Oh My Leather!
5 Rituals Every Leather Shoe Lover Should Practice
Level with me, one of my favourite pairs of summer sandals is (quite literally) busting at the seams! I can now actually see the material that has been gently padding my heel beginning to pull away from the soft leather backstrap. My best summer shoe seems to be taking a nose-dive from all the D.C. moisture. What’s a girl to do?!
I have read the arguments for both sides of the great debate about leather in a sustainable wardrobe. It is my personal opinion (reserving the right to change my mind) that leather products can be eco-friendly. This preference is primarily based on two facts: 1. I find leather shoes to be more durable than many affordable alternatives; and 2. leather shoes can be repaired.
This kind of damage to any clothing I own always, always gets me thinking about what I could do to improve the wearability of my items. Regardless of your access to a cobbler, keeping your leather shoes in good condition is key to their sustainability. So here we go, the top five rituals all leather shoe-wearers should practice:
1. Clean your shoes regularly.
Avoid using products with detergent or acid, but almost anything else goes for giving those shoes a good suds-up. Especially seek out mild products like leather cleaner, saddle soap, Murphy’s oil soap, or Ivory Soap.
2. Wipe with conditioner every few months.
This will help to prevent cracking.
3. Draw out moisture.
Always dry shoes as quickly as possible using a towel. And, please, never ever put your lovely shoes in front of a heating vent to dry them!
4. Remove scuffs.
Toothpaste (specifically, non-gel) is so handy! Gently rub it onto the scuff, rinse, wipe, and let dry (but heed the warning from #3).
This protects shoes for at least a short time in the rain or snow. My favorite to use is beeswax, which provides light protection.
In keeping with the environmental theme, try to seek out “sustainable” leather products. Specifically those that are coloured using eco-dyes, place a priority on workers’ health in their production, and are up-cycled/recycled.
So off to the cobbler my beautiful sandals go this week, with high hopes that they will be salvaged for another year of fun in the sun.