Drying Wet Shoes
Oh no!! You've been caught out, or had too much fun, and your shoes are wet. No shoe (or foot) is happy wet - so here are some tips to make you and your shoes happy again, depending on the material of the shoe.
1. It is important to take off the shoes as soon as possible after their drenching.
2. Stuff the shoes with newspaper or cloth (gently so that it looks like a foot is in there. Don't stuff it until it is bursting at the seams). This not only holds the shape of the shoe as it dries and contracts, it immediately begins absorbing the dampness inside the shoe, which is usually where dampness persists.
3. Dry them at room temperature. DO NOT dry leather shoes in front of fires, with hair dryers or any other type of artificial heat! These artificial heat sources cause the leather to dehydrate and sometimes crack or split, so room temperature is best.
4. Once your shoes are dry storing them with a shoe tree help retain their shape.
5. Condition your shoes to assist in restoring suppleness to the leather.
6. Apply water and stain repellent ready for your next aquatic adventure / misadventure!
Nubuck and Suede
1. Remove the shoes as soon as possible and let them dry at room temperature. Do not put the shoes in sunlight, or next to a heater or other artificial heat source as this can cause suede to shrink, warp and crack. Water will not ruin your nubuck or suede shoes if you take your time letting them dry.
2. DO NOT use anything to try and remove any stains while the shoes are still wet as this can strip the finish of the shoe.
3. Stuff the shoes with newspaper or cloth (gently so that it looks like a foot is in there. Don't stuff it until it is bursting at the seams). This not only holds the shape of the shoe as it dries and contracts, it immediately begins absorbing the dampness inside the shoe, which is usually where dampness persists.
4. Use a suede brush to lightly brush off any mud or dirt. Gently work with the nap (the direction of the suede hairs) and brush away any major mud and dirt stains. Don't try to remove the dirt until perfectly clean - it is so important to avoid scrubbing suede and nubuck while still wet. Suede shoes cannot be repaired if the soft outer layer has been stripped.
5. Once the shoes are completely dry, use a suede brush to massage the fibres back into position. Working in small circles, massage each area of the shoe until the fibres are soft and glowing. It is important to note that even though older shoes will never be completely returned to their former glory, you can still vastly improve their appearance.
6. Apply protective water and stain repellent to help avoid future damage. Suede shoes can survive anywhere, as long as you are prepared. A suede and nubuck mousse is helpful to remove dirt and dried mud from nubuck and suede. The benefits of suede and nubuck specific sprays or coatings are enormous. A protective water and stain repellent spray will keep your shoes dry, prevent watermarks and stains, and maintain the soft outer coating for years to come.
DID YOU KNOW? - the same pair of shoes should never be worn two days in a row! Even the small amount of moisture from your own feet should be allowed time to evaporate naturally- so ensure that you have two pairs of quality leather shoes, not one pair that is worn every day!