Caring for your Full-grain Leather Footwear

1. Avoid Water at All Costs!

No matter how strange this sounds, water is certainly the no.1 enemy for all leather shoes. Therefore, it is highly recommended to apply a water repellent before you wear them – this way, they will not get dirty or stained if water reaches the leather. It is almost impossible to prevent them from getting wet over the years, but if you use a repellent you will at least minimize the damage. If your boots or shoes get soaked, air-dry in a spot with good airflow. While drying them over a vent works, the quick change from soaked to hot can dry out your leather and require more conditioner.

 

2. Keep away from direct heat

In general, keep all leathers away from direct sunlight, heaters, fire places and other direct heat sources (it can cause leathers to change colour, lose its suppleness and crack).

 

3. Cleaning

Remove shoelaces before beginning your leather shoe treatment. Laces can be laundered separately or replaced.

 

If your shoes have layers of polish build-up, use a pre-cleaner before starting your leather shoe treatment.

 

Remove dirt or debris with a soft bristle brush. Gently rub the brush against the surface of the shoes to remove stuck-on debris. Do not rub too hard as it might damage the leather. To be thorough, run the brush along the seam and soles of your shoes paying special attention to any cracks and crevices.

 

Wipe the shoes with a damp cloth and a bit of leather cleaner made specifically for Full-grain leather (we recommend saddle soap). Alternatively, you could use mineral oil, as it is the main ingredient in most commercial leather shoe cleaners and can be used on its own for the same effect. Pour 4-5 drops of it on a clean cloth and rub it over the surface of your shoes.

 

Remove excess soap from your leather shoes with a damp cloth.

Dry your shoes slowly in a well-ventilated area. Avoid placing your shoes near a heater or in direct sunlight as the heat could cause discoloration or cracking.

Remove salt stains with a mixture of water and vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dip a clean cloth in the liquid and gently rub the surface of your shoes. Wipe them again with another clean, damp cloth.

 

Tackle oil and grease stains with talcum powder. If you have a tough oil or grease stain on your leather shoes, cover it with an absorbent powder like talcum powder. Let it sit for 2-3 hours to absorb the oil. You can also use corn starch to absorb oil stains, but you should leave it on for 7-8 hours to fully absorb the oil. Carefully remove the powder with a soft brush after the initial cleaning, let your shoes dry before shining them with your chamois or cloth (old t-shirts work great, too).

 

Tip: Spot clean your shoes with baby wipes. If you are on the road and your leather shoes get scuffed or dirty, use a baby wipe to clean them. Baby wipes are gentle enough that they will not harm the leather.

 

4. Moisturize / Condition Your Shoes Constantly when dry and clean

Condition your shoes regularly and before you wear them the first time (we recommend every 3-6 months, but the interval will depend on how often the shoes are worn and the weather conditions exposed to. Leather is like human skin, and it needs proper care from time to time. Conditioning your leather shoes softens and moisturizes the membrane, protecting it from drying out and cracking. To do this, first select a conditioner made for smooth leather shoes. (Natural conditioners absorb straight into the material and are a better choice than synthetic conditioners that sit on top of the shoe's surface.) Rub a small amount of conditioner onto the shoe until the entire shoe is covered. Wait a few minutes, and then wipe any remaining conditioner off the shoes. The leather will absorb only what it needs to for proper hydration. If you moisturize your shoes regularly with high-quality leather conditioner, they will get a nice, light shine and they will also feel very pleasant to the touch. Some conditioners claim to have multi-function abilities or to be an all-in-one solution e.g. moisturises / shine / waterproofing. Be careful before choosing them.

 

5. Polish (optional)

Don't try to change the colour of your shoes with a shoe polish. Consult a shoe repair shop for a dye job, if a different shoe colour is desired.

If you plan to use shoe polish, then you must choose a polish colour that is identical to your shoe colour, otherwise you risk getting them stained – for good! Shoe polish is an essential part of the leather shoe care process, and it is highly recommended to use a cream-based polish when you want to clean them. Do not overdo it, though, as this might affect the quality and texture of the leather, as well as the aspect.

Certain shoe polishes contain toxic chemicals that can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin. If you opt to use shoe polish, wear gloves while doing so, work in a well-ventilated area, do not drink alcohol while polishing, as it can increase the effects of chemical irritants, and keep all shoe polish out of the reach of both children and animals.

Shoe polish needs to be handled as a hazardous household substance and discarded properly.

