Caring For Your Custom Dress Shoes (5 Easy Steps!)
A pair of shoes pulls together the entire outfit, but not with cracks, dirt and wear on them! Luckily it is very easy to care for your dress shoes and keep them looking like they are brand new. Today we are showing you how to easily care for your dress shoes, keep scrolling for the guide that will change how you care for your shoes.
Now to start with, first impressions are very important when job hunting or landing a new client. Believe it or not shoes can be the selling point between you getting the job, or you getting told we’ll call you and hearing nothing back ever again. Companies and brands have a specific image they are wanting to project and most of the time that traslates to style. Keeping an outfit looking sharp is easy, but many people neglect their shoes until it is too late. The most expensive custom pair of shoes will do nothing for you if they are dirty, cracked and smell like they’ve been at the bottom of a lake!
Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
Cleaning your custom dress shoes before you polish is very important. If you skip this step you will be trapping dirt and dust under the polish, causing damage to the leather and shaving off the lifespan of the shoes. It helps prep the surface to absorb the conditioner and polish. It removes old polish, dirt and oils that have built up on the shoe that would stop the polish from really working well. Without the leather being clean, it can’t breath which also contributes to shoes wearing out before they should. Now sometimes you don’t need to use a special solvent cleaner. You can tell by how dull the shoes look, or if there are flakes in the polish in the crease points of the shoe. If it looks dull and flakey it is a safe bet to go ahead and use the leather cleaner! Conditioner ensures your leather remains protected from the elements. Dry leather becomes brittle which destroys the breathability and waterproofing of your shoes! An easy way to tell if you need to condition is to run your finger across the shoe. If it feels dry and almost rough it needs to be conditioned. Dry leather doesn’t let polish absorb correctly so it won’t look as good as it could. Cleaning with cleaner happens as it is needed, while conditioning is something your need to do every time you polish a shoe. Like with everything spending a few extra dollars from the bottom grade products gets you a perfectly acceptable quality to use. Once you are done prepping you are ready to polish!
A regular polish can extend the lifespan of your shoes drastically. Leather shoes need polish to keep the leather from drying out and deforming. Shoe polish is dye suspended in oils and waxes, that will fill small scratches and cracks hiding the wear and making them look practically new. It will make your shoes vibrant and look great again. There are two main types of shoe polish, cream polishes and wax polishes. Buy polish based on what color your shoe is, they make several different colors and shades of polish so make sure to get the closest match you can. Depending on the level of wear you can get by using just wax polishes. If it has been really badly treated, many experts recommend using a cream polish first, and after it has set and soaked in for about 20 minutes to then use a wax polish. How you polish really depends on how shiny you want your shoes. A mirror finish will take a lot longer and needs more time to do right, but if you just want them to look clean and presentable without being a mirror finish just using cream will get you there. Using an applicator brush and rag to shine with is a proven method, and easily mastered!
Shoe Shine Brushes
Brushes are a must have for frequent maintenance. You can keep them looking great with a quick brushing to remove any dirt or other buildup. Shoe shining brushes are made of horsehair because it won’t destroy the surface of the leather while brushing. You can get applicator brushes for polish, or simply use a rag to work it into the shoe. A must have is a polishing brush. It is a bigger brush that lets you quickly go over the surface and starts to even out the polish ]shining things up as it goes along. There are several different options for this, and several different quality levels. Allen Edmonds makes a good brush, you are looking for a bigger brush with dense bristles to get the most polishing action every stroke. If you want to get a more specialty brush, a dauber brush for applying cleaner is a good option. These allow you to clean with precision and do a very good job. You don’t want to mix products on the brushes, so you need a separate brush for each product. Professionals use cotton t-shirts for applying polish, so you don’t really need much more than the shoe shining brush to do a good job!
Water is a great thing for us as humans, we need it to live! It is terrible for shoes though. Stepping in a puddle can permanently ruin a shoe. Excessive moisture can lead to drying of the leather and forming cracks. Water can also let salt enter the shoe and it will stain it. These stains do not come out either, so it can ruin a pair of shoes! Thankfully protecting your custom dress shoes is easy. There are a few options when it comes to waterproofing, wax-based polishes, specialty waterproofing protectants, and sprayable waterproofing. All of them work about the same so pick one based on what is the easiest option for you. Sprayable waterproofing is the quickest and easiest to do whenever you need it. When water stops beading up on your shoe it is time to retreat it to keep it well protected. Make sure any of the waterproofing you get is safe for leather. Mink oil can be used for conditioning and waterproofing, so it is a good option if you live in a rainy environment and need frequent waterproofing.
Custom Dress Shoes Daily Maintenance
There are several small things you can do every day to protect your shoes and get the most out of them. A shoe tree is an object you slip inside after taking them off for the day. It helps keep the shape and will keep the form of the leather. They also help absorb extra moisture and make your shoes dry out better. The best material for a shoe tree is wood because it naturally absorbs moisture and it has been used in shoe trees for a very long time! Shoe trees can be found for reasonable prices and are often adjustable to all the common sizes of shoes.
Another trick is to cycle shoes. Wearing them every day lets moisture build up and really does shorten the lifespan. Cycling between two different pairs will let the shoes properly dry out and get you the most out of your shoes.
Shoe horns can help protect the heels of the shoes by letting you slip the shoe on easily. It stops the morning wiggle to get your shoes on and stops the heel from wearing down and becoming bent or collapsing.
Shoe Odor Removing Balls
If your shoes ever develop a little odor to them, the shoe tree should help prevent that. If you need an extra boost you can find shoe odor removing balls that will absorb the smells. There are several little tricks to do that can increase the life of your shoes considerably.
Cleaning your shoes is worth the time investment because it will protect your shoes for years to come. It doesn’t have to be a super involved professional shine to protect and keep them looking nice, so there is no reason to avoid doing it! Following a simple maintenance schedule will keep your custom dress shoes looking great for years to come! If you are looking for shoes check out our collection https://gatsbyshoes.co/collections/our-shoes and remember to take care of them when you get them.