Shoes are a crucial investment for a classy or casual closet setup. They not only excel in terms of looks and appearance, but they also help in protecting the feet from any external factors like dirt and prickly stones.
It is common knowledge that shoes tend to get dirty in rain due to muddy surfaces. But did you know that your shoes stand a chance at damage due to snow as well? Snow stains are a common sight that can annihilate the overall look of your shoes. To save yourself some trouble, you can undertake a few precautionary measures to protect your shoes in the winter season.
Methods to Weather-proof your Boots
Let us start with some preventive measures for your boots so that they do not get dirty in the first place.
Protective Measures for Boots
Before you take a trip outside in the snow, adhere to the following steps to create a protective layer for your shoes.
a) Check the Material
Not all materials are meant to resist water or snow. If you live in a cold or wet climate region, it is best to get synthetic boots rather than leather or suede.
Even though you can seal the fabric with chemical products, it might decrease its durability over time.
b) Wax Polish
Along with the snow, your shoes can get stained due to the salt spreads on the sidewalks. Such damage can be prevented by applying wax polish over the shoes. Ensure that you apply a thin coating rather than lathering your shoes with heavy polish.
Wax polish brings in two benefits; not only does it act as a protective layer, but it also adds shine to the boots, making them look clean and sleek.
c) Leather Conditioner
Firstly, it is not advisable to wear leather shoes in winter as they are not weather-resistant. Little contact with water can lead to severe and prominent cracks on your shoes. However, if you are adamant and left with no choice, you can protect your leather shoes with a layer of leather conditioner.
It maintains the level of moisture that can effectively protect your leather shoes from succumbing to cracks.
Note: Before trying any commercial product, read the instruction or ask the professional executive in charge to know about any potential side effects.
Take up a Cleaning Process
Let us say that you went out without adding a protective layer through the methods mentioned earlier. Do not worry, we have you covered for that as well.
As soon as your boots get dirty and you see traces of salt stains, clean them immediately with a damp cloth. If you start seeing cracks, prepare a mixture of water and vinegar in a 2:1 proportion. Dip the towel in the solution and dab it on the salt stains. Using a brush, clean the shoes gently.
Leave the shoes to dry in a well-ventilated area. If the structure of the shoe has been compromised, you can stuff the shoes with some crumbled newspapers. Do not keep them in direct sunlight.
If there is a presence of scuff marks, baking soda is an effective treatment. Sprinkle some baking soda over the marks and clean the boots with a damp cloth. Let them dry and buff them for better results.
Oil stains can ruin the overall appearance of your suede shoes. You can use talcum powder or cornmeal to hide them. Sprinkle some over the stain and brush it off after a few hours with a towel or paper cloth.
If the stains have stunk up your boots, you can clean them with some baking soda. Remove the boot liners and insoles and wash them separately. Let them dry. Sprinkle baking soda on the boot’s surface and let it sit for a few minutes. Clean the shoes with a dry cloth and place the liners and insoles carefully.
The laces must be washed separately and dried completely. This will give your boots a cleaner and tidier look.
Maintaining your Boots
Maintenance is the key to increase the durability of your shoes. Always keep your shoes clean and polished. If they get dirty due to mud stains or snow stains, clean them immediately and do not wait for the stains to get penetrated through the fabric.
If you use specific winter boots, clean them before storing them at the end of the season. There could be traces of mold or grime. Hence, it is better to clean them up before storing them for next year.
Never use plastic bags to store the boots. Specific materials like leather or suede need to stay in a ventilated area. Hence, keep them in cloth bags or pillowcases.
If the shoes need to dry, do not keep them in direct sunlight. Instead, let it dry naturally to avoid cracking.
Always clean the laces, insoles, and boot liners separately.
If none of the techniques seem to work for your boots, or you feel that your shoes are beyond repair, it is best to seek professional help.
Simple Hacks to Maintain your Shoes in Winters
Along with the techniques mentioned above, you can adhere to the following hacks and tips to maintain your shoes:
- Use waterproofing waxes to eliminate the possibility of the formation of cracks and stains.
- If your shoes get wet, stuff them with newspapers and place them in a ventilated area. If you see the newspapers getting soaked, replace them.
- Use a qualitative shoe brush to regularly clean your shoes.
- Place some pebbles in a baking tray and keep your shoes on them in an upright position. The mud and water will easily filter through the pebbles and get settled at the bottom of the tray.
- Utilize a pencil eraser to get rid of the stains from suede shoes.
- Avoid wearing light-colored shoes on a snowy day. It increases the probability of getting stained.
- Do not wear the same shoes twice in a row to avoid bacteria build-up.
It might be easy to get a qualitative pair of shoes, but you will have to put in some extra effort in maintaining them, especially in the winter season. Wear thick socks to keep your feet warm, and always carry extra pair of socks in case they get drenched. Adhere to the methods mentioned above and maintain your shoes for years to come.
I am a registered professional nurse with experience of 10+ years under my belt. I graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Since then, I have been beneficial for various rehabilitative and critical medical situations. I work with Feetfitness.com Team with researching foot problems and assists them by providing my expertise in the best footwear for different medical conditions. I am also instrumental to the group by helping in test, compile, and present the best footwear for professionals & everyday uses