Winter is tough. The crust and slush and muck has arrived on the terrain, full of “sick germs” for your shoes. Remembering the white salt stains that rimmed my nice leather boots last year, I decided to start researching better winter shoe care. After asking our shoe experts at The Foursome and a little internet browsing, I found a few precautions and simple remedies to safeguard your favorite leathers.
Wear overshoes that provide an anti-slip grip sole and cover your best leather shoes to protect them from rain, slush and snow. This revitalized galosh by SWIMS was transformed from a purely practical utility product to a classy lifestyle item.
Polish or moisturize your leather shoes and boots to protect them against the elements. At this point in the season, do this ASAP. Think of this step like lotion for your skin…you are less likely to dry out and crack when lotion and potioned up.
Good products for this step include Saddle Soap, Allen Edmonds Leather Care Lotion, and Water & Stain Protector (see leather care products below for details)
Though we are all eager to get in the warm house asap, taking the time to brush the wet snow from your shoes could save you a lot of damage. This step enables them to dry out faster which is important in helping your shoes stay healthy. So keep a brush or towel in your entry and get in the habit.
We all need a break, and shoes do too. Would you want to work seven days a week? Swapping shoes every day will enable the ones taking a nap to dry out, breathe, and remain durable and flexible for their turn out in the cold. This will only prolong the lifespan of your beloved leather footwear.
Just a few wears out in the snow or down an icy sidewalk will make noticeable white rings near the sole of the shoe. Luckily, the recipe for erasing salt lines is simpler than the Cat in the Hat removing the pink ring in the tub. If wiping the salted areas just after you come indoors with a warm damp rag doesn’t do the trick, just mix up a small container with a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar and gently rub it into the affected areas.
Ok, let’s be honest, like bad breath it’s hard to hide foot odor. A more natural approach to sprays and other topical odor treatments are cedar wood shoe trees. They sustain the form, keep the interior dry, and leave a natural cedar scent for you and your loved ones.
STOP IN FOR A COMPLIMENTARY SHOE SHINE
Visit The Foursome’s leather care expert, Cornelius, at the store on Saturdays from noon – 3 p.m. Wear or bring a pair and receive a free shoe shine. You’ll be amazed how your shoes or boots can look good as new!
LEATHER CARE PRODUCTS
Available at The Foursome. Some only cost a couple dollars and could save you hundreds.
1. Kelly’s Water and Stain Protector ($7.95)
Protects leather and suede from water and oil-based stains. Spray should be applied to new shoes and re-applied as needed throughout the season.
2. Allen Edmonds Premium Shoe Polish ($9) – buy now
Preserves and beautifies the most delicate smooth leather, helping resist dirt, rain and snow while providing a lustrous glow
3. Allen Edmonds Leather Cleaner ($4.95) – buy now
Cleans and moisturizes, natural leather.
4. Allen Edmonds Leather Care Lotion ($9) – buy now
Moisturizes, protects, and cleans natural leather.
5. Allen Edmonds Horsehair Brush ($10) – buy now
Naturally cleans and applies shoe cream and polish.
5. Woodlore Aromatic Shoe Trees ($21-25) – buy now
Keep your leather shoes in top condition. Shoes remain dry on the inside while leaving a fresh cedar scent.
6. Tingly Shoe protectors ($27-29) – buy now
The classic rubber overshoe. Protects your fine shoes from rain and snow.
– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome