Products and Tips

 

#1 Tip - Use Cedar Shoe Trees.

Various sources say that during a typical day our feet produce an eighth of a cup of moisture and half a pint when extremely active. Cedar shoe trees can extend the life of your leather shoes up to three times their expected life span.
Shoe trees have three basic functions: They *draw moisture out of your shoes; *help maintain the shoe's structure; and *help avoid odor.
*The unfinished cedar absorbs moisture. Left unchecked, the moisture we produce is absorbed into the linings of our shoes permanently, decreasing the life of our shoes. By placing shoe trees into shoes at night, moisture is absorbed into the shoe tree from the shoe.
*The shape of the shoe is maintained. Using shoe trees daily prevents shoe upper leather from curling and cracking. Our shoe trees are designed to fit properly and readily into nearly all shoe styles on the market. The spring action and split toe design allows the tree to fill the shape of your shoe.
*The aroma of cedar deodorizes shoes naturally.
 

#2 Tip - Rotate Your Shoes.

Shoes need a day off. If you want your fine leather shoes to last longer, never wear them for two consecutive days.
 

#3 Tip - Preserve Your Leather Soles with a Sole Protector.

Adding a rubber sole protector prolongs the life of your shoes. This thin, rubber top sole protects the outer sole from wear and tear. The protector is also water resistant and skid proof.
 

#4 Tip - Use a Shoe Horn.

This saves the heel collar and counter from unnecessary wear.
 

#5 Tip - Clean and Condition Your Shoes.

We recommend cleaning your shoes dependant upon the frequency of use. The cleaning method depends on the shoe's material. Leather can be polished and conditioned with a leather lotion applied with a soft cloth (see steps below). Suede looks best when brushed; although special suede brushes are available, a clean toothbrush or emery cloth works just as well. Fabric should be sprayed with a stain guard.
 

Polishing Smooth Leather:

1. Clean the shoes with leather cleaner to get the grime off the top. Never use a cleaner that contains an acid or a detergent as both destroy the natural oils, damaging and aging the fine leather of the shoe. When necessary, use a proper saddle soap and water for a better cleaning. Be sure to rinse away all of the saddle soap which will damage leather and cause excessive drying. A solution of 50/50 water and white vinegar is an excellent rinsing agent.
2. Condition the leather to soften. While the leather is still slightly moist after a good cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to replace the leather's natural oils. We recommend Lexol conditioner or any good quality conditioner containing lanolin. Set your clean and treated boots aside for 24 hours to dry. It's always a good idea to use shoe trees so that your boots maintain their shape. Later, apply boot polish or wax, and buff to a shine.
3. Use paste, wax or cream polish to shine your shoes. Make sure the polish matches the shoes. Use a cream a shade lighter than the shoe to cover scratches. Neutral is the "color" for light colored shoes. Other colors are best matched by taking a shoe with you when you buy polish. Cream or paste polish moisturizes fine leather, keeps it flexible, and soaks into the leather to allow leather to breathe. Wax polish shines leather better than cream, but it seals the leather and causes it to dry out. Avoid liquid polish, although it puts a fast shine on your shoes it can dry out and crack the leather. You can apply the polish with a soft, clean polishing rag; old socks will work fine. Wrap the corner of the cloth around your first and second fingers of your dominant hand. Twist the remainder of the cloth to tighten the portion around your fingers and hold that part in the palm of your hand. You can also use a horsehair brush dauber instead of a cloth; if you use a dauber, you'll need a different one for each color of polish you use.
4. Allow the shoes to dry (about 10 minutes) then buff the shoe with a polishing brush -- preferably horsehair --and use a soft, clean cloth to bring out a high luster.
5. Weatherproof your shoes. A protective spray is an excellent way to protect your shoes from water, snow, mud, and spills. The best way to protect your shoes is to wipe the leather with a damp cloth, following the instructions on the protector spray. Spray your shoes before wearing and on a regular basis thereafter. A water and stain protective spray for leather, provides water protection, and doesn't alter the color like mink oil can.
 

