Proper Shoe Care and Maintenance
The foundation of proper shoe care is a well-made shoe tree. In addition to adding a polished look to your shoe rack, there are a multitude of advantages to storing your shoes with trees. Both plastic and wood shoe trees or stretchers will maintain the shoe's shape and structure which reduces aging and creasing of the textile. Another little known fact is that if shoes are not worn for a long period of time they can shrink, shoe trees combat this as well.
While plastic is typically a cheaper option, protecting a well-made pair of shoes should be done with a well-made shoe tree, and this is a shoe tree constructed entirely of Cedar. Cedar is deliciously aromatic, which masks odor originating from the shoe, and is also extremely absorbent which prevents moisture buildup. This benefit is two fold - preventing odors caused by moisture and preventing wear and tear to your shoe's leather interior and lining caused from moisture. If you ever have a particularly odorous pair of shoes, simply sand your cedar shoe trees to release extra aroma. This can't be done with plastic. BOMBEROS offers FSC-Certified American Red Cedar shoe trees available here which will tick all the boxes in regard to your shoe tree needs.
In addition to preserving the interior, shape, and structure of your shoes - trees act as a second pair of hands while you clean and maintain the exterior of your shoe. Taking care of the exterior varies by material, so let's cover the intricacies.
Start by cleaning the surface of the shoe to remove any loose debris or dust which may have built up while wearing or storing your shoes. If your shoes have laces now is the time to remove them. The initial surface cleaning should be done with a horsehair brush, combing over the entire shoe to sweep the surface clean. Once the surface is prepped, use a chamois or cloth to apply a leather conditioner in a circular motion while applying light pressure. Allow the product to dry and use either a chamois or a horsehair brush to remove any excess conditioner remaining on the shoe. If you want to add a coat of wax or polish, repeat the leather condition application process with the product of your choice.
BOMBEROS uses a pure-velvet which is the highest quality velvet available today. Because of this, proper care must be exercised when cleaning. To start - you'll need a horsehair brush, microfiber towel and a soft, non-damaging brush. Microfiber is very absorbent and does not leave behind residue which is typically very visible on velvet. Once you have your microfiber cloth and a soft bristled brush, mix 1-2 ounces of dishwashing soap with 8-10 ounces of warm water. What we're looking for is a foamy mixture.
Start by brushing the shoe with your horsehair brush to remove any loose debris. Next, apply a conservative amount of your mixture to the blemish on your velvet slippers. Gently scrub this in using a unidirectional stoke matching the grain of the velvet around the blemished area. Let the solution sit for a few minutes and wipe away with your microfiber towel, brushing in the same direction you scrubbed.
Very similar in procedure to Velvet, we have your life hack for cleaning Suede using something you probably already have in your home. Again, start by using a horsehair brush to remove any debris. Do this in a uni-directional stroke, matching the grain of the shoes which is most likely back to front. Now that we have a clean surface, use a microfiber towel to wipe the area in the same direction you brushed. Next, dampen the microfiber towel with warm water and a small amount of white vinegar. Lightly brush the blemished area in the same direction you've been using and allow to dry. This should remove the blemish. If you now have a moisture stain, brush the entire shoe with a moist microfiber towel so that it is uniformly damp and allow to dry over night with a pair of shoe trees insert.
In the event your suede is scuffed, simply follow the grain with a pencil easer and the natural fibers in the leather should fill the scuff in.
Perhaps the easiest textile to clean, Linen is durable and does not stain from moisture. To remove a blemish, use either a microfiber towel or a soft brush to apply a mix of 1-2 ounces dish soap with 8-10 ounces of water in a circular motion. Allow to dry and your stain should have vanished, if not, repeat the process applying slightly more pressure.
Suede, linen, and velvet can all be pre-treated with a nano-coating or water repellant prior to wear. As with most things, prevention is better than solving so we recommend treatment if possible. Should you have any questions or want recommendations on cleaning products, treatments, waxes, or polishes please feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!