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July 18, 2011

Proper Shoe Care

by thenattyurbanite

There is a science surrounding the wearing and treatment of shoes. Case in point you should never wear a pair of dress shoes two days in a row or more than three times in a week, in order to protect the integrity of the leather and longevity of the shoe. The shoe formula stipulates that each man should have a minimum of three pairs of shoes in his wardrobe (comprising two of your favourite colour – black or brown, and one of the other). Below is a comprehensive guide to the caring of a good pair of shoes.

  • Polish & Conditioning – The cardinal rule is to treat your shoes as you would your own skin (but then again there are guys who don’t even moisturize). With a soft cloth place a dime-sized amount of conditioner and work into the leather, this cleans and restores the natural suppleness. Follow by dressing the heel (solely for leather soles), which alleviates the distressed look in the sole. Follow by applying polish and buff with a horsehair brush or soft cloth to restore the shoes’ lustre.
  • Shoe Trees – Don’t scoff at these cedar inserts, as they are useful in releasing the moisture (perspiration) within the leather, assist in eliminating deep creasing, maintain the shape of the shoe, promote an even wear on the sole and prevent the toe from curling (after all you’re not Aladdin).
  • Specialty Shoes – Suede, nubuck & patent leather create a style territory from which many men refrain. Truth is, shoes from these materials are not more difficult to care for. The difference between suede and nubuck is the finish (suede has visible hairs and nubuck is coarse). To clean suede take a wire brush and go against the grain to expel dust and dirt, then along the grain to restore. Nubuck is simpler, get a rubber-bristle brush and brush back and forth. For patent leather you may go with a specialised cleaner or simply use a soft cloth to remove smudges.

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