A pair of leather shoes might last some people only a year, but with proper care, a high-quality pair of leather shoes can last many years.
This short guide covers five tools and supplies that we have found to be indispensable components of your shoe-care routine.
- Shoe brush: Is an essential tool for cleaning off dust from your shoes and for buffing in moisturizers and polishes.
Sometimes a rag is necessary too for applying the various cleaners, conditioners, creams and waxes you'll need for a full shoe-care regimen; you can also use a rage to quickly wipe down and dust off shoe or to buff polish to a mirror finish. It is imperative that you use a different rag for every different product so that you don't end up with cross-contamination.
- Leather cleaner: Removes any foreign substance and dust that would otherwise get trapped under the polish and damage the leather. It also prepares the surface of the leather to accept the moisturizer and polish by stripping away the excess oils and polish already present.
- Leather conditioner: Ensures that your shoes leather remains a stalwart buffer against the elements. Dry leather is brittle, which diminishes its waterproofing and breathability. Like your skin, dry leather will feel slightly rougher- running your finger along the shoe is a good way to tell if your shoes need some conditioning. In addition to feeling bad, dry leather makes a poor base for building up a polish patina.
-Shoe polish: Provides the brunt of the aesthetics in a shoe-care routine. Basically dye suspended in oils and waxes, shoe polish fills in small scratches and craks and renews the color and gloss of your shoes. Polishing ypur shoes is pretty straightforward (apply polish, buff to shine), but polishing your shoes well takes some finesse and patiense.
Shoe polish come in two forms: Cream polishes (like Saphir Médaille d'Or) which are for restoring color, and wax polishes (like Saphir Pate de Luxe) which are for buffing shoes to a shine.