Maintaining Your Shoes

  • Leather – leather is made from the skin of various animals. The animals hide is tailored to form many different types of finishes.
  1. Vegetable dyed/tanned leather – This is the most popular type of finish for a shoe. It is tanned by using many different types of chemicals and colouring for a desired finish. The best type of cleaner is a cream cleaner which picks out dirt while restoring the oil natural sheen. Using foam cleaners or liquid cleaners will permanently stain the shoe.
  2. Single or multi gloss – The leather can be glossed once over or several times to give it more of a shinier stiffer feel. Best cleaner is to use a foam type cleaner and an instant gloss shine sponge. Refrain from using spray protectors on these types of shoes as they tend to dull the finish.
  3. Suede – This is the Outside of the hide. Best cleaner is a suede nubuck block, which works like an eraser. Use an all purpose protector or a suede spray to protect the finish from dirt and the elements.
  • Nubuck – This is a form of suede but more durable. It is inside of the hide, and has an oily texture and feel because of the hair proteins. The best cleaner is a suede nubuck block and mink oil to bring back the lustre. Don’t spray these shoes with a protector as it will cake on and dull the finish.
  • Synthetic – Or Faux leather. This type of shoe is composed of a plastic and or fabric material blend generally with a gloss finish. Even though the shoe seems simple enough to a quick wipe down, it is good to maintain these because the gloss can make the shoe crack across the toe area.  Use foam cleaner and over lay with a shine sponge.
  • Fabric – fabric shoes come in different variations, from a casual slip on to dress shoes. The best type of cleaner to use is a strictly fabric cleaner. General it’s a form of detergent or a clear liquid labelled ‘Fabric shoe cleaner’. You can spray these shoes with an all purpose protector to prevent dust particles and stains from settling in.

You can save a lot of money instead of buying a new shoe every time a pair falls apart on you by just investing that little extra into cleaners and protectors.  For those of you who may be more on a shoe string budget and rather not fork out that extra loot for the product you can try using normal household products to keep them looking good.  Petroleum jelly on leather can aid as not only an instant shine but as a basic waterproofing. Just simply rub on with a cloth or a used nylon to help buff out a shine.  If your sole ever comes apart you can use crazy glue or even supplement for any type of rubber compound epoxy rather than paying a shoe repair the extra dough for a little work.  These are all little tips and tricks that help you go a long way.