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HOW TO WATERPROOF YOUR SHOES

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR PROTECTING DELICATE FABRICS

There’s nothing worse than donning your new pair of suede booties or silk pumps only to have them ruined by a predatory puddle. Waterproofing is the key to protecting more delicate materials. See how we recommend you waterproof your shoes.

When you purchase Italian silk, suede, fish skin shoes or snakeskin, we recommend that you waterproof them before the first wear, because these materials are much more prone to be damaged if they get wet. Our other materials like soft leather can also be conditioned and waterproofed which will increase the longevity of the shoes, but it's not totally necessary. Materials like patent leather, shiny soft leather, sequins and hair shouldn't be waterproofed because it can ruin the finish of the material.

Here are some important tips for when you're buying a waterproofer for your shoes.

What material are your shoes are made out of?

It’s important to do a bit of research into what’s available to you because there are so many waterproofing products for different types of material. The wrong product can damage the material instead of protecting it - so make sure that the product is recommended for the material you're going to apply it too. Generally speaking, creams, oils, beeswax (that you rub into shoes with a clean, dry, soft, white cloth) are great for conditioning and waterproofing soft leather, and spray-on waterproofers are good for silks, suede, fishskin or snakeskin.

Will the colour change with the application of the waterproofing product?

Before you apply the waterproofer to the entire shoe, make sure you read the product to see if it will alter the colour of your shoes. If you're uncertain, do a patch test on discreet part of the shoes first. There are also waterproofing products available that you can try to match to the colour of your shoes.

Tips for the waterproofing process

1. Make sure the shoes are clean. If they are new, just take a clean cloth wipe the shoes over, making sure there are no particles or dust on the shoe surface. If the shoes are old, make sure you properly clean the shoes. If they are old soft leather shoes that you have previously conditioned/waterproofed with creams, oils and/or beeswax, be sure to clean back that previous conditioning layer carefully before commencing the process again to prevent any buildup. In this case, make sure that the shoes are totally dry before applying any conditioner or waterproofer again.

2. Carefully follow the instructions on the product you have bought

3. Don't forget to cover any embellishments, jewels and trims, because your conditioning and waterproofing products might damage them!

4. Waterproof your shoes once when the shoes are new, and then (if you like) once a year thereafter.