It is amazing how many guys say that their leather dress shoes do not last very long before they start to look old and worn out. But if you ask them if they look after their shoes by cleaning and polishing them they always say never!
Fair enough if they just wear cheap Chinese made dress shoes but if you are spending $200 to $350 on a pair of decent Italian mens dress shoes you really want to look after those shoes so they will look great for many years to come. Any decent quality pair of mens dress shoes will be made of full grain leather. This leather is quite rigid and hard when you first wear the shoes and these shoes will take a few days of wearing to "wear" them in. Once you start wearing in these new shoes they will start to become more supple. At this stage it is really important to use a good leather conditioner. I use an Australian leather conditioner called Oakwood. It is a fantastic product that softens and protects the leather and will also water proof your shoes. It is made of natural Australian bush ingredients such as tea tree oil, ecalyptus oil and bees wax.
Once you start wearing your shoes they will get dirty and scuff. To keep your shoes looking like new you must regularly polish them using a good brand name polish such as Angelus or Kiwi. Angelus is an old school polish that uses carnuba oil and bees wax and it really penetrates the leather of your shoes. Never ever use a polish that comes with the sponge roll on. You will scratch the leather on your shoes with these. Alway use polish in a tin and put it on in small circular motions using a soft cloth. An old tee shirt is always what I use. Once you have gone over the shoes with the polish leave them to sit for awhile and then use another clean soft cloth or a shoe brush to clean off any excess polish. Some people say one polish is always enough but I like to polish my shoes twice to really get the polish deep into the leather.
So once you have polished your dress shoes I go back to the leather conditioner and then use a soft cloth to rub this into the shoes all over using small circular motions to really penetrate the leather. I leave the shoes for about 10 minutes and then wipe off the excess polish. Your shoes should now look shinny and stay looking new. It is really important to clean and polish your mens dress shoes regularly. It amazes me how friends of mine buy my shoes and then do not look after them. Why spend a decent amount of money on a pair of designer mens shoes to then not look after them! You wash and polish your car so why not your shoes?!?
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