To care for your shoes in a good way doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Here we go through four simple steps that will extend the lifespan of your shoes considerably, and explain why they make a difference.
Don’t use the same pair for two consecutive days
This is in many ways the most important point on the list, yet it’s surprisingly few that follow it. The fact that we sweat a lot is a non-hidden fact. That our feet sweat extra much isn’t either. In fact, the feet are the part of the body with the most sweat glands per centimeter, over 500,000 sweat glands. Approximately two deciliters of moisture comes out of them every day, one deciliter per foot. It goes without saying that the shoes become damp after one day's use. So damp that they won't be able to dry up during one night, they are still a bit wet if you put them on the next morning. Then they are filled with additional sweat, and so on.
When the shoes are not given a chance to dry up properly, it becomes a problem, since damp material is significantly more sensitive for wear. That’s why it’s so important to let shoes rest for 24 hours after use. In other words, you should always have at least two pairs of shoes to rotate between. It will give the shoes a greatly increased lifespan, and mean a better environment for the feet (although it’s not like the shoes will collapse if they are used a few consecutive days every now and then, obviously).
Brush / dry the shoes after use
Make it a habit that when you come inside the front door, you either take out a shoe brush with horsehair (if it has been dry outside) or a damp washcloth (if it has been wet) and brush or wipe the shoes off quickly.
If you remove dirt on a daily basis, it doesn’t go into the leather or fabric and it is much more likely that the shoes will stay clean and fresh longer. After the shoes have been brushed/wiped, you can also easily rub back any shine on a leather shoe with a shining glove or nylon cloth (read pantyhose) before the next use.
Use shoe trees
Many are aware of the fact that shoe trees are good especially for leather shoes, but there is some confusion about why they are good. Ideally, a shoe tree should fill the shoe as much as possible without changing the shape, but its most important task is to straighten the sole. That's why it is best with shoe trees that spring horizontally and have a relatively flat bottom towards the toe, which our exclusive cedar wood shoe trees have. When the sole is straightened the creases of the shoe is stretched out, and the most important task of the shoe tree is precisely that, to ensure that the shoe retains its original shape.
However, shoe trees will not make the shoes dry better, even if they are made of wood, something that is often claimed. A shoe dries faster without shoe trees in them. What shoe trees does is to allow the shoes to dry in a good way while retaining the shape. The fact that the trees should be in wood is mainly so that it does not clog the pores of the leather on the inside, these can breathe and aerate.
The shoe trees should be inserted immediately after you take of your shoes, and then be in them until the shoes are dry, which is as stated above a day or so. Another reason not to use the shoes two days in a row.
Treat with shoe cream
Last but not least, when it comes to leather shoes, you need to make sure to care for the leather, which can also be done quite easily. For shoes in smooth leather, it is really just one single product that is necessary, and it’s the shoe cream (which is found in glass jars or tubes and is like mayonnaise in the consistency, easily confused with wax polish which is harder and found in tin cans and is more for shine and protection). Shoe cream nourishes and moisturizes the leather, if it has pigment it covers marks, and it also provides some protection and shine. We sell one of the world's most recognized brand of shoe care products, Saphir Medaille d’Or.
The shoes also don’t need to be polished especially often. Of course, it depends on how regularly they are used, but one or a couple of thin layers of shoe cream a month goes a long way and ensures that the leather gets the necessary care and protection, and the risk that it cracks or tears down decreases. Suede and fabric shoes you shall make sure to spray with a waterproofing spray from time to time so that it is protected, and if you need to improve on the color, we have a good spray for this as well.
In summary, basic shoe care doesn’t need to be more complicated than avoiding using them for several days in a row, brushing or wiping them after use, putting in shoe trees, and give them a layer of shoe cream from time to time. Small effort - great dividend.