Tactical dressing is upon us with high necklines, long sleeves and oversized layers but what about our ankles, left out in the nippy! With current fashion offering cropped trousers, our ankles are bare, meaning we need some serious winter shoes to carry us through the season. And it can be a tough ask to keep them looking fresh with our mischievous weather. Here is the The Restory’s download on keeping the weather out of your winter wardrobe!
Protect on Purchase
If you want to keep that satisfying smile on your face that goes with the purchase of new shoes, don’t leave them to fend off the weather alone this winter. Instead, invest a little extra in some protection for them, which will keep them looking fresh and new. This goes for both the upper and the soles (more on this below!). For the upper, try a waterproofing spray, especially if the shoes are suede. Protecting suede on purchase can be a game-changer for tackling the great outdoors but when it comes to leather you will also need a cleaner and a conditioner for the long term. Make sure you use material-specific products i.e. only use suede spray on suede, etc. A dedicated shoe care kit in your shoe cupboard is a perfect way to ensure your shoes get regular servicing.
Design for use
When leather soles are new they look great but can also be a hazard – they are often slippery and easily marked. To avoid this, always add a protective rubber layer to the shoes. This is the best prevention to taking a clumsy slip and protecting the leather from being damaged in wet weather. Not only will it mean your shoes will last for longer, they won’t need to be serviced as often. The Restory offer a protective rubber sole with a soft curve shape instead of the harsh line you see from many cobblers’ work. This curved shape aesthetically keeps your soles looking flush, which is especially noticeable with high heels.
Of course we also see leather heel tips as well! These can be replaced with rubber so your winter shoes are officially designed for winter use!
Have an outfit change
Translating an outfit so it’s suitable for day-to-night is an accomplishment in itself. Now to do this with for the wintery months! Whilst we’d like our commute to be levitating from taxi to plush carpet, the reality is generally quite different. Sometimes two is better than one, so do take a second pair of shoes for a savvy change over.
No added salt
Avoid at all costs leather soles coming in contact with salt when the weather becomes icy. The salt eats away at the leather and removes the moisture. It will leave your shoes with dried out, stained leather that can distort further. Be aware these stains are not exclusive to leather either; they can also affect other materials. Salt will show itself as a white tideline left behind after your shoes dry and whilst there are home remedies, we suggest a swift visit to The Restory for a professional clean to guarantee full removal.
It’s not too late
We recommend you follow some simple rules to avoid damage. Don’t polish over a stain – if there is a stain, it needs to be cleaned before. Next, never dry wet leather or suede shoes by a radiator. Although it will speed up the drying process it will lead to cracked uppers. Should the weather leave you with soaking footwear, add crunched-up newspaper inside to absorb the moisture. If you are in doubt, do send it to the experts; similar to washing a dry-clean only item at home, sometimes your DIY attempts can be irreversible. When you’re not wearing your favourite boots, pop some shoetrees inside; which will keep the shape and slow down the creasing that can appear from regular wear. If you do this, as soon as you take the shoes off, the leather is still warm, so it is even more effective.
If you are yet to make a seasonal wardrobe transition we recommend reading ‘Wondering About Winter, Get Organised’ for some expert tips. And when spring does decide to make an appearance make sure you give your shoes a full service before packing them away for the summer. The Restory will return your shoes clean, carefully packed with tissue paper and ready to wear for the new season!