The future of your shoes is in your hands. Regularly caring for them will nourish them, increase their softness, waterproof and comfort. And the more you care for your shoes, the longer they will last. That said, our sneakers, shoes and boots do not need to be kept pristine. They are meant to be lived in and become part of your story. The more worn-in, the cooler they become, displaying a lifetime of memories and stories.
Whether you are treading the city streets, walking your office hallways or partying, sneakers are prone to scuffing and discolouration. But just as there are shoe care products for your dress shoes, there are also specialised products for sneakers. Here is a short guide to some of the more basic things you may want in a sneaker care kit, as well as tips on how to keep your sneakers looking box-fresh and clean for as long as possible.
DUST THEM OFF – Dedicate a minute or two to spot-cleaning stains or dirt off your sneakers when you return home. Warm water on a microfibre cloth should be enough to tackle superficial dirt or stains, while baby wipes will usually be up to the task of cleaning up anything tougher. Be careful not to wet the sneakers in this process. And if you are back home after a cold and rainy day, let your sneakers air-dry naturally far away from any source of direct heat.
CLEANING – When you have time to do a proper cleaning, begin by removing the laces and wiping off any excess dirt with a soft, dry cloth. Never use sponges on your patina sneakers: no matter how soft and high quality, sponges are too abrasives. We know there is no need to say it, but … never throw these sneakers in the washing machine. Leather is not fabric.
INSOLES – The most neglected part of the sneaker needs love, too. Usually, basic airing out is more than enough to let the insole properly dry, but if you wear these sneakers very often and for long hours, then it would be a good idea, from time to time, to remove the insoles from the shoes and place them in a small bag with some baking soda. After a few hours, your insoles will be refreshed and odourless.
THE OUTSOLE – Remove any visible dirt with a brush and a wet cloth. Then, for white rubber sole, take a couple of spoons of baking soda a few drops of water and make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the white rubber sole with a small brush (an old toothbrush would do just fine), then scrub gently, trying not to touch the upper of the shoe. When you are done scrubbing, shake off the extra baking soda, then wipe clean the sole with a damp cloth. For black rubber soles warm water and a drop of eco-friendly dish soap on a wet cloth should be enough. Careful to remove any traces of soap with a clean cloth before leaving the shoe to dry..
CONDITIONING – Shoes need protecting and polishing to prevent the leather losing its natural oils and ensure it keep its flexibility and strength. Always polish your sneakers with a good neutral conditioning cream to keep the leather supple and hydrated. Apply the cream using a soft cotton cloth wrapped around the index and middle fingers in small circular motions, avoiding sweeping strokes, and work the polish into every crevice of your shoe. Leave the shoes to absorb the polish into the skin’s pores for at least one hour (ideally a few hours) before polishing off with a soft brush. Finally, you can lace your sneakers and put them on; walk a few steps and give a final touch with a dry cotton cloth or soft brush to remove the excess cream or wax from the creasings. Always check the ingredients of your shoe cream before purchasing it and avoid any product containing silicon. Remember to recondition and retreat every month or so, or more often depending on your country’s weather conditions, to ensure your shoes stay always looking fresh.
EXCESSIVE CREASING – While we love our sneakers when they look worn-in, some creasing can be excessive. To reduce creasing, consider using cedar or plastic shoe trees. This lets the sneaker resettle while stored.
DON’T FORGET THE LACES – An easy way to revitalise your sneakers is to freshen up your laces. All of our laces are made in waxed cotton, so they get less dirty and can therefore be easily cleaned with cold water and a touch of eco-friendly detergent. Do not machine wash them or iron them. Another option, much more effective and less time consuming is to simply use one of our spare laces, and, later on, buy a new pair.
STORAGE – Storing your sneakers correctly also plays a prominent part in how long they last. Always allow your sneakers to dry out naturally. Air-drying away from any source of direct heat is the best way to dry wet shoes: if leather is dried too quickly, it can become brittle, which could accelerate its wear. Inserting a few wads of newspaper into each sneaker will not only help absorbing moisture, it will also help them keep their shape while drying. When you are not using them, keep your sneakers away from direct sunlight and dust, which can cause discolouration. Store them in the original box or dust bags to keep them in great condition and avoid scratches from attrition of the upper with the outsole of the other sneaker.
ROTATION – Rotation is important. Leather sneakers absorb the perspiration your feet give off. If you wear the same pair day after day, they will not have enough time to time to dry and might start to lose their shape. ). Give your sneakers a rest every one or two days and allow them to air out. The leather will not warp and your shoes will last much longer.
SHOES AND BOOTS.
Our shoes and boots are all stone-washed and treated for a worn-in, distressed look, so the more worn-in the cooler they become. That said, here there is a short guide on how to take care of your leather shoes and boots; and their outsoles too, which range from hand built Italian vegetal tanned calf and buffalo soles, hard rubber originally developed for mountaineering and military use and softer, crinkly, cushioning natural crepe soles.
FIRST USE – We advise that any new pair of shoes should be worn for short periods of time to begin with, to allow for bedding-in and to avoid discomfort. Moreover, on the first occasions, wear your shoes in dry conditions, especially if your shoes have leather soles (that can become slippery on wet surfaces).
SHOEHORN – Always use a shoehorn when putting on the shoes, to maintain the back shape and avoid forcing and crushing the counter with the heel.
DUST THEM OFF – Dedicate a minute or two to spot-cleaning stains or dirt off your shoes and boots when you return home and you will prolong the life of your favourite pair. Warm water on a microfibre cloth should be enough to tackle superficial dirt or stains, while a soft brush will usually be up to the task of cleaning up anything tougher. Be careful not to wet the shoes in this process. If the shoes are damp when removed, fill them with newspaper (the paper holds the shape of the shoes whilst they dry and absorbs some of the moisture). Allow them to dry at room temperature; avoid leaving them near a source of heat, or worse still, on top of a radiator. If water droplets are present on the upper wipe them with a specialist solution using a soft cloth, and leave them to dry on the last. The following day you will be able to polish them.
