At Shucare Australia we are aware that the shoes you purchase can be a large investment and therefore keeping your shoes in top condition is worth a little extra effort. Below are ways to help you look after and extend the natural life of your shoes.
Dirt and other debris can easily embed into leather. Therefore, your leather shoes or boots need to be cleaned before you start polishing. Shucare Shoe Brushes can easily be used to remove excess dirt and debris. Caked on dirt should be removed first using a damp cloth and allowed to dry before applying polish.
To polish your shoes effectively, always remove the shoelaces from your shoe before you start polishing your shoes. This is the best way to clean the tongue of the shoe and avoid staining the laces.
For best results when using shoe polishes or creams to smooth leather footwear apply the product evenly with a brush or a lint free soft cloth. Once the polish has properly dried, simply buff to a brilliant shine using a natural bristle brush. Note that it is important to use a separate brush and cloth for applying and buffing different coloured shoes.
If you prefer a more convenient alternative there is our Self Shine Renovating Liquid. Simply remove excess dirt and then apply the liquid evenly to your shoes. The formulation restores colour and dries to an instant shine - without the need to buff.
Use Shucare Water Proofing products to help waterproof your shoes thoroughly to protect them from common stains caused by water, mud, dust, snow or salt.
Store leather shoes using a shoe tree, this will help retain the shape of the leather. If you can’t use a shoe tree (e.g. for strappy shoes), stuff the toe cap with newspaper or tissue. Never store or dry leather shoes near direct heat.
Suede & Nubuck
Your suede shoes deserve special attention. Make sure they are cleaned and waterproofed regularly.
If your suede shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper while they dry to keep their shape.
Always allow them to dry naturally and never put them near direct heat.
Suede and Nubuck shoes will look their best when brushed. You can use Shucare Suede and Nubuck brushes or Suede & Nubuck Block for this purpose.
To extend the life of active or outdoor shoes (golf shoes, football or hiking boots), make sure you polish and waterproof them regularly.
Before polishing, first knock off the loose mud and allow your boots to dry naturally.
Use one of the many Shucare Australia's Deodorant products to control shoe and sneaker odour and to enjoy all day freshness and confidence.
Other interesting tips & tricks
To keep your shoes lasting longer, rotate your shoes with another pair.
When you buy a new pair of shoes, protect them before you wear them for the first time.
If your shoes get wet, allow them to dry completely before wearing them again. Once your shoes have dried, waterproof them again with a multi-purpose protector.
Use a Shoe Horn to assist with putting on your shoes to keep the heel from losing its shape.
When you travel always place your shoes inside a shoe bag or wrap your shoes in a soft material.
Ongoing Care of Your Shoes
Emergency Measures and Long-Term Care for Shoes:
Shoe Trees: Shoe trees are crucial. They allow your recently worn shoes to contract and dry out to their ideal shape — but only if you choose the less decorative unvarnished ones. Varnished trees look posh, but they don't properly draw moisture — i.e. sweat — out of the leather. Top marks go to unfinished cedar models with a split toe and a fully shaped heel: These ensure the closest possible fit between shoe and tree. Also, there's no need to own a pair of trees for each pair of shoes. The vital time for using them is the hour or two after you have removed the shoes from your feet. After that, the shoes will have returned to their natural architecture and the trees can be removed.
Repair work: Invest as much care in choosing a cobbler to resole or reheel your shoes as you did in purchasing them. And to prevent permanent damage (or, at least, the costly repair costs), have all work done before it's absolutely necessary.
Suede: Suede shoes are in a category of their own, since you cannot polish away any scuff marks. Use a Suede & Nubuck Block (basically a brick of crumbly rubber) to rub away small blemishes. Then use a suede brush to restore the nap, or fuzz, of the leather.
Wet shoes: Stuff soaking-wet shoes with newspaper and dry them away from direct heat. Direct heat can dry the leather too fast, causing it to crack — and once that happens, nothing can save your shoes.
Salt stains: The traditional remedy for road-salt stains is a little vinegar and water, applied sparingly.
What to Do About Smelly Shoes:
Prevention: Wash your feet more often and wash your socks even more often, and don't wear the same pair of shoes every day. (Ideally, have three interchangeable pairs of dress shoes.) Also, try inserting unvarnished Cedar Shoe Trees into just-removed shoes. They'll absorb perspiration, deodorize the shoes, and straighten them out after daily wear.
Cure: Change your insoles or take your shoes to a cobbler to have the insoles replaced. Beyond that, contact your local exorcist.
How to Polish a Shoe:
Wipe your shoes down with a damp cloth to remove superficial dirt and stains.
If the shoes need it, apply sole-edge dressing such as Heel and Sole Edge Renew. Let Edge Renew dry before going any further.
Apply polish, using a circular rubbing motion. You don't need to lather it on. You don't need to be gentle. And the more you rub, the better. Let the polish dry. It should take about five minutes.
Buff the entire shoe with a polishing brush. For extra gleam, hold the shoe between your knees and buff the toe vigorously with a lint-free cloth.
Polishing: The Materials:
You'll need the right tools — just a few, but each with a crucial purpose.
Shoe polish: Shucare Renovating polish is as good a brand as any other. (Cream polishes, applied with a brush, may be easier to use, but they won't give you the same shine.) And you don't need every color under the sun. Black, of course; a Chestnut or Dark Brown; and something middling or Neutral for light-coloured shoes.
Polishing cloth: In lint-free cotton or linen. Use the same one for putting on the polish that you use for buffing, regardless of the colour you're using. And hang on to it: The longer you use the same cloth, the more it becomes suffused with rich oils and dyes.
Polishing brush: To get the high shine out of the shoe once you've got all that wax into the leather. Horsehair is recommended.
Sole dressing: The edge of the sole takes a scuffing from doorjambs and sidewalks. Restore the pristine look of your shoes with a Shucare's Heel and Sole Edge Renew, apply it with the supplied applicator sponge
Shoes as Investments:
Cheap shoes are a false bargain. They're made of glue, rubber, and low-grade leather, which often bears scars from shrubs, trees, and barbed wire (the normal hazards of bovine life), and which is rejected out of hand by reputable shoemakers. Good shoes begin with great leather, period. Be prepared to pay for it. Of course, once you have invested your hard-earned cash in a quality pair, you're going to want to hang on to them. Put a little time and effort into looking after them and they'll last longer than any three pairs of cheap shoes.