How to care for your leather shoes in summer – Times of India

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The sweltering summer is upon us! At this point, people are advised to drink more water and avoid dehydration. But, did you know that your prized possessions – your leather shoes – can also get dehydrated in the summer? Yup, leather is natural material and like our skin. And if not maintained or conditioned may lose their suppleness. And the most beautiful pairs may become dull and faded because of the heat. So, time to make sure your leather pieces remain shiny and supple throughout the season. Here are some things you can do.

Cleaning is key

You love your leather shoes, and you want to keep them beautiful and shiny for years to come. Storing shoes that have dirt, dust, and other residues on them could cause the leather material the shoes are made from to degrade over time even in normal times. Leather footwear can manage tens of thousands of flexes if maintained properly. In order to keep your shoes in tip-top shape, you will have to put in some effort. Invest in some great products that will help you keep your shoes as good as new. Cleaning, conditioning, moisturizing, and polishing regularly is the key to leather shoes for that lovely sheen, that last longer and look great!

Storage

We’re living the lockdown life and leather shoes are not much in use. Shoes benefit from being cleaned up before you store them, even if you’re just storing your shoes for the night. Ensure they are dry before storing. Don’t stack shoes on top of one another. Many people store shoes one on top of the other to make more room but storing your shoes this way can cause them to lose their shape. If you have a big collection of shoes, you’ll need a second storage area for the shoes you don’t wear very often. Shoe racks make it easy to organize shoes in a closet, at entry, or along a

bedroom wall. Choose a wooden shoe rack and group shoes by purpose, lining them up neatly and putting them away after each use.

Find a dark and temperature-controlled storage space

Have you ever seen old leather shoes that are dried out and cracked? That’s what direct sunlight does. To make sure your shoes remain fit to flaunt, keep them away from outdoor shoe racks. The best place to store shoes is in a cool, dark closet that does not get excessively warm and stuffy. So, you can place them in your closets, shoe racks or any other dark, ventilated area. If you don’t have enough room in your closet, you could store them under your bed. PS.

storing them close to windows can also expose them to sunlight!

So no to plastic

It is really not healthy to store anything in plastic containers or bags. For your leather shoes, however, it is especially detrimental. Air-tight plastic bags will not let your shoes breathe at all, and they will simply wither. Wrapping them in plastic could cause them to end up moldy or discolored. Instead of toxic plastic, it is better to opt for dust cover shoe bags that offer proper ventilation preferably made with soft cloth. If using paper tissue, ensure it’s acid-free tissue.

Do not wash

While water will keep you hydrated through the summer, it can really damage your leather shoes. So, keep them as far away from water as possible. There are an abundance of high- quality cleaning and protecting products for leather shoes out there, which will work well in keeping them as good as new. But still, it’s important to note that no amount of polish or “waterproofing” spray is going to keep out water if you are continuously walking in rain or

exposed to water. In case they do get wet, use a soft dry cloth to soak up the moisture and let

them air dry.

Keep them sock free

No matter how lazy you’re feeling, avoid leaving socks in shoes. They may leave a pungent smell leading to a bad odour of the sweat during the summer heat. Besides the foot sweat during summer may also be the reason for infection on feet due to bacterial growth. Also, do not store shoes with mothballs. Mothballs are made with toxic chemicals that repel moths but are also very dangerous for use around kids and pets. Mothballs also have a distinctive stuffy, chemical smell that infuses into anything they’re stored with and is very difficult to remove. Instead, use silica gel to keep the shoe’s material fresh. Instead of using mothballs, store your shoes with cedar shoe trees. Cedar naturally repels moths, is non-toxic, and leaves shoes smelling fresh.

Let them rest and dry

Leather shoes need time to dry up naturally as they tend to soak sweat from your feet. Besides after a day of hard flexes and stress, leather shoes need a period of rest too. In the interest of prolonging their lifespan, make sure you don’t wear the same shoes every day. If you love your shoes, give them time to rest and dry up between 2 wears. This will also give you an excuse to buy more!

With inputs from Lavi Pal Singh, AVP, AstorMueller Shoes and Sirish Kumar, CEO – India and Director, AstorMueller.



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