Care for footwear

By caring for your shoes you extend their lifetime

A lot has changed in the method of footwear selection.

But the following rule remains unchanged: “for your footwear to serve you longer, it needs to be taken care of". How? First of all, let’s find out about the shoes care products and about the devices designed to make this process more professional, pleasant, and easy. So what do we need?

Shoes care products

Shoe creams of various colours (matching the shoes). It is possible to use a colourless one. But creams that contain coloured pigment allow you to effectively take care of scratches, abrasions and other mechanical damage on the surface of the shoe.

• Brushes and soft cloth to polish leather shoes.

• Special brushes and rubbers to handle the suede shoes.

Creams for footwear

For handling the leather footwear there are the following two types of creams:

• organic solvent based,

• emulsion based, where some of the organic solvents are replaced by water.

Emulsion creams are cleaning the upper parts of the shoe better, and more delicate with the upper parts of the shoe, because they contain fewer organic solvents. They cover the surface of the shoe with a porous film that does not prevent sweat and moisture evaporation. Therefore creams of this type are preferred for shoes handling during the warm and hot time of the year.

Organic solvents based creams are better for protecting the shoes from bad weather. Their shiny ingredients composition that does not require polishing forms a glossy film on the surface of the shoe immediately after drying.

Thin layer of cream is applied on the shoe using a cotton pad. It is allowed to dry and then gets polished. This procedure is recommended to be conducted at least once a week. And not before you leave your house, but "with feeling, wit, and punctuation", right after your return back. Apply cream for the night, and polish your shoes in the morning. Such shoes handling schedule will help to protect the leather from cracking.

New shoes

• It is recommended that before you go out in the new shoes, try walking at home, get used to them, check whether the inside area of heel is grazing your foot or not, or is it pinches your foot. (We do not have such opportunity in the shop).

• To make the heel area of new shoes less grazing, you can lubricate it with a wet soap, wax with a candle or rub surfaces with alcohol.

• Before the first walk in new shoes, it is advised to treat them with a water repellent cream.

• Sometimes leather shoes fade from the inside and stain stockings. Talcum powder well rubbed into the leather should help you to stop this "outrage".

• To eliminate (and even better - to prevent) the unpleasant smell from the inner surface of the shoes, and to prevent the fungal diseases, first of all you need to properly care for your feet. But if the bad smell is still there, it can be removed by rubbing the hydrogen peroxide inside the shoes with a dry brush. You can moisten the inner surface of the shoes with odour removing products.

• Today we can buy the special products for tight shoes stretching. But you can use an old method: moisten the inside of the shoe with cologne water, immediately wear them with the thick stockings, and then slightly moisten them from the upside.

Ambulance for the shoes

Usually we remember to take care of our footwear when we come back home with dripping wet feet. In this case urgent actions are needed to save the shoes.

• Stuff the shoes (boots) with a newsprint paper and leave to dry at room temperature, for paper to absorb the extra moisture. If shoes are badly wet, you can replace the newspaper with a new one several times. It is not recommended to place the shoes near hot ovens, radiators, or other heat sources. In these cases the leather dries out too fast, and it shrivels and cracks.

• If you need to dry boots urgently, you can use a vacuum cleaner. Air from it is sufficiently warm to dry shoes, after the procedure with newspaper. But that's an emergency method.

• After drying, the shoes should be thoroughly lubricated with good shoe cream or vaseline, castor or vegetable oil, or glycerine.

It is helpful to have more than one pair of shoes for the season. This gives an opportunity for each pair to "rest" and ventilate. And you’ll be wearing those shoes for much longer time.

Regular care for the footwear

After rescue operations are done, let’s move on to the regular care for your shoes.

• Dust and dirt are degreasing leather, making it susceptible to moisture, stiff and uncomfortable for wearing. So at least once a week it is recommended to clean the shoes with a good cream of suitable colour.

• To maintain its shape, the shoes can be kept on special shoetrees. But they successfully can be replaces with the limped newspaper that completely fills the entire inner boot volume. Bootlegs can be fastened with a usual clothespin, and then they will not fall.

• Shoes must be put on using a shoe horn (or at least a tablespoon).

• When taking off your boots, do not press the heel with another foot. Firstly, you could damage and tear off the heel. And secondly, the marks of such actions will surely remain on the leather.

• You can take out the stains on shoes, if you rub a spot with a split onion or with a wad moistened with gasoline. Caution: you should check whether the onion or gasoline leave traces.

• If you wear off your favourite shoes and they began to fall down, they can be saved. Just glue the strip of polyurethane foam with thickness of 5-6 mm to the inner surface of the heel area.

Patent shoes

Special rules for patent shoes care.

• You should not clean the patent shoes with a brush.

• Patent shoes are not recommended for daily wear, especially in wet weather. From moisture and dirt gloss surface will gradually be darkened and covered with small cracks.

• You don't have to clean the newly bought patent shoes, wiping them with a soft cloth is sufficient.

• You can wipe the shoes with a wad moistened with milk, and when they dry a little, wipe with a split onion or a dry soft cloth.

• You can wipe the shoes with a slightly wet cloth. And when they dry a little, lubricate them with thin layer of vegetable oil and polish them with soft cloth.

Suede, nubuck and velour shoes care

Suede, nubuck and velour types sharing one common definition – buffed leather.

Velour - leather, buffed from the underside (made from cattle hides).

Nubuck - leather, buffed from the front side (made from cattle hides).

Suede - leather, made by oil tanning from the young deer hides.

Buffed leather footwear is very demanding thing. So such beauty should be treated extra carefully.

Suede leather

Suede shoes are made from high quality deer or sheep hides. Suede leather is well water-penetrable, but when swelling it becomes virtually waterproof. Thanks to its stretching and porosity properties suede is air-penetrable as well.

It is not recommended to wear suede shoes in rainy weather or when the temperature is below -30°C.

The following tips for suede shoes caring will help you maintain their attractive appearance for as long as possible:

- A new suede shoes should be treated with the moisture and dirt prevention products. This treatment will slow down staining and make it easier to remove dirty stains from suede leather.

- Before you begin treatment of suede shoes, they need to be dried out. Then brush the dust and small stains and wipe shiny spots with the special rubber.

- If your suede shoes are very dirty they should be brushed with warm soapy water, and you can add the liquid ammonia p.r. 1: 5. After that suede must be rinsed with cold water. Then suede shoes should be polished with a soft cloth and held above steam source.

- Oily stains on suede leather can be removed with gasoline, or they can be powdered with talcum powder and left for a few hours. Gently remove the talcum powder with a brush afterwards.

- For daily care and colour refreshment you’ll need to use a suede leather paint spray. It helps to repel dirt and prevent the formation of salt stains.

- It is not recommended to use an ordinary footwear cream for suede leather care.

- Suede footwear should be cleaned with the rubber brushes. If you hold the suede above steam source, the nap will expand much better.

- After cleaning you must leave suede footwear to dry, and then you can raise the fibers of the leather using a crepe brush.

- Products that protect the suede shoes from water, snow and salt should be applied during the active precipitation period.

- Moisture usually evaporates from footwear after 20 hours. You should ventilate your shoes periodically for suede leather to fully dry.

- Do not store suede shoes in plastic bags.

- In order to refresh the shiny spots on suede shoes they should be cleaned from dust and dirt with a brush, and then rubbed with a dry refined salt.

Nubuck shoes care

Nubuck is an original leather of aniline pattern, which outer layer is not corrected. This leather passes only the sand buffing. Effect of light fluffiness appears thanks to it.

Nubuck is pretty demanding material, so you should know that nubuck shoes need treatment in the morning and in the evening. Without good care nubuck shoes soon will lose their attractive appearance.

The following tips will help you to avoid the early "ageing" of your nubuck shoes.

- When buying nubuck shoes you’ll also need to buy the nubuck paint-spray with waterproof effect. It will maintain the original colour of your shoes and conceal attritions.

- White stains on the nubuck shoes can be eliminated with moistened sponge.

- It is advised to treat the nubuck shoes with water repellent treatment right after the application of paint-spray. It will protect footwear from moisture, dirt, stains and dust.

- Nubuck shoes can be cleaned only when dry. To remove dust and dirt use the special brushes. Dirty spots on the heel and sole can be easily removed using a moist flannel cloth.

Also keep in mind that:

- An ordinary footwear cream is not suitable for nubuck shoes.

- Shoes from nubuck cannot be stored in plastic bags.

Care for footwear with artificial leather outer layer

Cold-proof artificial leather shoes are worn in cold weather. At a temperature of -10°C it is recommended to wear woolen socks.

While wearing these shoes you should avoid contact with organic solvents and mineral oils. Dust and dirt are removed with warm water or soap solution, and then shoes are allowed to dry at room temperature. Do not apply the shoe cream.

Rubber footwear care

Rubber shoes need to be cleaned from dirt on a daily basis. It is better to wash off dirt with cold or slightly warm water, using a soft cloth and lightly pressing – lacquer film needs to be protected from abrasion. You can wipe it with glycerine or refined vegetable oil. Just don't overdo it. A few drops of glycerine are sufficient to clean the rubber footwear.

The inner surface of the shoes should be cleaned with brush. Shoes worn on top of other footwear are recommended to clean with a soft brush from the inside or wipe with the slightly wet and drained soft cloth.

Textile footwear care

Dust and dirt is removed from the textile shoes with the bristle brush. The outer layer of white textile shoes is refreshed with a special paste or stone, a refined chalk solution or tooth powder. The outer layer of colour shoes is cleaned with the special chalks of appropriate colour. Oil stains are cleaned with purified gasoline.

When buying footwear, acquire all possible information about this product from the seller: type of material, purpose of these shoes, and how to care for them.

If you wish to use the additional removable insoles in shoes, then it is recommended to buy shoes of a slightly larger size