Leather shoe care: 5 essential accessories to own

Leather shoe care: 5 essential accessories to own

Everything you need to give your leather shoes the TLC they deserve.

It’s sort of a Marie Kondo moment: you could send your shoes to be professionally cleaned and polished, but there’s an understated satisfaction about giving some loving attention to your treasured belongings. Other than soft cloth rags, water, and a bit of elbow grease, these are the products that will make shoe cleaning a joy, and give the results that any bespoke, or well-crafted pair of leather shoes deserves.

Horse Hair brush
Get a brush that’s specifically made for shoe care. Synthetic fibres might sometimes be too hard, which might scuff the leather. Horse hair brushes can also help raise the fibres of the shoe to create a better surface for polishing. This beautifully brush from UK-based horn artisans Abbeyhorn is made with oxhorn-backed beechwood with soft, light horsehair bristles. All materials sourced ethically — the horn is a “waste” product of the meat industry — and are largely biodegradable or recyclable. To start your shoe care routine, remove the laces and use the brush to remove dirt, dust and any other foreign bits and bobs that are stuck to the shoe.

Available in Singapore from www.masonandsmith.com

Dauber brush

Ostensibly, a used toothbrush or a soft rag could do the work of a dauber brush, but using one of these wooden-handled, soft-bristled applicators just feels miles more luxurious. The bristles also help to reach all the nooks, crannies, and crevices of the shoe that a cloth might not be able to reach. Use the dauber brush to apply the base coat of a polish, or saddle soap.

Available in Singapore from shoetreeproject.com

Saddle soap

If your shoes have not been cleaned in a while, and have a considerable amount of gunk, saddle soap is used to remove all the old layers of polish so that a new, shiny one can be applied. Fiebing’s Saddle Soap cleans the leather, while lubricating the fibres to keep the leather supple.

Available from www.nrsworld.com

A cedar shoe tree

Just like in the case with the dauber brush, you could stuff your shoes with scrunched up newspaper to have the leather keep its shape; but an unvarnished, adjustable cedar shoe tree will do just that, and much more. Besides keeping the leather from sinking inwards, the unvarnished wood will absorb excess moisture, and keep your shoe smelling fresh. A shoe tree also helps prop up your shoe during the cleaning proccess.

Available in Singapore from www.straitsestablishment.com

Saphir Renovateur Polish

Established in 1925, French shoe polish brand Saphir is widely considered to be undisputed king of shoe care products. The Saphir Renovateur is a neutral, pigment-free polish made with all-natural ingredients like its main ingredient, mink oil. Just like living skin, leather needs to be nourished and hydrated — something mink oil does rather well. To use, apply sparingly and work it into the leather in small circles with a soft cloth.

Available in Singapore from www.straitsestablishment.com


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