REGULAR CLEAN – The process starts from preparing your shoes for proper nourishment. Using a clean polishing brush, remove any dirt accumulated on your shoes or boots. Use shoe brushes made from natural materials with long, soft bristles. Further clean your shoes with a damp cotton cloth. Be careful not to wet the shoes in this process. For frequent gentle cleans, use a neutral colour enriched liquid cream polish, which nourish the leather and slow the process of ageing. This is a quick process which will help clean, nourish and protect the leather, while also reviving the colours and the waterproof protection. Apply with a cotton cloth, allowing the shoes to fully dry. Avoid liquid coatings, they may speed up the process by hiding the creases, but at the cost of irreversibly ruining the shoe, covering it with a waterproof coating which will dry out the leather and which is hard to remove.
DEEP CLEAN – Ideally, a deeper clean should be carried out two to three times a year. This process consists in using a non-aggressive stain-removing trichlorethylene-based solution to gently perform an in-depth cleaning of the pores of the leather, removing old layers of polish, dirt marks as well as silicone or resin deposits. Using a cotton cloth in circular motions, gently apply the stain-removing agent around the shoe, until you see the leather clearing up. Two to three passes should be enough to clean all the undesired layers. Remove any excess agent with a cloth, and allow the shoes to fully dry, before proceeding to the next step.
NOURISH – After cleaning your shoes, it is important to rehydrate them. To nourish the leather and restore its suppleness, we recommend using a colourless renovating cream based on beewax, link oil and lanolin, avoiding creams which contain silicone and resins. Apply with a clean cotton cloth in circular motions, but without pressing, allowing the shoes to fully absorb the product, and finally brush gently with a shine brush to remove any excess cream. We recommend using neutral colour nourishing creams only. Don’t forget that shoes should only be cleaned when they are completely dry. Use cream polishes extremely sparingly; the polished finish is obtained by allowing the cream to penetrate the pores of the leather without blocking them; an excess of grease will prevent the leather from breathing. A well-polished shoe should appear glossy and sheer.
LEATHER OUTSOLES - Using a medium-bristled brush, brush the outsoles firmly, taking care to remove any dirt that may have accumulated. Then use a damp cloth to remove any remaining traces of dirt. Allow to dry naturally. . Use moderate to light pressure when scrubbing. Use an old toothbrush to get into the small grooves on the soles of your shoes and boots. Apply some oil (olive oil would suffice) to a soft cloth. Rub the cloth on scuffmarks in a circular fashion to erase them.
RUBBER OUTSOLES - Using a stiff-bristled brush, brush the outsoles firmly, taking care to remove any dirt that may have accumulated. Then use a damp cloth to remove any remaining traces of dirt. Allow to dry naturally. Use moderate to light pressure when scrubbing. Failing to do so can cause premature wear on the rubber. Use an old toothbrush to get into the small grooves on the soles of your shoes and boots. Apply some oil (olive oil would suffice) to a soft cloth. Rub the cloth on scuff marks in a circular fashion to erase them.
CREPE OUTSOLES - Natural crepe is open-pored and therefore becomes gradually dirty over time. A little bit of this natural patina is perfectly consistent this unique natural product. However, should the dirt start to collect too much, the following, simple tricks will help you to clean them. Prior to cleaning, remove the more coarse dirt with a brush and wash off using clean warm water. Dissolve a few drops of colourless detergent in warm water and then carefully lather the sole with a sponge paying attention at not getting the upper leather damp. Remove any remain trace of dirt with a sponge using soft movements forwards and backwards. Never use solvents such as turpentine, cleaning solvents or enamel removers to the sole. Most solvents are made from methanol or ethanol: contact with solvents would irreversibly damage it.
POLISH – After cleaning and nourishing your shoes, make sure you add a layer of polish and protection. We recommend using neutral colour shoe polishing creams, enriched with animal (beeswax) and vegetal wax to nourish, waterproof and soften your shoes. Apply in circular motions, just like you’ve done before, and let your shoes dry, before brushing them with a shine brush. With a soft brush begin to brush the leather, first in one direction and then the other. Brush until your shoes shine.
STORAGE – Storing your shoes correctly also plays a prominent part in how long they last. Always allow your shoes to dry out naturally. Air-drying away from any source of direct heat is the best way to dry wet shoes: if leather is dried too quickly, it can become brittle, which could accelerate its wear. Inserting a few wads of newspaper into the shoe and boot will not only help absorbing moisture, it will also help them keep their shape while drying. When you’re not using them, keep your shoes and boots away from direct sunlight and dust, which can cause discolouration. Store them in the original box or dust bags to keep them in great condition and avoid scratches from attrition of the upper with the outsole of the other shoe.
SHOE TREE –Shoe trees are also an invaluable ally in shoe care; we would suggest wood trees with a split toe and large, shaped heel for the best support. Wooden shoe trees (especially if made of cedar) help absorbing perspiration from the lining of the shoe, keeping it from cracking while helping to reduce the creasing of the upper. You should insert shoe trees into the shoes immediately after every wear, irrespective of whether you are going to store them for the next season or you will use them the day after.
ROTATION – Rotation is also important. Leather shoes absorb the perspiration your feet give off. If you wear the same pair day after day, they will not have enough time to time to dry and might start to lose their shape. Give your shoes a rest every one or two days and allow them to air out. The leather will not warp and your shoes will last much longer.