Winterize Your Shoes

Salt stains – the messy patches of white that appear on your shoes and pant cuffs – might just be the worst thing about winter. But unlike the other contenders for that title (frigid cold, short days, lack of short skirts, etc.), there are ways to fight back against salt. Here’s how to save your soles – not to mention the rest of your shoes.

1. Use Protection
To ensure longevity, spray boots before their first wear, and every other week after that. Tana spray protector, which can be found virtually anywhere, will do the trick.

2. Discover Dubbin
Dubbin, a waxy formula that’s been used to protect leather since the Middle Ages, not only repels water – it also keeps your shoes soft and supple.

3. Clean Up
“Nobody needs to tell you to clean your clothes,” says Françoise Asadi of Montreal’s Cordonnerie Ravaudeur. “Shoes you wear everyday, yet they are often never cleaned.” White vinegar will neutralize salt and clean stains more efficiently than anything on the market.

4. Moisturize
Apply mink oil to nicks or scuffs to revitalize the leather and keep it moist, so it doesn’t crack.

5. Rub Softly
Use a T-shirt or rag to apply product. “Both are softer than paper towel and won’t scratch the leather,” says Spieros Marinos, owner of Toronto’s Nick’s Shoes.

6. Stay Fresh
Most products have an expiry date. Heed these warnings, especially for protector; once the chemicals separate, it’s useless.

Image Courtesy of  chez_sugi on Flickr.

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