Shoes are the figurehead of every outfit, because not without reason it says: “Show me your shoes and I’ll tell you who you are!”. A well-groomed appearance therefore begins first with shoe care. This article is intended to help you understand how to take care of your shoes, what to look for in the different materials, and how to enjoy your shoes for a long time.
Shoe care short and sweet:
This must always be considered when shoe care:
- Impregnation: Basic impregnation before first wearing is indispensable for a long wearing time
- Brushes: Dirt and coarse dirt must be removed with a brush
- Creaming: Matching shoe polish or leather grease keeps the color fresh and the leather supple
- Polishing: The shoe care finish gives the shoe a new sheen
- Storage: Ventilate, protect from light and moisture and maintain the shape with shoe tensioners
Depending on the upper of the shoes, there are various means and procedures for shoe care. Because between Raulederarten and smooth leather types there are big differences, which must be considered. And textile or synthetic materials are in turn different in shoe care to handle.
The different types of leather
There are countless types of leather that vary greatly in their nature. For shoes, the most common upper materials are smooth leather and suede leather. Depending on whether the leather is sanded from the inside or outside, one speaks of suede (inside) or nubuck leather (outside).
Smooth leather – Small leather customer
Take a closer look at your shoes, will you notice something? – Exactly, somehow, one smooth leather feels different from the other, somehow the grain of the leather is different, one does not have any at all, while the other shows a clear skin pattern. This is mainly due to the different dyeing process of smooth leather.
Covered smooth leather:
On the leather, an additional layer of paint is applied, which closes the pores of the leather and is sealed with a kind of clearcoat. As a result, the smooth leather is much more robust against stains and water penetration. That is why it is particularly hard-wearing and, accordingly, the care effort is limited.
This is a dyed-through leather that works without any additional layer of paint, leaving the pores of the leather open. The natural pattern of the leather comes to the fore. Particular importance is attached to a perfect condition of the leather, resulting in a beautiful and harmonious look. Due to the open-pore structure of the leather, it is very breathable, but water is immediately absorbed by the leather, leaving water edges on the leather can be left behind. It is therefore all the more important to pay attention to intensive ground impregnation with this smooth leather, so that the natural leather is not affected.
Patent leather and fatty leather:
Patent leather is also part of the super-category of smooth leather. This is a leather that is covered with a layer of varnish, which makes the shoe shine. Patent leather can give business shoes a great look and is also associated with relatively little effort in shoe care. Another robust leather is the so-called fatty leather, this has water-repellent properties due to the high fat content and is therefore often used as a material for hiking boots.
Shoe care of smooth leather shoes
The most important utensils for shoe care of smooth leather shoes are shoe polish, crucible brush and polishing cloth. Shoe creams consist of nourishing substances that have a positive effect on leather. So you can increase the life of a shoe through regular use.
With the help of a crucible brush, apply a thin layer of shoe polish to the previously dirt-free shoe. It should be noted that the care product is distributed as evenly as possible and in all corners and edges of the shoe. After the shoe cream has been absorbed, excess remnants of the cream are removed with a horsehair brush. As a finish, you can apply a layer of wax with a polishing cloth, which again supports the water-repellent effect of the shoe. Finally, the shoe is polished with a brush.
Beware of patent leather! This leather should not be treated with normal shoe polish, because then the beautiful shine of the shoe is lost. There are special patent leather care products available from specialist retailers. Fatty leather is usually treated with a fatty shoe polish. In combination with a color corresponding to the wax, you can hide ugly scratches.
Take the time to care for your shoes and learn to appreciate your shoes. So you get in direct contact with what strain our shoes are so exposed when they carry us through everyday life.
Your shoes are not made of smooth leather, but suede? Then find out here how to best clean this type of leather.
Maintain synthetic shoes
Advantages and disadvantages of synthetic materials
Synthetic shoes can consist of very different synthetic materials. Most common are models made of imitation leather, which resemble genuine leather shoes in their appearance. Synthetic leather is made of a solid fabric, which is coated with a PU or PVC material.
