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How to care for your leather shoes in winter

November 04, 2019 2 min read 1 Comment

Winter’s on its way — but rain and snow don’t have to stop you looking your best. Here’s how to get your new-season shoes ready for anything.

1.  Waterproof your shoes before you need to

Snow in winter shouldn’t come as a surprise, so how come the first snowfall always feels that way? We’re big fans of getting your prep done as early as possible. Waterproof your leather shoes and boots before you think you need to, and you’ll be all set when winter starts in earnest.

2.  Clean your shoes before you begin 
There are a few different ways to get your shoes ready for winter, but all the experts agree on the first step: give them a good cleaning. Use a specialty leather cleaner or mild soap, and wipe your shoes gently with a damp cloth before leaving them to air dry.

3.  What to know about wax…
Wax-based products are the heavy-duty option: they’ll coat your leather shoes and boots with a waterproof layer for sure, but they might also change the color and texture of your shoes a little. Heating your shoes with a hairdryer before the application can help them absorb the
wax — but do it carefully! Then rub in the wax with a clean cloth using a circular motion, and pay particular attention to the seams, where water tends to seep in. Finally, let your shoes dry naturally.

4.  ....and spray
Not all sprays are the same. Silicone-based sprays will bond with the leather to keep moisture away effectively, but they can alter the appearance of your shoes, particularly if they are light in color, so always do a patch test first (for lighter-colored shoes, try a more gentle water-repellent spray instead). Mist your shoes lightly all over, and leave them to dry naturally before stepping out.

5.  What to do in an emergency

Here’s the good news: if your leather shoes do get an unexpected soaking, it’s not necessarily a disaster. Towel off any excess water from your shoes and stuff them with newspaper before leaving them to dry away from direct heat, and resist the temptation to hurry this process along with the hairdryer (truly, you will regret this as it dries out the leather). Then treat any salt stains with a specialist salt cleaner (equal parts vinegar and water will also work), and apply a smidge of leather conditioner when dry.

6.  Let Dockers Shoes do the hard work for you
Turns out it’s no great challenge to take care of your leather shoes, but if you’re the kind of guy who prefers instant gratification, then take a look at the latest waterproof styles from Dockers Shoes — versatile shoes and boots with the waterproofing already built-in. You’re welcome.

1 Response

Dave Alce
Dave Alce

June 18, 2020

Every shoe especially boots need to take care before winter. Because of snow and dirty rainwater. After reading this blog now it’s clear to me how to do that. Do you suggest any video that can explain this?

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