HACKERS GUIDE TO SHOE CARE

Shoe Care Tips to Keep Your Footwear Looking (and Feeling) Like New

Believe it or not a recent consumer study showed that British men actually spend MORE money on their footwear than women do. The average retail price of a high quality leather shoe bought at the low-end of the market starts at around £100, moving to £300 at mid-range and up to £2000 for a bespoke pair of made to order shoes.

Wherever you sit in the shoe-buying spectrum the fact is that the purchase of a good quality pair of shoes is an investment and as any savvy investor knows, is something that needs to be nurtured in order to maintain its value. But I won't preach to the choir, the fact that you're a visitor of this site shows you already know to treat your footwear with tender-loving care so let us give you the 101 on keeping shoes in pristine condition so that at the end of your shoes lifespan (which is around 5 years) your trusty companions look as fresh as the day you took them out of the box.

 

SHOE CARE HACK 101

WATERPROOF BEFORE YOU WEAR
Before you wear any new shoes or boots, whether it be leather, suede, nubuck or fabric spray with a waterproof protector. Below lists the best protectors by material. Apply the day you buy and then after reapplying every 6 weeks. Compare your shoes to others in your wardrobe that haven't received the same treatment and you'll notice a huge difference.

Fine Leathers - Collonil Waterstop High Grade Waterproof Protection
Collonil WaterStop High Grade Waterproof Protection repels water and prevents dirt penetration on all your leather boots, shoes and accessories
£8.25 - £12.49

Nubuck & Velour - Collonil Nubuk + Velours Waterproofing Spray
This protector contains UV filters that prevent colour-fade and maintains condition.
Available in black, mid-brown, blue and dark brown
£7.95

Waxy - Collonil Rustical Waterproofing Spray
This waterproof spray nourishes, re-waxes and colour revives oily, waxed grease leathers as well as Gore-Tex
£8.95

Metallic and Synthetics - Collonil Vario Spray
Collonil Vario Spray Waterproofs, Protects and Revives the brilliance of colours and can be Used on Fur, Felt, Metallic Synthetics, Silk and Satin.
£8.95

High-Tex Material - Collonil Carbon Pro High Tech Waterproofing Spray
The innovative Collonil Carbon Pro Tech Waterproof Spray gives long-lasting protection against dirt and moisture.
£13.95

 

SHOE-HORN IT IN
Shoehorns aren't just for squeezing feet into tight-fitting shoes, they're an essential tool for any self-respecting shoe owner. We're all guilty of hurriedly yanking shoes on and off but this crushes the leather, causes shoes to lose shape, damages fit and eventually leaves the shoe in a irreparable state. Leave your shoehorns by the door or in your bag so you can ease your shoes on wherever you are.

54cm Beechwood Shoe Horn by Hennesy
£11.95

Selvyt 19cm Beechwood Shoe Horn
£9.95

 

STRETCH IT OUT

There's no need to put yourself through the discomfort of squeezing your feet into tight shoes if you own a shoe-tree. Don't be put off by the name, these are unobtrusive and incredibly handy items and you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. Shoe trees are made from Beechwood or cedar wood which absorb moisture and odour, and come in different forms depending on your need; go for the more traditional shoe tree to keep your shoes in their original form, like our very own shoe tree

If you need a little more all-round stretch go for the Selvyt shoe tree which give a two way stretch length and width ways.

Once you've selected the shoetree best for you, spray the inside of the shoes with Collonil Stretch before putting it inside. Leave to absorb overnight and your shoes should feel a whole lot better the next morning.

 

PICK THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR THE JOB

Leather comes in various types and finishes. Use a formula made for something other than your leather type and your shoes could be ruined forever.

Below we've hand picked a few of our most popular items that best care for your chosen leather type.


Fine Leather - T.L.C.

Cleaning brush - Leather shoes should be brushed off after wearing. When it is time to polish the shoes, the laces should be removed, and then the shoes should be brushed off to remove any dust.

Shoetree - After they have been brushed, shoes should be cleaned, left to dry on a shoetree.

Wax or Cream Polish - Polish with either a neutral polish or a colour polish relevant to the colour of the footwear to inject the deep finish to your shoe.

Applicator brush - Apply the wax or cream polish with an applicator brush or cloth for good overall coverage.

Cloth or buffing brush - Leave to dry and then either polish with a cloth or buffing brush.

Conditioner - Use this conditioner to maintain the beauty and finish of your leather. Be sure to follow the instructions for use on the selected shoe polish to avoid any residue being left behind


Suede and Nubuck - Keep is dry

Waterproof spray - As soon as suede shoes have been brought home, they should be sprayed with a waterproofing spray such as Collonil Nubuk & Velours that is designed for suede shoes.

Suede brush - Make sure you have a suede brush and routinely brush the dust and debris from shoes. Form a good habit and brush down suede shoes immediately after they have been worn.

Towel - When suede becomes damp, draw out the excess moisture with a towel and allow to air dry at room temperature. Setting them in the sun or drying them with heat may cause discolouration.

Stain Remover - Collonil Clean & Care is a great stain remover. Spray, leave to dry then use suede brush and repeat as needed. Serious stains may need to be taken to a professional to reduce the risk of stain removal damaging the shoes.

 

Patent - Let it Shine

Lack polish - Patent Leather has an impermeable surface, so you don't have to use a protector spray. Collonil Lack Polish works great on scuffs or and is easily applied with that its attached sponge.

 

Shoe Accessories

Protection Sprays - Unless you live in the desert, it is likely that our shoes will come into contact with water at some point. A protector spray will provide a breathable layer of protection against rain, snow, dirt and stains shoes to keep them from becoming waterlogged.

Within our range we have several great protector sprays Collonil in particular has an exstensive collection from Waterstop, Nanopro and Carbon Pro to its Organic Protect & Care. Look to Red Wing and Loake for specialist suedes and leathers protectors.

Leather Soles - Thanks to the soggy weather of the UK the soles of our shoes are in constant contact with water. Use a good water repellent regularly such as the Collonil Sole Guard to extend the life of your leather soles.

Heel grips and gels - We all own a pair of shoes that look great but causes us even greater pain when we wear them. If your shoes are slightly too big and slip off your heel causing painful rubbing, take a look at the Pedag range, there are a variety of grips made with soft, flexible material that will ensure your shoes remain comfortably in place.

Pedag's range of gels work similarly by forming a mould at the base of the heel cushioning the back part of your foot softening the impact of walking or standing in usually uncomfortable shoes for hours.

Shoe bags - Don't underestimate the importance of storing your shoes correctly. An uncluttered wardrobe that's cool and dry is of course fine but if you regularly travel with your shoes the way they are stored can significantly increase the life span. Don't store shoes in newspaper or plastic bags. The print could bleed onto the leather (great if you want to keep up with the daily news but generally not a good look) and storing leather in plastic bags can lead to mould. The best option is to use a cloth bag, preferably lint, in a cool place. We're working on a Supreme lint bag, so watch this space but in the meantime if you make any new purchases from know shoe brands or designer keep the shoe bag they came in.

Got any questions or comments about this guide? Get in touch