We’ve arrived… Autumn is moving steadily towards winter. Daylight saving has finally succumbed once again with evenings drawing in and the early birds giving up song. It’s that time of year where the chimney sweep gets his… sweep out, and you spend hours cursing that beautiful, but deciduous, tree now covering your once perfectly manicured lawn and Buxus Sempervirens (yes, we googled that). Yes, it is the time of year that we take care of ‘stuff’, putting some of it into hibernation and bringing some it back to life, ready to take on and thrive against the elements. Especially if north of the equator.
Winter shoe care and preparation is important. Equally as important as tending to those summer beaters that you are gripping so tightly to and won’t let them go! Let them go, unlined loafers were not made for the rain and snow! Now is the time to give your shoes a once over and a twice over if you have time… and if you happen to have opened a bottle of red to enjoy the process, maybe a thrice over!
Firstly, let’s tend to the outgoing summer beaters: If suede, give them a good brush with a relatively stiff brush in a motion as if to ‘sweep’ the suede in the same direction. This will remove dust and dirt, preparing it for cleaning and protecting.
If you find you have stains or marks on the suede, they might need some care and attention using a suede cleaner such as Omni'Nettoyant. Use sparingly and leave to dry naturally following application.
Next, use suede specific brush which will help to draw out dust and bring the nap back to life. TIP: Use a rubber suede brush as opposed to the suede brushes that have wire in the centre. We find these to be too harsh on the suede, rubber is far gentler. Now that the nap is stood tall, you might find that a few loose fibres are standing out from the crowd. To remove these carefully use a naked flame to burn them away. Make sure not to hold the flame in the same place for too long, otherwise you risk burning the suede.
Another way to bring the colour back to suede is to move your shoes through the steam of a steaming kettle. Steam cleans and revive the suede but adding moisture back into the leather. Give them another brush in preparation for the final stage.
Finally, use a renovator spray, containing colour pigments in the formula that protects, rejuvenates and recolours the material, the results are quite incredible. Spray from a distance of 20-30cm.
At this stage, we should probably add that suede can absolutely be worn during the winter months. Opt for something like Chiltern or Lanark with Dainite rubber soles or the new Ross or Shannon on the slightly chunkier Vibram cleated rubber soles from our AW20 Collection.
Now for those incoming boots that you have been longing to be reunited with. Whether scotch grain or wax calf, make sure you renovate and polish them before you step out into the wild! They are your trusted boots remember and you are about to punish them for weeks on end.
Clean and brush all over with a stiff(ish) brush and a damp cotton cloth. This will remove any contaminants from the surface and prepare it for renovating and polishing, hopefully both!
When dry, use our Renovator Cream sparingly. Much the same as moisturising your hands, this concoction of waxes and oils feeds the leather and reduces its chance of drying out and cracking. The constant dampening and drying of leather is a recipe for disaster and if not cared for at least once or twice a month will result in degradation.
After buffing the renovator off with a softer brush, next up is our Pommadier Shoe Cream. Simply put, this product is remarkable and can be used regularly with relative ease. It further nourishes the leather whilst the high concentration of waxes and colour pigmentation protects and brings the leather back to life. Use sparingly, covering the entire area. Leave to dry whilst you work on the other foot, after 5 minutes, buff off with the softest brush in the collection, our horse hair buffing brush.
If you have time and are in the mood, next up is our slightly harder wax, Pâte De Luxe shoe polish. This firmer polish adds a layer of wax to the surface of the leather, protecting it from the elements whilst adding to the natural patina of your aged boots. With its transparent properties, colour pigments are absorbed into the leather as the wax builds up through each application, adding to the depth of colour that one can create. TIP: Buff between layers with a chamois leather if you have one to hand!
…Don’t forget to get that boiler serviced!