Shoe Care Hacks
Useful tips and tricks that our staff are regularly undertaking to repair, save, revive and care for our customers' footwear. We thought it would be useful to share some insider information from the heart of Crockett & Jones retail.
The stars of the show, Ben & Chris, have two decades of experience between them and believe us, they really know their stuff!
This is not the latest cocktail from Crockett & Jones… Using a naked flame (from a lighter, not a match), gently and carefully, burn away loose fibres that give the suede the appearance of being fury. Make sure you keep the flame moving, NEVER holding it on the leather for more than a few seconds. Leather burns easily, much like your own skin, so watch your fingers! Once you have flamed the suede, brush it over with a shoe brush to remove any burnt ends.
Much like steam cleaners for your home, the steam from a kettle works brilliantly to revive your suede shoes & boots. The steam really brings back their colour and also helps to lift stubborn dirt. The heat from the steam also reduces creasing on the vamp, so if you have them, place your shoe trees in your shoes before you begin. Once again, hold at a safe distance and watch your fingers!
RE-WAX SOLE EDGES
The soles and sole edges take the brunt of most impacts, from grazing curb edges to kicking steps. They also have to deal with inclement weather whilst continuing to flex time and time again, possibly millions of times during their usable lives.
In the factory, the raw edges of your soles are ink stained and waxed sealed. This waxing process can be topped up at home by using a wax crayon. This aids waterproofing but also brings back the lustre to your sole edges.
LEATHER TEAR REPAIR
Leather (skin) grows in layers. The outer layer, the Full Grain layer, holds the finish and dye. Should this get damaged / torn you should be able to re-stain and re-polish it depending on the depth of the tear. If relatively superficial, you can glue a flap down (if still present), gently sand, re-stain and re-polish the area. Building the polish up in layers will continue to hide the damaged area.
Of all the hacks, repairing an upper leather tear would be regarded as the trickiest to undertake. If you are not comfortable doing this, please seek help or advice from a member of our retail staff.
Those who live in colder climes, understand the use of salt on pavements and roads. Salt is incredibly corrosive and can cause unsightly white stains on your shoes. This needs attention should you get caught in winter downpour or spend your days wading through city puddles!
Dry the shoes naturally and then wipe the salt marks off with a cotton cloth or medium shoe brush, use a damp cloth to clean the area, leave to dry again and then re-polish to add a layer of protection for your next outing.
The facts are, leather creases, both depending on your foot and how well your shoes fit. Some styles will crease more than others. For example, whole-vamps crease more than ‘broken’ shoes such as cap toes or brogues.
There are some measures you can take to reduce creasing. Firstly, always use shoe trees. Secondly, which does not feature in our short film, you can use some gentle heat on the leather vamps once your shoe trees are in place. A hairdryer would be suffice, but please proceed with caution, from a safe distance and using a low heat. Always be gentle with the use of heat on any type of leather.
DUST & DIRT
You might be thinking; is this a hack? It's not per say but it requires attention. There are areas of your shoes that we see neglected time and time again, the most important of all - the welt. A crucial part of the Goodyear welted construction method, it should always receive due care and attention, after all, it is this strip of leather that attaches the upper to the soles. The feather-line (between the upper and the welt) is the perfect resting place for dust and dirt to gather.
To clean the welt, use a stiff nail brush to remove any contaminants, applying a generous amount of shoe cream or wax polish during your shoe care ritual. Buff with a brush or cotton cloth and your welt will be protected to the elements once more.