Whether it’s rain, snow, or ice, winter weather can really wreak havoc on your dress shoes.
We asked Jack Erwin cofounders Lane Gerson and Ariel Nelson to share their tips for protecting your shoes during the bleak winter months.
How do I save wet leather shoes?
Though it may be tempting to stick the soaked shoes in front of a direct heat source, like a radiator or fireplace, Nelson and Gerson advise against doing so.
“Stuff your shoes with newspaper to absorb the moisture, then replace with cedar shoe trees,” they said. “If you have leather soles, let them dry too.”
What if my shoes start to smell bad?
Funky-smelling shoes are usually caused by bacterial or fungal build-up.
“There are a variety of fixes, including applying antibacterial sprays or a light layer of baking soda,” they said.
You could also try inserting an odor-controlling insole or even dryer sheets.
Salt stained my shoes — now what?
First, Nelson and Gerson recommend using saddle soap or a specialty salt stain remover to get rid of the stain itself. Then, stuff the shoes with newspaper and leave them out to dry, away from a direct heat source.
“Last, apply leather conditioner or natural oils to replenish the leather and return it to its original luster,” they said.
What are the best kinds of shoes to wear?
“Synthetic materials created specifically for inclement weather such as Gore Tex and rubber are fitting materials for the worst of the winter,” they said. “When cared for and treated properly, full-grain leather is a naturally resilient material that can also withstand the elements.”
They recommend using natural oils, like mink oil, to make leather even stronger in the winter.
What styles of boots are fashionable this winter?
“The Chelsea boot continues to be a winter staple,” they said. “This season the combat boot and dress chukka, both classic styles, are seeing a variety of new interpretations.”
Jack Erwin’s Carter boot, a twist on the combat boot, continues to be one of the brand’s bestselling styles.
What products are best for regular shoe maintenance?
“Shoe horns are always recommended as they help to preserve the back counter and overall structure of your shoe,” they said.
You should also be conditioning and polishing your shoes on a regular basis, which will keep the leather supple and moisturized.
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