TOE TIPS

A change of seasons

There's a sense of spring here in London.  Not warm enough to go bare-legged yet, but there's promise of it in the air. 

I always relish the change in seasons - re-discovering much beloved outfits and enjoying the new flowers at Columbia Rd market.  Each winter I hope for snow but, come March, I'm busting for a change regardless of how little snow we've had.  (Not even a centimetre to report this year!)  

At the turn of spring, I sort through winter clothes and shoes deciding what should be kept and what's destined for the charity shop.  Before packing things away I always give my winter footwear a bit of TLC as damp, mud and street salt can cause havoc with leather if left.    

This weekend I'll make myself a nice little pot of coffee and getting things sorted.  Join me in doing the following and you'll be rewarded with happy, ready-to-go boots next winter.

  • Repair - get any heels or soles fixed before packing your winter numbers away.
  • Clean - if you're in an area prone to snow, winter salting can leave marks on your boots and cause the leather to harden and break down over time.  Your local shoe repair shop should have a solution to remove this.  Otherwise, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of water and use a cotton ball/cloth to dab it on the marked areas.  Let them dry and repeat as needed.  Even if there is no salt, give all shoes a wipe down with a damp cloth for leather or a suede brush. 
  • Moisturise - once the shoes are clean and dry, apply a clear or coloured polish.  Just like our skin, leather needs a good moisturise every so often to stop it drying out and losing its lustre.
  • Pack - ideally all shoes/boots should have toe stuffers and all long boots should also have boot stretches.  (Easily found at your local shoe repairer or online.)  I haven't kept all of my original boxes, so mine will be stored in large clear under-bed storage boxes and popped in the attic.
....and then there's always that moment in London where the weather turns again and you wonder if you packed the winter things away too soon.  Ah well, you have to take some risks!

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