TAKING CARE OF YOUR CUSTOM SHOES
We’ve teamed up with some of the best and finest shoemaking artists and craftsmen in Europe to ensure you not only get unique takes on classic styles but that they’ll last. Following the guidelines below will keep them looking as good (if not better) as the first wear. So you always have beautiful shoes for all the big, special moments and everything in between.
Proper Maintenance of Leather Shoes
Taking proper care of your leather shoes is essential to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan. Here is a comprehensive care and maintenance guide for box calf, cordovan, and polished calf leather shoes:
- Remove any dirt, dust, or residue from the surface of your shoes by gently brushing them using a soft-bristled shoe brush or a clean cloth.
- For stubborn stains, use a leather cleaner specifically formulated for the type of leather you have. Follow the instructions on the cleaner's packaging and use a soft cloth or sponge to apply it in a circular motion. Wipe away any excess cleaner.
- Allow your shoes to dry naturally and avoid placing them near direct heat sources. Stuff them with newspaper or shoe trees to retain their shape while drying.
- Conditioning your leather shoes regularly helps to keep them moisturized, flexible, and resistant to cracks or creases. Choose a high-quality leather conditioner that suits your specific type of leather.
- Apply a small amount of conditioner onto a soft cloth or sponge and rub it onto the shoe's leather surface in circular motions. Make sure to cover the entire shoe and concentrate on areas susceptible to dryness like the toe box and the heel.
- Allow the conditioner to be absorbed for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth to buff away any excess product.
- Repeat this process every 4-5 weeks or as recommended by the leather conditioner manufacturer.
- Polishing your leather shoes not only enhances their shine but also helps to protect them from scratches and scuffs. Choose a shoe polish that matches the color of your shoes.
- Apply a small amount of polish onto a soft cloth or applicator brush and work it into the shoe's leather using circular motions.
- Pay extra attention to creases or areas with scratches by applying additional polish and gently massaging it into the leather.
- Allow the polish to dry for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth or horsehair brush to buff the shoes until they achieve a desired shine.
- Store your leather shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can cause the leather to crack or fade.
- Use shoe trees to maintain the shape of your shoes and absorb any excess moisture.
- If you don't have shoe trees, stuff your shoes with acid-free tissue paper or plain newspaper to prevent them from becoming misshapen.
- Consider using a shoe bag or dust cover to protect your shoes from dust and scratches.
5. General Tips:
- Avoid wearing your leather shoes in extreme weather conditions or exposing them to excessive moisture, as this can damage the leather.
- Rotate your shoes regularly to allow them to breathe and prevent excessive wear.
- Use shoe horns to prevent stretching or damaging the shoe's heel while putting them on.
- If your leather shoes get wet, allow them to dry naturally and avoid using direct heat sources or hairdryers.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or products not designed for leather care, as they can damage the leather surface.
By following these care and maintenance practices, you can keep your box calf, cordovan, and polished calf leather shoes looking their best and ensure their longevity.
Proper Maintenance for Textile Shoes, Specifically Canvas & Linen
Canvas and linen shoes are not only stylish but also lightweight and comfortable. However, they require proper care and maintenance to ensure their longevity and keep them looking their best. Here we will guide you on how to take care of your canvas and linen shoes from Palmer James Designs:
1. Regular cleaning: Start by removing any loose dirt or debris from your shoes by gently brushing with a soft-bristled brush or using a cloth. For deeper cleaning, you can hand wash your shoes using mild soap or detergent mixed with water. Gently scrub the surface and rinse with clean water. Avoid soaking the entire shoe or submerging it completely, as it may cause damage.
2. Air drying: After cleaning, allow your shoes to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight. Stuff them with newspaper or paper towels to help absorb moisture and maintain their shape while drying. Avoid using a dryer or exposing them to harsh heat, as it can cause shrinkage or damage to the fabric.
3. Stain removal: If you encounter stubborn stains on your canvas or linen shoes, use a mixture of 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Apply the solution to the stained area and gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth. Avoid rubbing too hard, as it may damage the fabric. Rinse with clean water and air dry as mentioned earlier.
4. Protection against water and dirt: To protect your canvas and linen shoes from water and dirt, consider applying a water-repellent spray or fabric protector. Ensure that the shoes are clean and dry before applying the spray. Follow the instructions on the product and evenly coat the entire surface of the shoes. This will help prevent stains and make them easier to clean in the future.
5. Storage: When not in use, store your canvas and linen shoes in a cool and dry place to prevent humidity or mold growth. Avoid stacking or compressing them, as it may lead to deformation. It is recommended to place them in a shoebox or use a shoe storage bag to maintain their shape and protect them from dust.
AVOID MACHINE WASHING: While it may be tempting, it is not recommended to machine wash your canvas or linen shoes, as it can damage the fabric and compromise their durability. Stick to gentle hand cleaning methods mentioned above to ensure their longevity.
With proper care and maintenance, your canvas and linen shoes from Palmer James Designs will continue to look great and provide you comfort for a long time. Following these guidelines will help preserve their appearance and performance, ensuring you can enjoy them for many seasons to come.
Properly using shoe trees can help maintain the shape and condition of your shoes. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use shoe trees correctly:
1. Choose the right size: Ensure that the shoe tree is of the correct size for your shoe. The shoe tree should fit snugly inside the shoe without causing any stretching or discomfort.
2. Insert the shoe tree: Start by removing any excess moisture from your shoes, either by wiping it off or allowing them to dry naturally. Then, firmly insert the shoe tree into the toe box of the shoe. Make sure it goes all the way to the front.
3. Adjust tension: Many shoe trees have an adjustable spring mechanism at the heel. If your shoe tree has this feature, tighten or loosen it until you feel a gentle but consistent tension throughout the shoe. This tension helps maintain the shoe's shape and prevents creasing.
4. Leave them in place: It's recommended to leave the shoe trees in your shoes when you're not wearing them. This will allow the shoe trees to absorb moisture, maintain the shape, and prevent the leather from shrinking or developing creases.
5. Rotate shoe trees: If you have multiple pairs of shoes, it's advisable to rotate the shoe trees between them. This allows each pair to benefit from the moisture-absorbing and shape-maintaining qualities of the shoe trees.
6. Store in a cool, dry place: When you're not using your shoes, make sure to store them in a cool and dry place. This will help prevent humidity from affecting the leather and maintain the benefits of using shoe trees.
Remember that while shoe trees can be helpful, they should not substitute proper cleaning, polishing, and maintenance of your shoes.
Using a shoe horn can help you effortlessly slide your feet into your shoes while preventing damage to the shoe's heel or the back of your foot. Here's how to use a shoe horn properly:
1. Hold the shoe horn: Grip the shoe horn at the handle, making sure it feels comfortable and secure in your hand.
2. Position the shoe horn: Place the curved end of the shoe horn at the back of your shoe, near the heel. Ensure that the shoe horn is centered and aligned with the inner back of the shoe.
3. Slide your foot in: While keeping the shoe horn in place, gently slide your foot into the shoe by pushing your heel against the curved end of the shoe horn. Gradually apply pressure until your foot is fully inserted into the shoe.
4. Remove the shoe horn: Once your foot is comfortably inside the shoe, carefully remove the shoe horn from the shoe by sliding it out slowly and steadily. Do not yank or pull it abruptly, as it may damage the back of the shoe or cause discomfort to your foot.
5. Repeat if necessary: If you have another shoe to put on, repeat the previous steps with the other shoe.
Remember, a shoe horn is particularly useful for snug-fitting shoes or when wearing shoes with a stiff construction. It prevents unnecessary bending or distortion of the shoe's structure while maintaining the shoe's original form and shape.