So it seems we all have those months where we feel like the entire load of the world has fallen onto our plate and, to be honest, sometimes little bits here and there (like taking proper care of shoes) just go out the window!
In these cases, our beloved leather shoes take a rough back seat to priority. Although long periods of time without care for shoes may ruin them, there usually remains some room to recover and make sure we can still get more years out of them – a reason why leather products are a great long-term investment.
One of my favorite shoes (there seem to be quite a few!) are my Rasha brogues, and these are a pair which I keep at my parents’ home for when I visit. They are VERY versatile, go with practically anything, and great through seasons. I visit my parents every few months and tend to pack light. I have a few key items that are always reliably there waiting for my use (including the Rasha). Unfortunately, and because of the little time I have on travels, they don’t get quite enough care, but on this last trip I decided I would have to stop the madness and give some TLC so these wonderful genuine leather shoes!
The shoes, unfortunately, had gone through a few tough days (they live in the hot and humid Gulf region, where neither the weather or dust are ideal for storage). If you too live in such conditions, refer to the Best Ways to Protect Your Summer Shoes blog for some handy tips!
Scuffs, splotches and strains have also gotten the better of these beauties, and although I do like a little bit of character and age in my leather shoes, they were looking a bit too dull and tired, and therefore decided to give them an uplift with a quick and easy shoe cream regiment.
Let me first explain the importance of shoe cream. Shoe cream does not change the colour of shoes (unlike shoe polish). It leaves a thin layer that maintains the original leather colour and gives a nice mild shine. Shoe cream is good to use whenever shoes are cleaned, great to apply before packing them for long periods of time when they are prone to drying out, and also once they’re back out of hibernation. It nourishes and rejuvenates leather, enhancing its natural luster while conditioning it from within (which reminds me that it would be great to refer you to the guide on shoe storage: Preparing Your Summer Shoes for 'Hibernation').
The Application –
I saw a quick improvement feeling the transformation of the leather with the application of the shoe cream. This was how it went:
- Preperation: I began by stuffing the shoes with paper to maintain shape while cleaning. I then cleaned the shoes with a leather cleaning cloth to remove any dirt, dust and residue.
I recommend: Something similar to Leather Honey Leather Conditioner Wipes and CleanKicks Shoe Cleaner Wipes which are very practical – both pictured below (paid links).
- Test & Apply: I then applied a small amount of shoe cream to make sure it doesn't change the color of the leather (this step is especially crucial for vibrant or unique shades).
I recommend: products like the Coxy or Tarrago Shoe Cream work well – pictured below (paid link).
Using a small sponge that was on hand (you can also use a soft cloth), I gently applied the shoe cream in circular motions around the shoe stressing on the especially stained and scratched areas and paying extra attention to creases and areas with more wear. After that, I allowed the cream to be absorbed.
- Polish the sole edges: For a little extra pick-me-up, I also like doing a quick polish of the sole edges. My preference (especially with these natural leather soles) is to use a neutral shoe polish and simple ear swab to apply and wipe across the sole to bring it back to life.
I recommend: Kiwi shoe care products are always reliable. It's always a good idea to get the Kiwi set of 3 shades (brown, black and neutral) shoe polish to keep on hand – pictured below (paid links)
- Buffing: Once the shoe cream has settled, and to enhance the shine and ensure even distribution of the shoe cream, I used a clean cloth to gently buff the shoes.
And voila! Great results with minimal effort!
I was really disappointed with the lack of care that was given to my beloved Rasha brogues, but was really happy to quickly bringing them back to life. Always know, it’s almost never too late to give your dull and scuffed shoes some TLC and the opportunity to shine for many more years!
Signing-off: The Shoe Advisor
(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)