As a guy, you probably won’t admit it in front of your wife (or sister, mother, girlfriend, or any female friend) but you like high-quality shoes, too. What you need now is a man’s guide to shoe care.
Forget about tips from Grandma for keeping your shoes shiny and bright. You won’t find any lemon juice here unless you want a slice for your Corona while you’re reading this.
No, this guide is written by men for men. Print it out and keep it for your son to read one day when he buys his first pair of shoes with the money he earned.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Shoe Care
If you’re a gentleman, you love formal shoes that look professional and powerful. When you walk into a room, people pay attention. Your smile wins friends instantly.
Your favorite pair of shoes are probably custom Oxfords, Bluchers or Brogues. Taking the time for shoe care gives you amazing style and lightly polished luxury.
Treat Your Leather With Respect
Your relationship with custom shoes isn’t like a master and servant. It’s a partnership. If you take good care of leather, it will take care of you for ages. You don’t need to fuss over it, but you should avoid spills, greasy foods and grit.
Give Shoes a Quick Check in the Morning
Keeping your shoes looking polished is easier than you may think. Frequent, light cleaning is more effective than deep cleaning. It literally only takes a minute to clean your shoes in the morning or evening with a soft brush. Getting rid of dirt prevents scratches and wear.
Apply Polish Every Few Weeks
With a few pairs to rotate around, you usually only need to polish formal shoes once or twice a month. Shoe polish does more than restore shine; it’s essential for protecting the leather against moisture and grime.
Try Cream Polish
Wax polish is more common for shoe care, mainly because it’s shinier, but cream polish can be a better choice for taking care of custom shoes. Cream polishes moisturize the leather better, and they highlight the natural tones of leather shoes.
Down-to-Earth Shoe Care Tips for the Boy Next Door
If you’re a boy-next-door type, you love hanging out with people. You’re the nice guy, the jack-of-all-trades people call for help. You know a bit about everything and you’re not afraid to work hard.
Your shoes are just as flexible as your week. Some days, you rock hiking boots, while your favorite shoes are probably your old and comfy sneakers. These general shoe care tips work great for any pair.
Don’t Let Other People Touch Your Shoes
You love to make women smile, so it’s tough to say “no” when your girlfriend offers to clean your shoes for you. The problem is that washing sneakers incorrectly — like tossing them in a washing machine — can completely kill them. Many a man has lost his favorite pair of shoes to a well-meaning “I know you’re going to love this new product I got on sale.”
If you need an out, just kiss her and then pretend you didn’t hear. Or buy her a puppy. Protect your shoes at all costs.
Ditch the Sponge
Sponges are a bad choice for cleaning and polishing shoes. They often have weird chemicals that can stain or damage shoe material. Instead, go with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is cheap, lint-free and amazing. There are manly colors like black, blood red and hunter green. The next best thing is a soft shoe brush.
Give Your Shoes a Break
Constantly using the same pair of shoes day after day can wear them out quickly. It’s not because you’re using them more, but because of the sweat. Moisture makes shoes more vulnerable to damage. It’s better to give your sneakers a day to breathe while you jog with a different pair.
Don’t Store Shoes in the Sun
This is another area where Grandma’s advice can do more harm than good. Some people may tell you to put your shoes in the sun so they dry out faster. Sure, this gets rid of the sweat smell (totally just a coincidence that women want to “help” with your shoes so badly), but it also dries out and cracks your shoes. Storing your sneakers in the shade by the door is perfectly fine for airing them out.
The Modern Cowboy’s Shoe Care Handbook
Being a modern cowboy doesn’t necessarily mean you like listening to country music, wrangling steer or shooting things (though you probably do anyway). You’re a cowboy because you’re bold, adventurous and fun-loving.
Many of today’s cowboys work in construction or manufacturing gigs. That’s part of the reason why you wear work boots, but not all of it. You mainly love your work boots because it means you’re ready for anything, anywhere, anytime. How can you protect your boots?
- Waterproof the leather ASAP: To have your back, your boots need protection against the elements. Apply a waterproofing product before breaking in your new boots.
- Look for breathability: Work boots should have a way for sweat to evaporate. Real leather breathes as long as you use water-based shoe care products.
- Clean away mud and concrete: It’s OK to play in the mud, but you need to clean up the leather afterward. That way, it doesn’t dry out and crack.
- Reapply leather cream every season: Give your work boots a good cleaning and polishing every two or three months. Reapply waterproof cream to keep moisture out.
- Have two pairs: It’s even more important to let work boots breathe, especially if they’re steel-toed. Alternate pairs so they stay fresh and clean.
It’s always worth investing in high-quality leather work boots. Cheap boots cost more in the long run because they fall apart quickly.
The Importance of Shoe Care for Man’s (Second) Best Friend
Shoes are more than clothing. They’re a part of your personality. Rocking your favorite pair is like having a buddy by your side in the war. Great shoes are ready to go to hell and back with you. Spending time on shoe care is the least you can do for a loyal friend to the end. For more work tips for men, follow our blog!