Written by Miguel Vieira.
With sustainability and over consumption being core topics in modern society, and rightfully so, the subject of durability and timelessness becomes that more important. Without delving deep into the topic of sustainable fashion and waste reduction, it’s safe to say that consumers play a major role in this issue. On the one hand, fashion consumers must be much more demanding and conscious when making new purchases, aiming to buy less and higher quality garments and accessories, whose aesthetics won’t render them obsolete in a few months. On the other hand, a great deal of the problem resides in how consumers care for their pieces, increasing their life span and even recycling or upcycling them once they’re over them.
On this note, footwear is one of the product categories that provides greater value in maintaining through a proper care routine. Quality shoes or sneakers are usually produced from high-end, durable leather, which if cared for regularly, can last for decades. Come to think of it, this was precisely the case a few years ago when cobblers would handcraft a pair of shoes for a client and then periodically revamp them by polishing uppers and replacing linings and soles. Not only would this result in much rotation and waste, it would also allow customers to invest in better shoes and create a strong emotional connection to their favourite pairs throughout the years, a critical aspect of fashion that has been slowly disappearing over the years.
At this stage you might be thinking: “well, I just buy sneakers, so all this talk makes no sense.” Well, not quite. There’s no denying that due to the sheer construction and higher leather quality, classic footwear is easier to maintain and refurbish, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your favourite kicks looking pristine for years. By establishing a proper shoe care routine, you’ll be able to make the most of your collection, narrowing it down to top tier styles that will pay for themselves over the years. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how you can start showing your footwear some love:
• Make it a habit
What time works best for you? Friday nights? Sunday mornings? Whatever it is, make sure you make it a routine and get to work on your collection every other week. Save last week’s newspapers to protect your floor or carpet and line up the pairs that need caring. You can polish them while watching your favourite series or simply immerse in the process and make it a sort of therapy, it’s quite cathartic really.
• Get the proper tools
Making sure you get the right tools for the job is a critical step for success. Thankfully, many brands have created shoe and sneaker care kits to make your life easier, usually comprised of a couple of brushes, a lint-free cloth, moisturisers, leather cleaners and shoe polish in a range of shades. Start by brushing off any dust and excess dirt then move on to apply a leather cleaner or soap to make sure they become pristine. The following step is usually to apply the polish in small circular movements to ensure even coverage and finish it off with a vigorous buff to really make them shine.
• Learn from the best
If you’re a beginner in what regards shoe care, worry not. Youtube is filled with great tutorials and educational videos on how to give your shoes a new-found life. From shoe brands, to bloggers and care product companies, all of them offer tips and comprehensive videos on how to do it the right way.
As with everything in life, you’ll get better during with practice and it will quickly show if you make it a routine. Plus, you’ll begin to develop a unique passion for each of your pairs, in a way you hadn’t experienced before!
Find shoe care essentials at The Feeting Room:
Miguel has been working in Fashion Marketing for the last 10 years, after undergoing a complete life change from his previous work as a Civil Engineer (his academic background). He also founded the well-renowned menswear and lifestyle blog Beyond Fabric. His style has continuously evolved over the years, going from sartorial to a more comprehensive and eclectic approach. Other passions besides fashion, include cars, bikes, watches and cooking.