Looking after your shoes is as important as showering every day. In order to keep them looking their best and giving them the longest life that is possible, they need a bit of TLC.
Here at Thomas Bird, all of our shoes and boots are made from the finest quality leather and are hand-crafted by our highly skilled Italian manufacturers, and just like anything that is worth having, they need to be cared for.
Your shoes need to be as sharp as your freshly dry-cleaned suit. A great pair of shoes can make all the difference. They can turn a good look into a great look – you can become the envy of the room whether it is in that important work meeting or on a night out with the guys.
Looking after your shoes or boots does not have to be expensive or a chore. In fact, you can do it easily yourself. Some people even find looking after their favourite pair of Wholecut Oxfords to be therapeutic and rewarding. It’s not difficult and can make all the difference to how you look, how long your shoes last for – and, most important of all, how you feel.
So now that you have decided that you want to take care of your leather or suede shoes or boots, here is everything that you need to know about how to do it.
What Equipment do you Need?
Setting yourself up with the right equipment to clean and care for your leather shoes is simple. You can get it all from us here at Thomas Bird, ensuring that you give your stylish footwear the care that it needs, and you looking at your best wherever you might go.
With the exception of the shoe cream, of course, the rest of the equipment can last for years, ensuring that you are looking dapper right now and in the future.
A shoe brush is used to both remove dirt from the outside of your shoes, as well as apply shoe cream and buff them. Generally speaking, the best shoe brush to use is a flat brush with horsehair bristles. This is because it can reach all of the places that are awkward to get to, and the horsehair is soft yet robust enough to clean your leather shoes perfectly.
Shoe cream acts as a moisturiser on the leather, helping to protect it from cracks and creases as well as giving your shoes or boots a colour boost.
To preserve the natural hand finished look of our shoes, try a neutral cream first. If you need to cover up scuffs then try a similar colour to your shoes - oxblood, blue, black etc. Some of our customers keep the look of the burnished toe by using some of the main colour with a bit of black cream mixed in. But only do this sparingly in the toe area, and if you are feeling confident.
Suede Brush and Spray
Suede needs to be treated differently from classic leather. A suede brush is also used to remove any dirt and give the shoes a spruce up, and the spray can help to revitalise them.
Our horse Hair Application Brush is a round application brush suitable for applying shoe cream and polish. The super soft horse hair is kind to leathers to avoid scratches.
A mitt buffer does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a mitt that is used to buff the leather. Wool is the best material to use for buffing as it is aggressive enough to make a difference without damaging the leather on your favourite pair of shoes.
A shoe tree is an essential part of your shoe care equipment. It is not only used to help your shoes or boots to keep shape but also absorb the moisture and aerate their insides when you are not wearing them.
A shoehorn not only helps you to put the shoe onto your foot, but it also helps to protect the heel when you are putting it on.
Dust or shoe bags are great for carrying your shoes or boots when you are travelling, but also just for protecting them and keeping them looking pristine wherever you might have them – in a suitcase, or in your wardrobe, for example.
Shoe Care Tips and Advice
Thomas Bird's premium men's Blake-stitched dress shoes are meticulously crafted to withstand the test of time, ensuring durability and longevity. These exquisite shoes are constructed using the renowned Blake method, where the upper, insole, and outsole are expertly stitched together for enhanced flexibility and resilience. The importance of investing in high-quality footwear cannot be overstated. Not only do they exude elegance and sophistication, but they also provide exceptional comfort and support for your feet, reducing the risk of discomfort and fatigue.
To keep your men's leather dress shoes looking pristine and prolong their lifespan, follow these six simple steps:
1) Utilise a soft brush to remove dirt and dust particles after each wear.
2) Wipe the leather upper down with a damp (not wet) cloth to remove more stubborn dirt and grime.
3) Allow the shoes to air dry naturally, avoiding direct heat sources.
4) Apply high-quality shoe polish or Thomas Bird cream in a circular motion using a soft, lint-free cloth.
5) Try to store the dress shoes with a natural cedar wood shoe tree to maintain shape and absorb excess moisture.
6) Avoid consecutive wear, allowing the shoes time to rest and breathe.
When it comes to keeping your favourite pair of chestnut wingtip Derby Brogues or classic Eastwood Chelsea Boots looking tip-top, it is not just about the cleaning and polishing. The way that you look after them and use them is also important. As we’ve said before, look after your shoes or boots, and they will look after you.
With this in mind, let's explore some additional tips and tricks to further extend the life of your beloved dress shoes. As well as give you advice to help you to keep your footwear looking immaculate, and you looking and feeling like you’re the man.
Style: Hampton Penny Loafer
Stagger Your Use
Tempting as it might be, try not to wear your favourite pair of Thomas Bird shoes or boots all day, every day. Although our footwear is expertly crafted to be of the utmost quality, continuous use can cause our shoes to lose their colour freshness.
It can also cause a degree of damage to the leather, Good general care, and staggered use can help them to last for longer. The best idea would be to get two pairs so that you can switch up your style and help them both to last for longer.
Shoe cream moisturises the leather to help it stay supple and reduce dryness, but other products can also be useful to keep your shoes healthy, nourished, and looking great. Shoe polish can be used to keep the shoes in good condition as well as deepen their colour. You can also use waxy polish or wax to seal the leather further and give the shoe a shinier finish.
Handle With Care
Make sure that you treat your favourite leather shoes or boots with the care that they deserve. This way they will stay pristine for longer. Make sure that you always use a shoehorn to preserve the heel and take them on and off correctly. You should also keep them in a shoe bag to protect them when you are not wearing them – and not only when you are travelling.
The key to keeping your shoes looking great is to carry out these processes as regularly as possible. Try and clean and polish them weekly, or at minimum, monthly.
Style: Henley Tassel Loafer
Final shoe care tips
Consider investing in a protective spray specifically designed for leather shoes. This creates a barrier against water, stains, and dirt, enhancing their resistance to daily wear. Moreover, regularly condition your dress shoes using a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking. And remember, when storing your shoes, use shoe bags or boxes to shield them from dust and sunlight, ensuring they remain in impeccable condition for years to come.
As mentioned above, it’s important to rotate between multiple pairs of shoes to distribute the weight and reduce strain on a single pair. This not only helps prevent excessive creasing but also gives each pair a chance to fully dry and regain its shape.
By following these simple yet effective steps and incorporating these tips into your shoe care routine, you'll be able to enjoy your premium men's Blake-stitched dress shoes for an extended period while maintaining their exquisite appearance and allure.
Style: Hamilton Chukka Boot
Ensuring that your premium leather shoes are always looking their best is about more than just polishing them every now and again. They need continuous – but simple – care. Regular care and proper use can make all the difference in the way that your shoes or boots look and last, and with a little bit of TLC, they’ll ensure that you are looking sharp for years to come.
Style: Henley Tassel Loafer
Youtube Video: Thomas Bird Shoes Being Made in Italy.