shoe care

Here's our simple guide to looking after your CHAPTER 2 shoes & boots. It's an easy process and series of tips which can be done with most shoes or boots to keep them looking their best. You don't need lots of fancy equipment just a sponge or soft cloth, shoe polish, cloth and brush.

Let's begin with a pair of boots that have been through a muddy field...

CHAPTER 2 shoe care

Start by removing the shoe laces.

The first job is to clean any mud or dirt off the uppers using a damp sponge, choose something soft as you don't want to use anything abrasive on the leather.

There's no need to soak the boots, you need just enough water to loosen and clean off any dirt. If there is a lot of mud you may need to rinse off your sponge a few times as you don't want to spread the dirt around.

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When you dampen your boots the leather will darken, the lighter the leather the more you will notice the effect. Don't panic, the leather will return to its normal colour when it drys.

If you've been caught in a shower and your boots are really wet then you can stuff them gently with scrunched up newspaper to absorb the water. It's best not to dry your boots by a direct heat source ie radiator, open fire or wood burner as this will dry the leather out.

You'll also want to remove any mud from the outside of the heel and the leather rand on the edge of the sole. If there's mud stuck between the edge of the rand and the upper you can use the corner of the sponge to really get in to clean this area.

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Once you have removed all the mud leave the boots to air dry as it's important that all the dirt is cleaned off and the boots are dry before you apply any polish. 

CHAPTER 2 shoe care

Before we tackle the upper we usually apply a little dark brown polish to the edge of the heel, sole and rand to freshen this up too. You'll need to be a bit more careful in this area, especially if the colour of the boot is lighter than the colour of the sole. 

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Generally you want to match the colour of polish to the colour of your uppers. If the exact colour is not available then we normally go for a lighter shade so as not to alter the look of your boot.

We use a polish which has a mixture of wax and cream which will both protect and nourish the leather. If the leather on your boots gets dry for any reason you can use some shoe cream to moisturise the uppers.

Apply a layer of polish to the uppers using a lint cloth or brush. At this point it's important to note that the black suede counter on the heel should not be polished. You can cover this area with your hand when polishing the rest of the upper.

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Leave the polish to dry for a few minutes then brush it lightly to bring up the shine. Again we protect the black suede on the heel counter as you want to avoid brushing over this, but it's ok to polish over the edge of the sole and heel as this will give this a little lustre too. You may want to apply another layer or two of polish on the toes of your boots to add some extra protection. If so, simply repeat the polishing process.

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By now your boots should be pretty much back to their former glory. Re-lace and you're good to go. 

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Generally speaking you don't need to clean the sole unless you have been wearing your boots in a bog! Our soles are made from leather which is a porous material so if you wear your boots in very wet conditions the soles will absorb some water. If this happens, leave them to air dry, giving them chance to fully dry out before you wear them again (usually it's best to not wear that same pair again the next day).

It's also worth remembering that polish and creams are only going to work on shoes made from classic types of leather, so that's most of our Wren and Jackdaw boots. You can't polish special leathers like patent or metallic, they can be cleaned but there's no magic cure for those more delicate types of leather once they are scuffed.

This simple cleaning and polishing process doesn't have to take long and you don't need to do this every time you wear your boots, just when you feel like they need a little t.l.c. If you look after your boots and show them a bit of love they'll only look better for longer :)

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