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How Not To Wreck Your Dress Shoes During a Wet Snowy Winter

Winter in Albuquerque means it is going to get chilly and inevitably potentially drench us in snow or rain – or both! We need to prepare ourselves for a few months of battle against Mother Nature.

That can mean anything—from getting ready emotionally (you know how cold rainy snowy weather can make you feel) but also sartorially; our wardrobes need to be ready when nasty weather strikes, because the best friends of your dress shoes are not slushy puddles and salted sidewalks. Beyond just waiting until Mother Nature regains her level-headedness, here's some easy tips on keeping dress shoes looking great:

Prevent And Seal The Deal

It's important to keep in mind that leather is just like your skin. It needs nourishment and moisturization, which will help it stay healthy! A weekly protection plan sounds great on the surface, but there's no "quick trick" when you get down into how to best protect your shoes from damage. However, by conditioning them regularly we can prevent any major problems before they start! A friendly chat with your local shoe store, like the folks at Suits Unlimited, or cobbler will be able to advise you on the best products to use for your dress shoes.

Get In Quick and Waterproof

For the ultimate in shoe care, you'll need to take a few precautions. First off is waterproofing those bad boys before rain or a snowstorm. Coat your leather shoes with products like Kiwi Protect All water and stain repellent, then allow them to dry for at least two hours. Also, if you alternate when you wear your dress shoes, it will help keep them from getting too dampened by sweat & moisture build up; this will also allow for air circulation.

If your dress shoes are kept in a constantly damp state, this will affect the life of the leather and degrade the leather at a speedier rate. You certainly don’t want this outcome, especially if they are your favorite pair!

Dry A La Naturale

Leaving your shoes wet can cause damage, so the best way to prevent this is by getting them off immediately and drying naturally. A cedar shoe tree is a great investment, as they're highly absorbent with natural oils that help refresh any musty odor from old sweat or moisture. If possible, have a spare cedar tree for work or when you’re away from home, but if this isn’t possible, scrunched up newspaper stuffed into your shoes is your next best bet.

The most important thing is to never use a heat source – like radiators – to dry your shoes. Any heat source will likely crack the leather by drying it out and causing it to lose its suppleness.

Treat Salt Stains Immediately