It’s time for me to share top shoe tip number two from my talk “5 Things every woman should know about shoes”.
This one is important all year round, but particularly in warmer weather when our feet are more likely to sweat.
Leather changes everything
Many people know that leather shoes are much more breathable than synthetic footwear.
Other benefits of leather uppers are that providing you look after them, they will last longer than synthetic or canvas. By look after, I mean nourish the leather and stop all of the oils from drying out, by treating your shoes with polish once a month.
Leather is also fantastic in linings and insocks of footwear, as it absorbs the moisture from your feet, leaving them feeling dryer and helping to prevent foot odour. Just make sure you let your footwear dry out for around 36 hours or so, before wearing again.
So, how can you tell if the upper and lining of that shoe you love is leather? By smelling it? From the look? How about the way it feels? Unfortunately not, because all of these can be synthesised. Luckily there’s an easy way.
All shoes in the EU must legally have this label somewhere on them, either in the lining or on the sole.
Here are my handy guides for understanding those symbols:
As much as I love leather uppers and linings, soles are a different matter. Leather soles in the rain on hard surfaces can be extremely slippery. I myself have suffered embarrassment at the hands of some fine leather-soled footwear on a wet station concourse.
Leather soles do have advantages:
- They can be very easy to dance in because of their ability to slide
- They help your feet to breath and keep you cool
- They can look very refined, particularly on men’s formal shoes
My point is, don’t turn your nose up at footwear with a synthetic sole. It may end up being more practical, especially if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather.
You may be wondering how you find out what those shoes you’re stalking on the internet are made from. Well, most companies will provide this information under a heading such as Composition, Material, or Care. If they don’t, just send them a message.
Happy shoe shopping!