This rainy season, the first thing you want to avoid is soaked leather shoes.
It is essential to note that most leather shoes might never fit properly if left soaked for 12 to 24 hours. Hence, strive to dry soaked leather shoes as soon as possible.
This blog post focuses on 5 quick tips to undertake when your leather shoe is soaked in rain water.
- Take off the drenched shoes and Clean
When you get home, the first thing to do is to take off the shoe and remove the insoles of the shoe (if removable), and dry. Then gently wipe off any standing water. If the shoe picked up dirt or mud even while dredging through puddle of water, it is important to clean off the dirt or mud.
The dirt can be removed with a stiff brush and clean all dirt off of the shoes. For mud, dab and wipe them down with a rag first and then use a stiff brush to really get inside of the nooks and crannies of the shoes.
Make use of acid free tissue paper or old newspaper and stuff the shoes to absorb the moisture. Leave the shoes in a lighted but not in a warm area after stuffing the shoes. Change the paper at least three times a day. These papers help to hold the shoe in proper shape.
- Dry the Shoes
Allow the shoes to dry naturally with air and dry the shoes to the point of being damp but not dry. To facilitate proper air circulation, the shoes should be turned to their sides; never sole down to reduce drying time.
Avoid the use of electrical heat such as heat from hair dryers or heaters. This causes the leather to be warped and twists the shoe out of shape.
- Condition the Shoes
The next step after drying is to condition the shoes. This is to be done while the leather is slightly wet (i.e. just damp). Apply to the shoes a reasonable amount of thick leather coat of leather conditioner.
Massage the conditioner into the surface of the leather and leave it to dry for several hours or overnight. The conditioner will penetrate the leather and replenish the natural oils that got stripping when the shoe got wet.
- Protect and Prepare the Shoes
After conditioning, if the shoe still seems overly dry in places, apply additional conditioners to those areas. Buff the entire surface of the leather shoe too.
To prevent the total erosion of the oils in the leather due to the uncertainty of the weather, water and stain repellant should be applied to the shoes before it gets soaked again. Avoid getting your shoes soaked regularly.
- Reshape the Shoe
After the shoe has been dried, conditioned and protected, the shoe has to be reshaped. Ensure to make use of a natural cedar shoe tree to restore the shape. If you don’t have one, now is a time to purchase one.