Synthetic materials are relatively inexpensive to produce. Since the prices are very attractive for manufacturers and customers, they are now popular in shoe production today. In addition, they are very easy-care and also very robust. For example, the synthetic materials wear less while wearing than, for example, genuine leather. In addition, they are in most cases water repellent to a certain extent.
How synthetic shoes should be cared for
Unlike the different types of leather, there are no major differences in the care of synthetic shoes. As with other materials, it is always useful to impregnate the shoes before first wearing. This protects against dirt and moisture. Always use special synthetic impregnation sprays for impregnation. Take special care to spray the seams thoroughly, as these are the most water-permeable areas of the shoes.
To clean shoes made of synthetic materials, it is best to use a brush for coarse dirt. For the finer shoe care then a moistened care cloth should be used together with a synthetic cleaning foam. The cleaning foam not only simplifies the removal of dirt particles, but also prevents unsightly cracks in the material. To maintain the color intensity of your synthetic shoes special color creams can also be used.
Maintain textile shoes
If the summer lures with sun no one wants to wear heavy footwear, then the choice is more on airy sandals or mules. But especially textile shoes are in demand when temperatures rise. Then you do not have to do without sneakers, slippers or ballerinas. They are lightweight, adapt to the shape of the foot and provide a pleasant foot climate in the heat. However, if textile shoes come into contact with dirt, it will be ugly. Once a stain on the beloved textile shoes, you will not get him back so easily. How you care for your textile shoes and thus make them always presentable will be helped at this point with a few tips.
Often impregnate textile shoes
Before first wearing textile shoes must be impregnated. The shoe is processed in two or three passes with a corresponding impregnating spray. The impregnation not only keeps your feet dry, but also protects against coarse dirt. With a simple cleaning brush then the textile shoes can be freed of impurities. One should repeat the impregnation of the shoes at regular intervals, so that the other maintenance costs are limited.
However, if stubborn dirt just does not want to be removed, there is special cleaning foam for the care of textile shoes. For this purpose, the cleaning foam is incorporated into the shoe so that it can act. With the help of a cleaning brush, the spots are then worked out of the fibers in the second step.
Clean textile shoes in the washing machine
If your textile shoes are so polluted, the temptation is certainly great to simply clean them in the washing machine. This is a bad idea for some textile shoes, because in the washing machine the shoes get out of shape and the material is affected. Gentler is a hand wash for the shoes with a gentle detergent and a household sponge.
To have long enjoyment of his textile shoes you have to take care of them regularly. Keeping a few basic things in mind allows you to enjoy the fresh summer look of your shoes throughout the summer.
Maintaining soles – that’s the way it works
The care of upper material of shoes serves besides the optical aspects also strongly the longevity of your shoes. When it comes to the care of the shoe soles, the main thing is to give a well-groomed appearance. For example, in the office, when going out or generally on official occasions, dirty shoe soles are a no-go!
The shoe trend par excellence in recent years are white soles. These of course need special attention, because on the bright color, unfortunately, even so small dirt particles are immediately visible. So that you can present your shoes with white soles always well maintained, here are some tips and tricks on how to clean the soles best.
How to clean your soles
Since shoe soles can be made of a wide variety of materials and these react differently to the cleaning agents, you should always use only mild cleaning agents for cleaning. That’s why you should not use aggressive solvents, such as nail polish remover. Because you are not helped, if the soles are clean in the end, but broken. In addition, the aggressive solvents could also attack the sensitive upper materials.
The trick is to get rid of the soles of the shoes – especially white ones – regularly. This keeps the color better. For the removal of coarse dirt, use a medium-hard shoe brush. The fine care complete with a moistened cleaning cloth. More stubborn dirt you can still fight with normal detergent. Applied every two weeks, your shoe soles radiate for a long time in their original color.