Shoe Care: Our Handy Guide

Here at Shoes International, we've been thinking; buying new shoes is great (obviously) but what about those shoes we grow attached to? Our go-to leather boots for example – how do we keep them feeling fresh and looking great for as long as possible? With winter well and truly upon us, our shoes are increasingly exposed to the harsh elements. Fear not however! We have come up with this easy to follow guide, complete with tips and advice to ensure your shoes are fully protected and looking great for this season, and for years to come. Don't forget, we offer a wide range of high quality womens shoe care products; perfectly selected to compliment our selection of stylish shoes.

Caring for Suede

Although ultimately not as easy to care for as a smooth leather finish, with modern treatments and cleaning products suede is surprisingly simple to care for even in winter. It is important to prepare for the upcoming winter months; rain, snow and mud are just a few of the hardships your shoes are set to face, so it's essential you are prepared and ready to fight back!

Using a waterproofing spray is the best way to protect your suede shoes from rainand even the odd mulled wine stain! For best results use a suede brush before and after applying the spray, this will raise the nap and keep your suede looking clean and fresh as well as allowing the solution to be absorbed more deeply. If you do happen to encounter any scuffs or marks, don't worry! Using a suede cleaning block will take those stains out in no time at all.

We have had some great new suede footwear in this Winter, with shoes and boots coming from FitFlopVan Dal and Lotus to name a few.


Caring for Leather

Caring for your leather shoes is important in order to ensure they remain in tip-top condition. With the correct treatment, leather can literally last a life time. The good news is that this need not be too difficult or onerous - just follow our 4 simple rules:

1. Clean – Before doing anything to your leather, it is essential you remove any pre-existing dirt or oils that may be lurking. Ensure the footwear is dry  - dry them naturally - not near a fire or other artificial heat. Newspaper stuffed inside particuarly wet shoes will help.

Once they are dry, brush off any loose. For most, this will be sufficient - though more heavily soiled footwear might require a cleaning spray or gel.

2. Condition – Once your shoes are dry, use a conditioner to soften and moisturise the leather. This helps further protect the leather from drying out and plays an essential role in maintaining your shoes' health. Leave the conditioner on your shoes for a while, to allow the solution to be absorbed and then wipe off any excess. It is not necessary to perform this task everytime you clean your shoes - once every two weeks will ensure the leather receives the natural oils it requires in order to avoid dryness and cracking.

3. Polish – Choosing the correct colour polish to compliment your shoe is important. Before you begin heartedly slapping on the polish, take a small amount and test the colour in a small area, just to check that it matches your shoe colour. If you are satisfied with the results, gently polish the remaining surface and leave to dry. We suggest using a  soft cotton cloth for polish application. Once the leather is completely dry, carefully buffer with a polishing brush.

4. Protect – The final stage involves protecting your shoes against any damage from water or stains. For this, use a water protection spray or wax that will form a layer over your shoe and prevent any unwanted nasties from reaching your shoes surface. This step is often preserved for suede products, but waterproof protection sprays work on smooth leather too - and if you are anticipating some particularly torrid weather conditions you can protect the leather with this too.

This Winter, Ecco have launched a number of fabulous leather products, perfect for all weathers.


Caring for shape

Over time any type of shoe can be beaten and bent out of shape, however there are ways to avoid this. Using a shoe tree can greatly assist in maintaining your shoes fine curves and keep them looking as good as new. These come in all shapes and sizes and fit inside your shoes after you have worn them. The tree will then help dry out your shoe and offers support so that the shoe won't shrink and bend out of place.

We hope you found our guide for caring for your shoes helpful. If you have any further tips or advice we would love to hear from you! We offer a range of womens shoe care products that have been carefully selected to complement our range of stylish shoes, why not take a look?