There’s nothing worse than getting caught in the rain, but no matter how prepared you are with umbrellas and raincoats, often your shoes will bear the consequences of a mad dash through the puddles to your waiting taxi after work.
Fortunately for you (and your bank balance) there are ways to take care of your footwear, and avoid the costs of repairing or replacing your favourite pairs due to damage from the rain.
1 - Always air dry!
No matter if your shoes are dripping wet, or just fallen victim to a little sprinkle, you should always let them air dry. A soft cloth can be used to wipe off surface moisture, and padding the inside with some paper towel can help speed up the drying process, but putting them in the dryer or blasting them with your hair dryer can cause the material to shrink or lose shape.
The hot air can also cause cracks in some material, such as leather, as it can be excessively harsh and remove the natural moisture required for the material to move. If you are in a pinch, popping the shoes outdoors or front of a fan can help speed the process without damaging the material or shape.
2 - Plan ahead
Expensive shoes that you don’t wear often, particularly leather shoes, should be stored carefully during wet weather to ensure that they don’t fall victim to moisture, even when they are stored inside. Keeping them in a cloth bag, box or other storage with newspaper inside will ensure that no moisture can get in. This moisture can degrade the quality of the materials and can even lead to mould. Also don’t forget to waterproof your shoes before stepping outside!
3 - Act quickly
If your shoes do get wet, don’t wait to clean them. As soon as you are able to, take them off and wipe off any excess moisture. Brush off any dirt with a soft brush, and put them somewhere that they can dry. The sooner the better, as if you can stop the moisture from fully soaking into the material, and dry them out quickly, you are able to reduce the impact on the material and maintain the shape.
4 - Bring a spare
If you know that you’re going to be somewhere that there is a risk of walking through the rain, or you’ve got a commute that takes you outdoors, it might be a good idea to invest in a stylish pair of rainboots to take you through the elements. Keeping your ‘good kicks’ in your bag and out of the elements will mean that they are safe from getting wet.
5 - Keep up with your maintenance
Using high-quality water-proofer and polish on leather shoes can create a protective barrier, as well as keeping them looking well maintained. Likewise, conditioner buffed into the material with a soft cloth is a protective measure that you can take to avoid cracking and drying out.
Water-proofing and conditioning should be done regularly, regardless of the weather, but are particularly important in rainy seasons where your shoes are exposed to more adverse elements.
Collonil has a range of water-proofer, conditioners, polishes and sanitisers to suit all fabrics and footwear types, as well as being able to provide expert advice on how you should be maintaining your shoes to ensure their longevity.