Cleaning Suede:

Suede can be cleaned with a clean soft brush (like a toothbrush), a fine emery cloth, or you can buy special erasers (suede bars) to remove stains and dirt. Raise the nap on suede by applying steam from a steam iron from about 10 inches away. Also special nylon-bristle brushes are available to raise the nap after cleaning. A protective non-silicone finish (like Meltonian Water and Stain Protector) sprayed on new suede shoes will help repel water and stains.
 

Cleaning Nubuck (a brushed leather similar to suede, but with a finer nap):

Treat the shoes with water repellent, use rubber-bristle brush (not nylon) or a suede bar. Use the bar damp to clean and condition, and use the brush to lift the nap
 

Cleaning UGGs:

One of the most frequently asked questions is "How do I clean and care for my UGGs?" The first thing that I recommend is to spray them at least once a week with a product such as Meltonian Water and Stain Protector (which I carry at Bob's Shoe Repair). As with protecting, cleaning needs to be done in a timely manner. Clean stains immediately. UGG provides an excellent cleaner, but a solution of 50/50 white vinegar works very well too. I also suggest that you first attempt "dry cleaning" them with a small piece of fine emery cloth because many stains are just surface stains. Always follow up with Meltonian Water and Stain Protector.
 

#6 Tip - Avoid Heat.

Leather should always dry naturally.Always keep shoes away from direct heat to prevent the leather from drying out - avoid drying them near a fire, heater, or even your home heat register! This overheating will literally cook the leather and cause it to become stiff and brittle. The best technique is to ensure that dry, room temperature air can circulate inside the boots.
Shoes should be waxed or oiled so that they repel water. The less water absorbed by leather, the longer it will last and the more comfortable you'll be. Wet leather will stretch and weaken, shrinking and becoming brittle as it dries. Once your shoes are wet, however, they should be dried as soon as possible with room temperature, dry air (Between 70-95 degrees Fahrenheit or 20-35 degrees Centigrade). If you're in a situation where you can't properly dry your boots, wear them in a dry area until they can dry out a bit before you take them off. See tip #6.
 

#7 Tip - Exercise Particular Care for Special Shoe Materials and Situations

Cordovan shoes (real shell cordovan, made from horse hide, not just shoes that are burgundy color) need special care. Do not use neutral cream or paste polish because it tends to leave a white film on Cordovan leather. Alden recommends using cordovan color paste wax polish, and not shoe cream. Also beware that the shell cordovan creases are usually lighter, not darker, in color. Since cordovan leather already contains a large amount of oil/wax, the polishing requirements are different from calfskin. Before shining, use a damp soft cloth for cleaning shell cordovan shoes. I also recommend using a light Meltonian Cleaner and Conditioner (wax free) to clean off dirt and dust before polishing.
Use only the thinnest film of polish, spread very thinly over the shoe, to restore the color and luster. You should not have to polish your cordovan shoes frequently, and often all that is needed is to brush and cloth them in order to remove scuffs and restore the shine. After the polish is applied, let it dry, and then brush it off with a horsehair brush. Next, wipe the final film of polish away with a soft buffing cloth.
 

Here are the "don'ts" of shell cordovan care:

Do not attempt to clean cordovan shoes using petroleum distillates or cleaning fluids Do not use any spray shines or aerosol type waterproofs Do not attempt to dry wet shell cordovan shoes with any heat. Wipe them dry, and allow them to dry naturally Do not attempt to polish shell cordovan shoes while wet.
 

Spewing, a natural milky residue of wax will often form on new shell cordovan shoes.

This is a normal residue from the tanning of the leather. Wipe it off with a soft cloth or brushing. To remove the wax in difficult areas, such as between stitches, use a toothbrush.
 

#8 Tip - Remove salt as soon as possible.

Damaging white salt marks should be rinsed off immediately with a 50/50 mixture of white distilled vinegar and water. Wipe dry, and follow the directions for wet shoes. On your smooth leather shoes try Kelly's Salt and Stain Remover.
 

#9 Tip - Let us do the work!

Hey, it's what we're here for. But if you like to do the work yourself, the products can be found at Bob's Shoe Repair. I am not necessarily recommending these products because I carry them; however, I am carrying them because I have found them to work best.