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The FJ Guide to: Long lasting leather shoes

Because they need a little TLC.

Owning leather shoes is comparable to having a puppy. They need constant attention and care.

While it’s easy to just whip out your credit card and get yourself a pair of those leather shoes you’ve been dreaming of, keeping them looking brand new can prove to be a pain in the butt.

So we put together some tips to keep your new suede shoes spotless, clean and supple.

Weatherproofing

The next time that annoying sales girl is trying to push you into buying additional products for your shoes, don’t shoo her away. While you’re thinking she might be trying to pitch her sales up, buying those products are actually a money-saver in the long run. Covering your leather shoes with a protective layer not only keeps the rain at bay, it also helps to keep in moisture during windy weather, all while preventing dirt and mud from settling into the pores of the leather.  

Cleaning

There’s no reason to freak if you’ve got mud or rainwater on your favourite Valentino boots. We’ve got your back. 

The trick is to wipe off any marks as soon as possible using a damp cloth, then once again using a dry cloth. While that works perfectly with regular leather, make sure to apply a layer of talcum powder to absorb the moisture on suede. Leave it overnight and brush it off the next morning using a fine-bristle brush and voilà, good as new!

For dried stains such as dirt and salt, the technique remains the same for regular leather but works a bit differently with suede. Rub off dirt on your suede with a kneaded eraser and if that doesn’t work, blot the stain with a dab of vinegar on a cloth.

Storing

Drying your shoes on the radiator isn’t only frowned upon, hell, it should be illegal. No matter how much of a rush you’re in, never dry your shoes in any manner that is not air-dried. Direct heat from the sun, your home heating and even a hair dryer can cause leather to dry severely, leaving unfixable crack marks on your shoes. To help preserve the shape of your shoes while drying, insert a ball of newspaper in the shoe and leave it to dry overnight.

Maintain the texture of your suede by lightly brushing them with a fine-bristle brush before storing them away. Alternatively, an old toothbrush works great as well. 

And when all else fails, don’t hesitate to visit a professional shoe cleaner. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the pros.

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