Shoe gazing

Caring for leather shoes is not just about making your footwear look good. It’s also about preserving them and adding to the life of the shoes.

Smooth leather

Leather needs care
Leather needs care
Without proper conditioning and care, leather can dry out and eventually crack and fall apart.

While some people are content to throw on a coat of shoe polish when their shoes start to look shabby, to really protect and keep them looking their best, you need to follow a few simple steps.

“Natural leather needs air and should not be enclosed in plastic bags for long periods. During rainy season, fungus may form if the product is left unused for long periods: lightly rub the fungus off with a soft cloth dipped in a mild solution of Dettol,” says Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign.

It’s important to allow 24 hours of drying time before you wear them again.

Also, be sure your shoes dry naturally.

Placing the shoes before a heater can damage them.

What’s hot, what’s not

Ravi Bajaj,
Fashion Designer

Shoes need to be more unpredictable in terms of colours. Especially in summer, a lot of whites and light tans are good. Toes should be medium-rounded or square. Wide toes are totally out. Loafers work very well in summers and driving shoes are also in.

Peter Punj, Industrialist: I think monk shoes (or shoes with side buckles) are rather passé. I personally prefer lace-ups or loafers.

The shoe tree

A shoe tree is roughly the size of a foot and is placed inside a shoe to preserve its shape.

Wooden vs Plastic Shoe Tree: The best quality shoe trees are usually made of solid wood, mainly Cedar, which helps absorb moisture. Shoe trees are also made of plastic, with a coiled metal spring stem; these cost less and are lighter, but do not absorb moisture or eliminate odour.

The shoe protectors

In a wooden box, keep the following handy: Two 6?h horse hair shoe shine brushes. One for black only and one for brown or other colours.

  • Two applicator light and one black
  • Three jars of shoe, brown and neutral
  • A paste polish and a stain wax
  • Two professional shine cloths
  • One shine sponge, for a quick shine
  •  One 8" shoe horn