When I was growing up, my mother made my siblings and I clean our shoes regularly. When I left home, despite beginning my footwear career, I seldom gave my collection any TLC. This may have been partly because I bought and E-bayed pairs so frequently, and rarely wore any one pair enough times to remove the fresh-from-the-box factory polish. The rest of it was laziness, and an abundance of hangovers.
Since the recession set in, there have been many articles written about shoe repair and maintenance. This one in The Guardian explains the reasons why people are caring for their existing shoe collection. When money is tight, the war-time phrase “Make Do and Mend” is a useful motto to adhere to.
There is a growing trend for YouTube videos and blogs, demonstrating how to get a particular polished look on your shoes. Many of these are aimed towards men, but women would also benefit from taking a little time to nurture their footwear. The Shoe Snob‘s technique takes 2-3 hours to carry out. This one is for the truly dedicated!
Leather is a natural material, and just like the skin on your body, it can dry and crack if not moisturised. Shoe creams and polishes are essentially moisturisers for leather. Using them prolongs the life of your footwear, and makes you look super-smart in the process. It is also possible to customise your footwear using polish of a different colour from the leather, built up over a number of applications.
With the holidays a-coming, perhaps you don’t fancy giving The Gift of Shoesto your loved one. Maybe you want to give him or her a luxurious shoe care kit. There are some very exciting products with adorable packaging on the market this year. Here are some of my favourites:
With the attractive vintage-style “Woly” logo, these essential products and their matching tin have a place in the most stylish of homes.
For gentlemen or ladies with shoes in a variety of colours, this elegant black gift box from the Italian company contains one neutral shoe polish, one black polish, one brown, one dark brown, one maroon, and one navy blue polish.
For those with a larger present-budget, and for the most discerning of recipients, is this example of impeccable craftsmanship in the form of a shoe care kit. Made in Italy by a family of artisans, this hand-stitched leather case contains a cotton cloth, wooden shoe horn, 2 x 30ml polish tins (black and neutral), a medium size brush and a small hard bristle brush.
If your lover loves their Uggs, give them this kit. With a sheepskin water & stain repellent, cleaner & conditioner, freshener, and cleaning brush in a branded display box, this kit is a great deal cheaper than a brand new pair!
A gentleman of a certain calibre will know the name “Loake” as being one of the great Northamptonshire footwear manufacturers. He may also have a certain penchant for dark wood boxes containing all he needs for making his shoes the most magnificently gleaming pair in the board room. Need I say more?
The contents are simple: just a black polish, 2 brushes, and a cleaning cloth, but the tin is so attractive, you’ll want to keep all of your future polish purchases in there too.
When the weather gets cold, and the ground gets muddy, the Hunter wellies come out to play. Keep them in tip-top condition with Hunter’s own cleaning set.
The packaging used for this kit is exquisitely feminine. My tip: go to Leather Love‘s website, and call one of their stockists to see if this product is in stock, or telephone Leather Love themselves for help.
Now, I’m off to clean my shoes. How about you?