Shoes can be made of natural leather, synthetic leather, fabric, rubber or foam. Each will find its followers, but invariably the most popular are leather shoes. How to keep them in great condition?
Benefits of leather shoes
Leather shoes are appreciated all over the world, even by the most demanding users. They look great for a long time and age much better than others. They are also soft and very easy to adapt to the shape of the foot, which makes them comfortable to walk in. They are also less likely to cause painful abrasions.
In addition, leather shoes provide air circulation, so feet can breathe and do not sweat as in shoes made of artificial materials. It is also worth mentioning that natural leather is safe, anti-allergic and free of toxic chemicals.
Types of leather used for footwear production
There are four basic types of leather from which our shoes are made:
- grain: most often cowhide or calfskin, it is smooth and covered with many layers of wax, it can be both matt and glossy, it is distinguished by high resistance to dirt and moisture;
- lacquered: glossy, finished with a special varnish, resistant to changing weather conditions, but you must be careful not to scratch it;
- suede: soft and absorbent, with a fleece-like texture, more resistant to damage than nubuck, does not withstand moisture and requires brushing;
- nubuck: sanded and polished, with a velvety texture, delicate and sensitive to moisture and dirt.
Leather shoes care – how to take care of them
The material and its properties and characteristics determine not only the appearance of the shoe itself, but also its care. The care must be careful and properly adjusted. Only then we will be able to enjoy leather shoes for many years.
Just as we take care of our body and face skin, we must also take care of the leather from which the shoes are made. The most important step to be taken first, is to protect them right after purchase, even before the first outing. This is done with a special impregnator (adapted to the type of leather), which will provide protection against moisture and dirt, and make the shoes withstand difficult weather conditions.
There are spray or wax impregnates available on the market, colorless or in color (you have to be careful, for example, not to treat light-colored shoes with black impregnate). They should be applied in the manner specified by the manufacturer and always left to dry completely. Impregnation is crucial especially before the winter season.
When you already wear your chosen pair, it is worth giving it a “rest” every few days, to air it out. Moreover, any stains should be removed immediately, as it is much more difficult to get rid of a dried stain. A damp cloth or a soft brush and a special remover will come in handy.
Only after cleaning you can proceed to polishing or waxing. An absolute minimum in case of leather shoes is the use of polish. It protects against cracking, helps to cover possible scratches or other damages and nourishes leather. However, the shine may be achieved by waxing.
Do you clean suede in the same way? Not exactly, because shoes made of this material are more difficult to maintain. Due to their structure, suede or nubuck do not require polishing, but rather the preservation of the bristles. It is also better to choose colorless preparations, in order to avoid possible stains, spots or discolorations. First of all, you will need a special brush and remover to take care of your suede shoes. Brushing not only arranges the bristle, but first of all removes dust and dirt from it.
Storage of leather shoes
In caring for leather shoes, it is important not only to impregnate them, use and clean them properly, but also to store them. It is best to keep them away from heat sources or damp places, and pairs that are not worn during the season should be stored in dust bags or boxes. To maintain the shape, you can also use rulers or a cheaper option, namely newspapers. Just stuff the shoes with them to protect the footwear from deformation (similarly, good results will be given by using a spoon when putting them on, then there will also be no unsightly creases at the back of the shoe).
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