stem (the top) of your shoe, regular maintenance and imperative. Without maintenance, a soleplate may have an unusually reduced life as sealing in case of heavy rain cannot be guaranteed.
At the risk of antagonizing purists, two solutions are available to you:
– The most traditional would like your soles to be greased with mink oil. Reserved exclusively for your soles (do not put any grease on the upper of your shoe) it will have the functions to optimize the tightness of the sole, while optimizing its longevity but also to strengthen the thread of the welt seam of the sole. It prevents these two elements from drying and crumbling prematurely in contact with the ground.
Lubrication is done in the evening with a soft, dry cloth. Apply a generous layer of grease to the area of the sole that is in contact with the ground (not necessary on the heel), taking care to penetrate it well. Then let your pair dry on the wafer for several days until the next port. Thus, the leather of the sole will have penetrated in depth and more or less dried allowing you to leave with your shoes on the feet (after this specific care, it is strongly recommended that you retreat on your landing so as not to damage your floors or carpets Of house). This will also have another very appreciable effect regarding the flexibility of your shoe in use.
– The other solution, more widespread, is to put a rubber pad (Topy) under your sole. Several advantages are put forward by the followers of this technique: flawless protection of the sole, maximum longevity of your soles by simplifying the maintenance, reducing the risk of slipping and more waterproof during the winter and rain periods.
However, some disadvantages remain unpleasant to purists: The rubber pad will tend to make your shoe less flexible to use, this will have the effect of increasing the phenomenon of creases tread your shoe. The sole does not “work” as it should, the creases are often more pronounced leading to aging sometimes premature and unsightly stem.
Finally, to put a skate must be respected a few prerequisites to avoid disappointment: Never put a skate on a new shoe! In any case, you should wear your shoes about ten days to soften them well and use at least the layer of finish varnish of the sole. Otherwise, require your shoemaker a little sanding before laying the pad which should be as thin as possible. Simultaneously with this operation, we strongly recommend the installation of a recessed iron on the front part of the shoe only. It will protect the tip of your shoe while avoiding the skate to peel off with use. Recessed, it will never make noise when walking.
RULE 5: HOW TO MAKE A SUBTLE ICING?
Frosting is the ultimate art of shoe polishing. Reserved for initiates, it will make you a true ambassador of masculine elegance.
“To polish your shoes is a compulsory act, to glaze them is a cultural act.”
It all starts with the preparation of your shoes with a good brush stroke so as to dust off the shoe. A clear cleansing milk is applied to clean the stem of impurities, the shoe must then be left to dry a few moments. Then start the waxing phase to be applied in a circular manner using a damp cloth (but not wet!) Stretched over your middle finger and index finger. Thanks to a blow of brush all the excess of waxing is eliminated. The frosting operation can then begin:
This technique consists of mixing wax and water successively in small amounts, it is estimated that the perfect mixture is around 80% / 20%. Your cloth is barely damp at the tips of your fingers.
The gesture is carried out by a more or less wide circular movement, the contact of three simultaneous elements: waxing / water / heat will crystallize the wax particles contained in your shoe polish.
Repeat your movements as many times as necessary. If your leather stays matte do not hesitate to add a little water.
In the end your shoe shines brightly on the tip and against strong. Your leather is protected and reveals a true depth of hue with a marbled effect. Of course the glaze fades as the shoe is worn. It is advisable to use a soft cloth at each use and to renew the frosting operation every 3 to 4 days of wearing the shoe.
Last expert advice, glazes on black shoes should be light, other shades of leather on it can be the subject of a frosting more pronounced in terms of mirror effect.