4 Ways To Protect Your Leather Shoes From The Rain
The rainy season brings to mind images of frolicking in puddles and dancing in the rain. It also brings a disagreeable environment for owners of leather goods. These challenges are magnified if the leather accessories you wear happen to be on your feet. By being closer to the ground, your favorite shoes are the first victim in the case of rain, mud, slush and snow. Today we guide you on preparing leather shoes for the wet season.
- Know Thy Leather Type
Before we can take care of our shoes, one must be aware of the type of leather that is used in its manufacturing. “Leather” is a broad and general term. There are all sorts of skins, tanning methods, and treatments that distinguish one type of leather from another. Whether you are wearing roughout, pull-up, suede or cordovan, it helps to know the type of leather that makes up your shoe - that way you’ll be equipped with the information that will ready you for the storm ahead. Wet weather can be devastating for leather shoes, and using the wrong type of leather water repellant can cut the life of your products short.
To check what type of leather your shoe is composed of look on the inside tag that lists the size of the shoe. You should be able to see there. If this information is not written, or if your shoe has no tag, click here for more information on the various leather types produced throughout the world. In addition, you can always go into a store that sells leather goods and ask a knowledgeable associate what type of leather you’re dealing with. Suede, for example, acts differently than other shoe types and is a type of shoe that isn’t as resistant to moisture - than say shell cordovan or calfskin.
- Air Dry Wet Shoes
Now that you know what type of leather make up the composition of your shoes, it is time to learn how to properly take care of them. The first step to leather shoe care maintenance is to let the shoe breathe on its own time; this is the best leather protectant. Let your shoes dry naturally.
Do not make the mistake of using artificial heat, such as a hair dryer, on your delicate leather. The artificially inflated temperature will dry the shoe to an extreme degree. You will have removed the outside moisture, yes, but the extreme heat caused by the blow-drying process will also remove the naturally set moisture inside the leather soles. In turn, this may cause the material to crack. These cracks are both unaesthetic and also also compromise the integrity of the shoe. What’s worse, you may not even notice these cracks until it is too late.
Never use high heat in combination with artificial methods to dry leather shoes. It is better to air dry them under the outside air or inside the house next to a fan.
- Polish Shoes to a Shine
Besides making your shoes look good, a regular dose of shoe shine will make your leather last in the precipitation. Add shoe polish to your clothing routine in order to replenish the natural oils found in leather hide, and add a dazzle to your overall look. First, choose the right type of polish for the given shoe, taking into account leather type and color. Then, be sure to follow the instructions on the given shoe polish you choose, paying attention to application methods and shoe-shine best practices. For the most part, you may take a small amount of polish, apply it to a soft cotton cloth, and gently rub onto the shoes in circular motions. Not only will your polish keep you looking dapper, but the polish will restore some of the water resistant properties of your shoe, providing a clear barrier between you and the outside rain. To do this, we recommend the easy to carry Cadillac Classic Shine Sponge for neutral colors, Kiwi Honor Guard for black shoes, and Lincoln Stain Wax for shoes in brown, mahogany and red.
- Avoid the Mud
Mud will not only make your leather shoes dirty but will stick and not let go, causing far more damage over time. The rainy and monsoon season is the time when you really need to take care of your shoes and keep them away from incoming splashes of damp mud. Hardened mud that forms on leather does not allow it to breathe. The mud, when not cleaned, will seep into the fibers of the leather and attach itself to the molecules that make up the lining of the shoe. If you must go mudding, a leather protector like Sno Seal Bees Wax should be applied on the exterior of your shoes. This leather protector (which also serves as a leather water repellant) fills the follicles of the leather, soaking deep into the grain of the leather. It does not interfere with the natural breathability of the material, and it will act as a barrier preventing semi-solid buildup.
Clumps of mud that form on your shoes should be removed as soon as you get home. You may choose to remove the mud once it has dried, peeling it off in clumps, or you may prefer to use a cleaner while the shoes are still somewhat wet, and get to the source of the damage quicker. No matter what you choose, remember that Leather Care has your back. We believe leather is a beautiful material - one that stands the test of time when cared for properly.
There you have it, four tips to protect your leather shoes from the rain. We hope this advice serves you well during the rainy season. Keep those leather shoes shiny with more leather care tips from our blog!
- Alex Pop