WORDS BY FLORENCE TROTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKKO PUTTONEN
So, you’ve dug them out of the back of the wardrobe, and they need some TLC. Here’s how to get another season out of your favourite boots.
To quote The Mamas and Papas – all the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey. Autumn is gloomy enough without adding busted boots to your list of seasonal grievances. When a sassy cold-weather wardrobe is the only light in darkening days – and glossy boots are the highlight – it’s so disheartening to dig your favourite pair out of hibernation, to find the sole worn through, the toes scuffed, the leather cracked or dirty. They need to be in tip-top condition, so when you’re feeling low on a dark Monday morning, you can turn to your trusty Balenciaga ankle boots for a pick-me-up. Luckily, with a bit of TLC even the most worn boots can look like new again. If you’re guilty of knee-high neglect or ankle-boot abandonment, here’s how to rescue your favourite boots for another season.
If the problem is cosmetic, a good clean can make old leather look like new. Invest in a shoe cleaning kit, and start by brushing off any dried dirt. Treat your boots to a shampoo with a damp cloth and leather cleaner or saddle soap. When they’ve dried, apply leather conditioner (like you would to your hair) to nourish it. Finish with the appropriate colour polish with a clean dry cloth. Buff to perfection.
Always a bold choice in rain-beset countries, Khaite make suede impossible to avoid. Their boots are just too tempting. Cleaning them yourself might seem daunting, but with a bit of patience and the right kit you totally can. First, gently brush away grime and residue in one direction with a suede or crepe brush. Next, brush vigorously back and forth to remove scuffs and ‘fluff’ the grain of the suede. A suede eraser can be used next to remove stubborn marks. Spray with a suede renovator to restore colour and finish with a protector spray in case the heavens open.
Red wine stain on your tan Gianvito Rossis? For special materials and heavily stained boots, leave it to the professionals. Outfits like The Restory have specific techniques for luxury boots and will give leather a military-grade polish. They’ll even give the insides a good clean, too.
REPAIR & RESTORATION
Worn sole or heel? No problem. Shoe after-care providers and your local cobbler will be able to sort that. We’ve got The Restory and Shoe Spa London on speed-dial for more complex designer repairs – broken heels, tarnished hardware, leather restoration, snapped buckles, damaged zips . . . the list goes on. Your favourite black Louboutins have another season in them yet, girl.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Keep on top of your boot care. The trick is little and often. Try and give your most-worn boots a brush after ever wear, or at least once a week, and polish and buff them regularly. Like anything, once you’re in a routine it’s easy. Weather-resistant sprays go some way to protecting them from the elements, and protective rubber soles can be fitted to leather soles to extend their longevity. Use a boot tree, especially for knee-highs, to help them keep their shape. Happy stomping.
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