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How to winter-proof your leather shoes

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Even with some unseasonably warm weather happening, you know that winter will eventually come; and with the season comes snow, probably one of the most precarious elements your leather shoes will have to face. While you should leave your favorite pair of oxfords in the closet if there’s a blizzard, you can still wear your best Italian shoes out on slushy days if you take the right precautions.

The big problem with snow is you don’t just have to protect your shoes from water, but also from the salt the city spreads on the sidewalks and streets. Salt has the ability to stain your shoes shoes and can even eat away at the leather.

This damage can mostly be avoided by using the right wax polish. These polishes create a thin but protective layer over the layer that shields your shoes from the winter elements. Regular application will not only make your shoes look great, but they repel moisture and keep your shoes lasting longer.

When choosing a polish for waterproofing, it’s important to match it to the color of your leather. Find an inconspicuous spot on the shoe and apply the polish. Let it dry and wait a few hours before checking it to see if it assimilates into the shoe correctly. If it does, you’re ready to move on to the whole shoe.

Remove any laces and properly clean and buff your shoes as you would with any daily polishing regimen. Then, apply a layer of the polish over the entire shoe; don’t miss a spot. It’s important that the entire shoe is covered in the protective polish so its waxy force field can ensure no moisture or salt gets in there.

Of course, none of us are perfect. Sometime surely there will be a little damage present if you sport your Italian leather shoes throughout a winter wonderland. A secret home remedy to repairing unsightly discoloring due to salt is to dilute white vinegar with water. Gently apply the mixture to the stained area of the leather and let it dry. You will be amazed at the power of something you probably have under your kitchen sink.