If you fancy your boots and want to keep them in good condition, you need to make sure that they don’t crinkle and bend. This is because the material at those bends will wear down faster, and that will be the place they start to crack. It’s especially true for leather boots.
One way that I like to preserve my two beauties, is by rolling up a couple pieces of paper from the newspaper and putting them down the long part of the boot. You can also put some crinkled up paper into the toe if you’d like.
Another trick is to cut up a floater noodle and put it down the tall part of the boot. However, I enjoy swimming with those too much to recycle them just yet.
Shoe Shine Tips!
Don’t use Mink Oil on dressy leather shoes. Although it helps to keep salt stains and water from penetrating the leather, it also keeps shoe polish from sinking in. It’s more intended for work boots.
“Cream or Paste polish moisturizes fine leather and keeps it flexible. It soaks into the leather and allows leather to breathe. Most cream or paste polishes contain mineral oil. They can help restore shoe color, but are not as good as wax polishes for covering scuffs.
Wax polish shines leather better than cream, but it seals the leather and can cause it to dry out over time. Most wax polishes contain Stoddar Solvent (Naphtha) or turpentine plus Carnauba and/or Beeswax. Wax is the most effective for covering scuffs!
Avoid liquid polish, although it puts a fast shine on your shoes it can dry out and crack the leather.
A water and stain protective spray for leather, provides water protection, and doesn’t alter the color. It’s not a substitute for polish, but is a good companion to shoe care when you need the water protection. Mink oil will water poof and preserve leather, but it can darken lighter shades of leathers. There is some controversy about silicone or any petroleum-based product causing damage to shoe leather.
Clean your shoes periodically with leather cleaner. Then put in cedar shoetrees and let the shoes air dry. (Shoes should never be put close to heat sources, which can dry out the leather.) When shoes are dry, you can apply conditioner if needed and polish.
Shoe Cleaner is good for removing dirt, stains and the old built up polish from leather. When extra layers of polish build up the leather is not able to breathe as well and perspiration can eventually break down the leather. Cleaning can also restore the natural oils that keep leather pliable.
Don’t use any cleaner on leather that contains an acid or a detergent. You can use saddle soap, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Ivory soap or a cleaner made for shoe leather. Apply with a damp cloth, wipe off and let dry.
Many shoemakers recommend a conditioner to keep leather shoes soft and supple, and to moisturize them. This keeps the leather from cracking. Paste or cream polishes also keep the leather moisturized.
Some conditioners come in combination with cleaners.
There are many good leather conditions on the market, mostly sold for leather jackets, furniture and purses. Some of the conditioners are known as balms.
If you have a deep scuff or a watermark on your shoes you may want to strip off the polish. You can try using vodka or a rubbing alcohol. This is best left to a shoe repair shop, thus saving the vodka for yourself!
If your shoes are in really bad shape look into a complete refurbishing by the original manufacturer. Most provide this service. You may have to send in your shoes to the factory, but you’ll get back a pair of shoes that look almost new.
Shoe Color Damage: Polishing will not restore damaged color. A polish has the ability to enhance the existing color. The lighter the color, the less dye is in the polish. If your shoes have been scuffed deeply enough to have removed some color it’s best to take your shoes to a professional shoe repair person. There are color sprays available.”
Here’s a little tutorial by Mr. Porter on how to make them sparkle!