Before we move on to advice on minimalist shoe care, we need to ask ourselves: Is this care much different from the care of regular shoes?
Well, not really! Minimalist shoes are created from natural ingredients such as animal-grain leather, suede, linen, wool, or synthetic vegan leather. As you can see, it’s not too different from the high-quality non-minimalist shoes you’ll find in the shop.
However, we decided to write this article and give you some key information to help you care for your shoes and enjoy them for many seasons to come.
Polishing and cleaning of minimalist footwear
If we want our minimalist shoes to be cleaned and polished to a shine, we need to prepare well for this, depending on the materials of our shoes. For grain leather, we will use different products than for suede shoes because the latter could get damaged.
To polish shoes made of grain leather or synthetic vegan leather, several accessories and products will come in handy:
- a shoe brush to remove particles of dust, soil, sand, etc.
- a soft cloth,
- cleaning foam or gel to remove deeper dirt,
- waterproofing or wax to protect your footwear for longer.
The right choice of products for the material will not only remove stains, dirt, and unsightly “smears”, but also protect your footwear for years to come. Properly cared-for leather shoes can last for many years.
How do I use cleaning foam?
- Wipe footwear with a damp cloth and moisten the surface.
- shake before use.
- hold the bottle 15cm away from the item,
- Apply generously to the surface to be cleaned.
- remove stubborn dirt with a brush,
- Rinse with clean water.
- Apply the appropriate waterproofer or conditioner to still damp footwear.
Boot waterproofing, or, in other words, protecting the outer surface of the shoe, is an equally important step. It doesn’t matter whether your shoes are made of top-grain leather or perhaps of highly durable synthetic-grain leather. If you don’t use the right medium, over time, the elements will overcome the best footwear. If water can hollow out a mountain, why not shoes?
For waterproofing, it’s also important to choose the right product—what you’ll use differently for nubuck and suede and what you’ll use for leather.
Examples of waterproofers that work well for different types of materials:
Using the impregnator is as simple as cleaning.
- Remove dirt using a brush or damp cloth, and then clean the footwear using the cleaning gel mentioned above.
- Apply the spray impregnator evenly to the outer surface of the footwear.
- After 2–3 minutes, wipe off excess waterproofing with a clean cloth and allow footwear to dry before wearing.
Minimalist footwear in winter and summer
Depending on the season, your minimalist footwear is exposed to different external factors.
So in winter, this will include: frost, ice, snow, mud, salt spread on the roads, surprises under the snow (stones or gifts from the neighbors’ pooch), and hard and slippery pavement. During this period, it is all the more important to take care of a thorough waterproofing and repeat it from time to time. This will protect your shoes from moisture and external elements. Leather shoes in the winter can be damaged quickly if they are not cared for properly.
So in winter, this will include: frost, ice, snow, mud, salt spread on the roads, surprises under the snow (stones or gifts from the neighbors’ dog), and hard and slippery pavement. During this period, it is all the more important to take care of thorough waterproofing and repeat it from time to time to protect the shoes from moisture and external factors. Leather shoes in the winter can be damaged quickly if not cared for properly.
In summer, our minimalist shoes are exposed more to mechanical and internal factors. From the outside, they are attacked by high temperatures, sand particles, dust, etc. On the inside, on the other hand, there is the foot, which simply sweats. On a warm day, natural leather or vegan leather footwear can be all the more appreciated. It allows excellent air circulation and reduces foot perspiration. As for the dirt on the outside, it is sufficient to clean and shake it off often enough so that dust particles or sand cannot “sink” deeper into the shoe material.
If we are to summarize shoe care, we can do so in three points:
- Clean shoes.
- Impregnate the shoes.
Simple, isn’t it?