Shoe care made easy – How to care for your safety shoes properly
Step 1: Preparation for shoe care
Shoe care: remove the footbed so that it can air dry and ventilate. Also remove the laces so that the care products can reach the hidden parts of your shoe, such as the tongue and the tongue pouch.
Step 2: Basic cleaning of your shoes
Clean heavily soiled shoes with a brush and warm water. A shoe cleaning agent that removes stubborn dirt is also highly recommended. In regions with strongly calciferous water we recommend cleaning with distilled water (e.g. from the dryer) for shoe care.
Step 3: Impregnation of the shoes
After your shoes have been freed from dirt, they should be treated with an impregnating spray while still slightly damp. In this moist state, the leather pores are wide open and the impregnation penetrates even deeper into the material. Regular re-impregnation prevents the absorption of water and dirt. This is particularly important because leather soaked with water has no breathability and the climate in the shoe is strongly influenced by this. When caring for your shoes, please note that the impregnation only develops its full effect after 24 hours.
Step 4: Care of your shoes
Depending on the intensity of use and the intended purpose, you should treat your shoes regularly with care products. Especially if they are often exposed to extreme moisture, it is absolutely essential to treat them with a wax cream or wax emulsion – even for shoes with Sympatex membranes. The components washed out by the water must be returned to the leather so that it remains adaptable, flexible and resistant. Leather that is not cared for dries out, becomes brittle, tears and your shoe is irreparably damaged. To prevent this, it is a good idea to apply the care product with a cloth and polish it with a brush. By carefully warming the leather with a hairdryer, you can achieve an even better penetration of the care substances into the leather.
The use of oils and greases is not advisable as they make the leather very soft and almost waterproof, but the shoe loses its firmness and stability. Furthermore, oils and greases close the leather pores, causing the shoe to lose its breathability (rubber boot effect) and, in the worst case, can even loosen adhesions.
Step 5: Storage of your shoes
Leather shoes are best stored in a shoe bag or cardboard box in a dry, airy place. Your shoe will keep its shape on a wooden shoe tree. Alternatively, dry shoes can be stuffed with newspaper.
Please never store the shoes in damp and wet rooms, as the shoes can develop mould. Also avoid especially hot storage locations, such as in direct sunlight, in the boot, near radiators, etc.
Newly bought shoes do not require any additional shoe care before the first tour, but a refreshment of the leather impregnation is advantageous.
The leather lining should be rubbed with a special leather milk (e.g. Patina Leather Milk, Keralux LCK) from time to time, as the often very aggressive foot sweat with the salts it contains dries out the lining and makes it brittle and hard.
The Sympatex lining does not require any special care, but can be cleaned occasionally with lukewarm water and a mild soap solution. Incorrect or inadequate leather care, however, renders the membrane ineffective. It is therefore not sufficient to spray intensively used Sympatex shoes only with an impregnating or care spray!
Do not wash leather shoes in the washing machine. The mechanical action during the washing process, combined with an increased washing temperature, can lead to the washing out of the colour pigments, damage to upper materials and the dissolution of adhesions, irreparably destroying the shoe.
In the case of nubuck and suede leathers, the surface becomes darker due to the application of wax, but can be brushed up again with a wire or brass brush. However, the original appearance is lost somewhat. To avoid this optical change, a liquid care product can be used. Smooth leather and waxed leather are easier to care for and more resistant to water and dirt.
The textile materials on your shoe should also be impregnated regularly to improve the resistance of the material to the absorption of water and dirt.
The shoes should always be well aired and dried out after use. Remove the insole and open the lacing. Never leave shoes to dry on the radiator, too close to the stove, in the car under the rear window or in the boot. Wet leather “burns” very easily (i.e. it becomes brittle, fragile and contracts). Very often, irreparable leather cracks occur at the walking or kinking crease. Hooks and rivets are also affected.
Shoe care, shoe care, shoe care. This is how you extend the service life of your safety shoes.