Shoe care. Rituals and routines
Shoe care goes far beyond the ritual itself. A pair of immaculate shoes says a lot about you and your personality. Looking after your shoes is the basis upon which both your outfit and the image you project to others is created. A pair of immaculate, bespoke men’s shoes of the highest quality is capable of giving that subtle but yet powerful touch of elegance to any outfit.
The perfect shoe care and cleaning kit
To make sure that we are looking after our bespoke men’s shoes in the best possible, the perfect shoe cleaning kit should have the following elements:
Basic concepts on shoe care:
Before we begin our shoe cleaning ritual, it is worth commenting that a small horsehair brush will help us to achieve a uniform distribution of the cream or shoe polish on our pair of handmade bespoke men’s shoes.
As per the microfiber cloth or glove, we will use it to help us achieve that final touch of spectacular brightness that is so characteristic of a pair of shoes made of the finest materials.
Regarding the shoe polish, we recommend you to have at least one shoe polish tin for each colour of shoes in your collection.
Beyond being an unnecessary extravagance, this is the only way in which we preserve the original colour of our bespoke shoes and we avoid superimposing a different colour to the original one, distorting its appearance.
First step: Cleaning the shoe
The first step, just before polishing your shoes, is to clean them thoroughly.
If your bespoke shoes have laces, remove them and then use the horsehair brush to gently rub your shoes, removing any dirt and dust.
Once they are clean, wipe the shoe with a slightly damp cloth and let them dry completely in the air. Once your shoes are clean and dry, wrap your index and middle finger with the microfiber cloth or glove, dip them in the shoe polish cream (always was based) and apply generously but gradually in small circular movements.
Wipe off any excess of cream with a cloth and let the cream dry.
Second step: Shoe polishing
The first thing we must take into account is that it is worth investing in a selection of good quality shoe polishing creams. Choosing the right cream is very important, especially when we have them in various formats (cream, wax and liquid), where their suitability widely depends where you live and the frequency with which you use the shoes you are about to polish.
As a rule of thumb, wax based shoe polishes and creams tend to be more dense being ideal for polishing leather shoes, while shoe polishes of liquid base are a good (but not the best) alternative to achieve a quick and easy shine.
To perfectly polish a pair of leather shoes, we will need:
How often should I polish my leather shoes?
As a general rule, it all depends on how often you wear your shoes, but it is advisable to polish them once a week.
This helps your shoes to look better and last longer. The best time to polish your shoes is when you know you will not be using them the next day. In that way, your shoes will absorb the cream in a more efficient way.
Another tip is that when you polish your shoes remember to cover the surface on which you are working to avoid dirtying it.
Polishing for a “mirror effect”
After applying the cream and letting the leather absorb it, use the horsehair brush to shine your shoes. If you repeat this process at least twice (apply cream and polish) the result will be a higher shine, so if you are looking for a mirror effect, we recommend repeating these steps at least three times.
Shoe care guide for suede shoes
Suede is very different from leather. It is a material with many properties among which we can emphasize the comfort and flexibility, but the one that stands out is the most is the unique appearance that a suede shoe has. Suede shoes do not need to be polished but they do require cleaning.
To clean a pair of suede shoes, follow these 3 steps:
First, use a specific cleaning brush for suede shoes, to remove any dirt that may have accumulated in the shoe.
Once your suede shoes are clean, use the rubber side of your brush to gently “comb” the suede for a perfect finishing. In case the suede has gotten wet, before cleaning them you should first wait for your shoes to dry, mainly to prevent stains from spreading.
Finally, use a special protective spray for suede, apply it to the entire shoe and let it dry. Make sure to spray the correct amount, enough to cover the entire shoe but without wetting the surface excessively.
A basic advice for taking care of your suede shoes.
To take care for your suede shoes and make them last, avoid using them on rainy or snowy days. Also, keep in mind that humid weather is not ideal for suede shoes.
Using shoe lasts and shoe horns
Along with a proper shoe care routine, one hour is essential to keep your shoes in perfect condition and endure the pass of time.
Something worth considering is the use of shoe lasts. Despite being available in several materials, at Cambrillón we recommend you to use wooden lasts with a solid metal structure.
As per using a shoehorn or not, we believe that no shoe rack is complete without one. With a very simple gesture, when using a shoehorn to put on your shoes, we avoid forcing and deforming the heel reinforcement; something that has aesthetically very unpleasant consequences to the shape of your shoe, also affecting its durability and overall comfort.
Where and how to store your shoes
Last but not least, the way in which you keep your shoes will help keeping them in good condition, enduring the pass of time.
How to store my leather shoes
The best way to store a pair of leather shoes is in their own dust bags, usually made of cotton. In Cambrillón we include premium brushed cotton dust bags for pair of bespoke shoes. In this way they do not get scratched, are safe from dust and stay away from the sunlight that, in some cases it could damage the natural shine and colour of the skin
How to store my suede shoes
As for suede shoes, it is best to keep them out of any box or dust bag. Unlike other types of materials such as patent or box calf leather, suede shoes need to breathe so that they maintain their unique and comfortable fit over the years.