Pampering your footwear - part 1
For the last year or so, I’ve been experiencing a growing passion for high quality handcrafted men’s shoes. I have always been passionate about my footwear, even when I was younger and my repertoire consisted mainly of sneakers and high tops. I still keep and sport them on occasion, but as my personal style mutated and evolved into what it is today, I’m more and more drawn to proper leather shoes of all sorts. I believe this love for shoes was set off by the very first (exquisite) pair I bought: dark brown oxfords by Sir Paul Smith (what a leap from Adidas sneakers).
As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, shoes are an investment that can last you for decades if properly taken cared, a worthy investment according to “fashion math” since the expensive price tag will pay for itself considering the amount of times you’ll wear them in 10 or so years (plus what you save by not having to buy other pairs). Driven by a habit of maintaining my belongings in mint condition (I do it with everything, not just clothes) and the fact that my shoe collection is becoming somewhat respectable, I decided to invest in a shoe care kit. Well, mine isn’t actually a kit, I purchased each item separately and built my own, but you can find them ready to use in a variety of places. The basic components you should look for are:
- Shoe Horn (doesn’t care for your shoes, but a necessity nonetheless);
- Wax/Shoe Lotion (the essential)
- Application Brushes (to properly apply the wax/lotion)
- Horsehair Buffing Brushes (to make them shine)
- Suede Brush (specially designed for suede shoes)
- Small brush to clean the dirt that accumulates in the edge of the sole (an old toothbrush will do the trick)
- Soft Cloth (the finishing touch)
A shoe care kit by Paul Smith:
On top of these you should add newspaper. This is crucial not to make a mess of your house; you don’t want shoe wax on your floor, carpet, sofa, etc. Before the whole process, make sure to spread the paper sheets across the floor to prepare a bedding for your buffed shoes. Instead of explaining step by step, I’ll leave it to the fine gents over at Allen Edmonds to show you how to do it:
You should face shoe polishing as a relaxing ritual: I do it once a week while watching my favourite shows on TV. Give it a try!