Rags or cloths used to polish should be contained, with any residual waste, in a sealed plastic bag and disposed of as you would toxic paints or household chemicals.

And while some polishes claim to be non-toxic, most do not list their ingredients, making it impossible to know what's safe. So, if you want to avoid shoe polish at all costs, take your leather shoes to a repair shop to have them polished for you or use natural alternatives like olive oil or walnut oil. To do so, work a small amount of oil into the shoe and then buff and shine it with a soft cloth or chamois. But again, try a test patch before using oil on the entire shoe.

 

6. Waterproofing / Protectant for Your Shoes

Even though there are countless waterproof products for leather shoes, not all of them meet the needs of your shoes – therefore you must choose the most suitable one. You must keep in mind that different weatherproofing products serve different purposes. A beeswax product is certainly better than a protective spray, especially if you use your shoes in wet or messy conditions. Besides, another advantage of beeswax product is that they do not get absorbed into the leather, they stick to the surface for a long period of time.

 

In conclusion, these are 5 simple hints and tips that can help you protect your leather shoes over the years. All you must do is to avoid wearing them during bad weather, clean and moisturize them constantly, and to choose the right protective product for your shoes. This way, they will look brand new even after several years!

Caring for your Suede Leather Footwear

 

Caring for your Hair-on Leather Footwear

1. Protect before use

Because your shoes are made from hair-on hide, you can’t treat them like normal shoes. While we’d love to promise you that your hair-on footwear will stay in pristine condition, realistically that will only happen if you leave them in the box forever…...

Carefully treat them with a protective suede spray, according to the instructions to protect and waterproof your shoes, before you even consider taking them out for a spin. This will have the added benefit of preventing dirt and oil from penetrating the hair and make the first cleaning much easier.

 

2. Avoid Water at All Costs!

No matter how strange this sounds, water is certainly the no.1 enemy for all leather shoes. Therefore, it is highly recommended to apply a water repellent before you wear them. It is almost impossible to prevent them from getting wet over the years, but if you use a repellent you will at least minimize the damage. If your boots or shoes get soaked, air-dry them slowly in a spot with good airflow. While drying them over a vent works, the quick change from soaked to hot can dry out your leather. Do not soak or drench your shoes in water. This can cause the hide to harden and stiffen.

 

3. Do not brush or scrape against the direction of hair growth.

 

4. Keep away from direct heat

In general, keep all leathers away from direct sunlight, heaters, fire places and other direct heat sources (it can cause leathers to change colour, lose its suppleness and crack).

 

5. Do not wash!

Never, ever wash your Hair-on boots or shoes because this will dry out the hide and cause cracking

 

6. Cleaning

Remove shoelaces before beginning your leather shoe treatment. Laces can be laundered separately or replaced. If your boots or shoes are wet and muddy, air-dry in a spot with good airflow.

Once the shoes are dry, shake off the dry mud by hitting the soles against each other. Using a brush with hard bristles to carefully remove the small pieces of dust, sand, dirt, and other debris that might get caught between the hairs. Be sure to brush in the direction of the hair. If you spill something on your hair-on shoes, dry up the excess liquid as quickly as possible. The longer the liquid is on the shoe, the more likely it is to leave a stain. Be sure to dab the liquid with a towel to soak it up, rather than rubbing it around which could make the spill deeper and more difficult to remove.

 

Removing stains caused by dirt or mud, mix a little bit of shampoo (it is hair, after all) with warm water. Dampen a sponge or towel just a little bit, and gently rub it over the stain to help remove the stain. Once the stain is gone, go over the spot again with a damp, not soapy sponge or towel to remove any shampoo residue.

For grease and food stains, regular shampoo might not do the trick. One natural way that some people use to get rid of grease stains on hair-on hide is eucalyptus oil, which is generally assumed to be safe to use on clothing to break down grease and food stains. Using just a small amount, apply eucalyptus oil to the stain. You can use a cotton swab or a cotton ball for better precision. Gently rub the oil in and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

 

You can even use a small quantity of hair conditioner to release stubborn matting. Another trick to avoid the build-up of dirt and oil is to place the item in a plastic bag with a cupful of cornmeal. If you then shake the bag vigorously the cornmeal will absorb the dirt and oil and clean the hair-on leather.

 

7. Waterproofing / Protectant for Your Shoes

Carefully apply protective suede spray according to the instructions to protect and waterproof your shoes. Be aware that the treatment may alter the appearance of the item. Hold the can six inches away from the material and spray very lightly. Do not saturate the hide because this will result in patches of matting.

 

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