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Today we are going to discuss a very important topic and that is Shoe repair and leather care. This is a topic that there clearly isn’t much information on at this moment and if you have only just started investing in high quality footwear, this is all vital information for you in order for you to get the best out of your purchase.
Now one of the most important rules of shoe repair is – Prevention is better than cure.
That’s right, it’s better to take preventative action that can prevent leather from being harmed by the elements because often it is much harder to fix the effects of elements like rain and dust on leather.
That being said the second rule of Shoe repair is – Less is More.
Now, those two rules do run contradictory to each other to a little extent but as you keep reading this article it will become clear to you what that means.
When we say less is more, we mean that Brushing your shoes, applying a Shoe conditioner or waterproof spray and using shoe trees is often all you need in order to preserve the life of your shoe. In fact, over doing it on shoe care will damage the shoe and the leather and make leather more difficult to care for.
This is important as it prevents damage to your shoe from rain and other elements and protects the leather on these shoes.
Over-conditioning is a problem for shoes, so in order to maximize the effect of conditioning our shoe, we will be conditioning our shoe every 2-5 months depending on the type of leather, yes most conditioners can protect leather for that long and as some conditioners can darken leather it is best to not condition shoes more frequently than the prescribed time period.
In order to condition the shoe, we have to clean it first, in order to clean the shoe, wipe it down with a damp rag, then using a brush take a finger full of conditioner and apply it to the shoe and brush the conditioner in for 5 minutes till its absorbed by the upper of the shoe.
Now in terms of what conditioner you should use, the type of leather plays a part, since most leathers are calf leather
In Terms of what Brush you should use, I would recommend a Horsehair brush. A decent Horsehair brush I can recommend is a basic Kiwi Horsehair brush that costs $6.49.
An alternative is to purchase the Allen Edmonds Horsehair Brush which is available for $ 10
When it comes to leather care, the shoe conditioner that you use plays an important part, but which conditioner should you buy is what we are going to explore now.
Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner – A solid, basic conditioner. Offers good penetration of the leather and a neutral shine. Cheap too as it is priced at around 10 $.
Venetian Shoe Cream – A popular conditioner that is considered to be one of the best on the market is Venetian Shoe Cream, It brings a natural shine to the shoe. Does Need to be conditioned a little more than usual as it’s not absorbed the best by leather. Reasonably Priced at 11.50 $. This is a highly recommended shoe conditioner, famous among shoe aficionados and leather manufacturers.
Saphir Renovateur – This is a higher end shoe conditioner, is absorbed slightly better than Venetian Shoe cream and leaves a shiny finish. A little more oily than Venetian Shoe conditioner. Another Highly Recommended Shoe Conditioner
Waterproofing is an important aspect of leather care, while most shoes will be fine if you just leave them to dry, water damage can occur and create spotty colour changes in the shoe, in order to prevent that, we are going to use a waterproofing agent.
We are not going to be using sprays and will use pastes instead as they tend to last longer and are more competent at protecting the shoe from water damage.
Just like shoe conditioner, the method of application is the same, you dab some on a cloth or on your fingers and rub it into the upper of the shoe.
Hubard’s Shoe Grease – This will keep your leather free of water damage, it is noted for its subtle pine like odor which is quite pleasant, great value at 12.49 $
In order to remove a scuff from your shoe, simply take some conditioner and apply to the scuffed area and let the conditioner be absorbed into the shoe, in most cases this will remove the majority of scuffs on your shoe, remember one thing though, the worse the leather quality the worse the scuff on the shoe, so always buy shoes and brands that are known for their leather quality