From November to February and for some until later in the year, your shoes can have a hard time. The moisture, the rain, the snow, the salt thrown over the snow – all these things can cause damage to your shoes.
However, there are things you can do to protect your shoes and to make sure that they keep their strength, shape and style and that you will be able to rely on them even during the harshest urban weather.
This is why we have put together a list of 6 things you can do to make sure your shoes will be in their best shape at the end of the snowy season.
Here they are:
1. Shine your shoes! Before placing your shoes on their shelf, make sure you properly shine and clean them. Also, for leather and suede, you should always use a specialized spray that protects them from moisture.
For leather shoes, you can also use beeswax, but this is kind of an extreme option! Beeswax might even change the color of your shoes, so you must only apply it if nothing else works!
2. Wear galoshes! Modern galoshes are not a pair of shoes you put over your shoes anymore. They are thin, lightweight, comfortable overshoes. Overshoes are the perfect thing to add to your outfit if there is a mild amount of snow, rain or slush. Be advised that overshoes are not meant to be worn on long distances or in very harsh conditions. For those who need to walk around a lot in urban areas or for bad weather conditions, a pair of dress boots is what you should be looking for!
3. Use lemon to remove salt stains! Salt stains can be a pain, but there are ways in which you can remove them. Take a cloth and dip it into some water. After that, cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice in the cloth. After that, press down on the salt stains until you remove them. You will probably need to rinse the clothes several times and add more lemon as you go along. Once you have removed all the stains, take another cloth, that is dry this time, and press down the boot to dry out all the areas. If your stains are too strong and lemon won’t remove them, you can purchase special products for salt stains from a shoe repair store. Whatever you choose to do, always make sure you start out small to see how it works and then move along to the rest of the shoe.
As an alternative to lemon juice, you can also use vinegar to remove the stains from your shoes.
After you have removed all the stains from your shoes, let the boots dry and then polish them to make sure they are well protected and shined.
If you have any other type of stains, you can use a toothbrush to try to rub them off or use special leather soap, in case your shoes are really messy!
4. Use shoe trees. Shoe trees are very important when it comes to the maintenance of your shoes during the winter. They allow your shoes to contract and dry out in their initial shape. Our tip is to go for less decorated shoe trees, preferably for shoe trees with no decoration. The best shoe trees are unfinished cedar models that feature a split toe and a shaped heel: these models create the best fit between the shoe and tree. Moreover, note that you only need two shoe trees, as your shoes don’t need to stay in them longer than two hours after you removed your shoes from your feet, so basically you can rotate a couple of quality shoe trees. Once the shoes return to their original design, you can remove the trees; they don’t need to stay in the shoes the whole day.
5. Dry your shoes properly! If your shoes get as wet as they can get, fill them with newspaper and let them dry. Make sure that you don’t dry them near a heat source, as direct heat can dry the leather faster than it should. This can create cracks which can make your shoes unwearable. Before your shoes get completely dry, take the newspapers out and put shoe trees in them and let them dry to their natural shape.
6. Use a rubber for suede! If your suede shoes have dirt on them, let it first dry out and then use a suede eraser. Alternatively, you can use a pencil eraser, which you can find at any supermarket or book store. Regardless of the option you go for, make sure that you first try the eraser out on a small part of the shoes, to see how it works and whether it causes your shoes to lose their color.
There is one thing you can year-round to make sure that your shoes remain in shape and that the material is as protected as possible, and that is to use shoehorns. By using these, you won’t bend and stretch your shoes too much, and they will keep their strength and shape for a longer time.
Whichever type of shoes you like to wear, should it be boots, wingtips, brogues, etc., we strongly advise you to invest in a good pair of shoes. Cheap shoes might look good at first and the price might be attractive, but it’s all a false bargain. Most cheap shoes are made from rubber, glue or bad leather rejected by serious brands. In the long term, these shoes will go bad faster, they will smell and they will most likely not keep you warm.
This is why you should invest in a high-quality pair of shoes and make sure that you take good care of it. If you put some effort into investing in a good pair of shoes and do your best to maintain them, they will last longer than three consecutive bad pairs of shoes, they will feel comfortable even years after you bought them and by maintaining their style, and they will always be a wonderful fashion piece!
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. How do you protect your shoes from bad weather? Do you think overshoes can be a style statement? Share your thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!