Leather is ideal – it’s both fashionable and practical when colder temperatures, heavy rain and even snow start to set in. Caring for your leather boots (and any of your leather pieces) will extend the life of your wardrobe staples and see them looking good for many more winters to come.
Prevention is always better than a cure, and knowing how to correctly store your leather boots will make a big difference. Below are some key tips on how to properly store leather boots between wears:
Recycle your shoe bags
Never store leather boots in plastic. Instead, recycle the cotton shoe bags your shoes came with. Not only is this better for our environment but also will extend the life of your favourite shoes and keep them out of reach from your little ones. By keeping shoes in a soft bag between wears, you can prevent structural damage and scuff marks. Although these shoe bags will protect your shoes from their environment, remember to always keep them out of any sunlight and hot areas – store away in a dry, dark and cool place and don’t forget to give your shoes some breathing space, this will help prevent mould, mildew and any other nasties from forming. Another healthy storage alternative for your leather boots is shoe boxes.
Keep out of sunlight
It is important to remember that leather is like a skin, and wears the effect of sun damage just the same. Storing your leather boots (or other leather goods) in sunlit areas, can take the natural moisture out of your boots and cause cracks in the leather. To ensure your leather stays nourished, apply leather conditioner every 6-8 weeks, to preserve the integrity of the material and keep them rejuvenated.
How to store leather boots if they get wet
As much as you try to prevent your favourite boots getting wet, sometimes we can’t help but get caught out in the rain. Before storing them away, pack them up with newspaper to help draw out excess moisture inside the shoe. It is important to never use a hair dryer or heater to dry your shoes out – always allow them to dry naturally. Before taking your new boots out for a spin, treat your shoes with a quality water and stain protector. This will ensure maximum protection against their environment, whether that be dirt or rain or even your little ones.
Out of Storage
After a long season stored away, your boots and/or leather pieces may have developed a mouldy exterior. Depending on the growth, you may first need to use some leather wipes to wipe away excess mould, then follow up with a high quality and good lathering of leather conditioner. Allowing the conditioner to soak in overnight is best. Wipe away excess conditioner, and buff the area. Follow this with water and stain protector to seal in moisture and keep dirt, grime and excess moisture away. Before adding the water and stain protector, you may wish to apply some pigment back into the shoes with a good quality shoe polish (in your shoe’s colour of course).
Lastly, a little TLC goes a long way. While making sure you follow the above storage tips for your favourite leather boots, it’s also important to keep them in tip-top shape throughtout the boot season.