When you invest in a decent pair of leather shoes or boots you’ll want to take good care of them.
Leather is incredibly durable but needs to be cleaned and preserved. When exposed to the elements leather can take a lot of wear and tear. Water can damage or discolour leather. A protective layer on leather helps condition, waterproof and prevents scratches and scuffs.
Leather was once skin and like our own skin, leather softens when it is conditioned and cared for. This can make the leather look better for longer and also be more comfortable to wear.
Before adding the conditioning layer, the leather should be cleaned first, unless they are brand new. Brush off any visible dirt. Next, mix equal parts water and vinegar in a small cup. Using a soft cloth, dip it in the solution and squeeze it out so the cloth is only damp. Clean a small area of the leather, and then wipe away the moisture with a dry cloth. Let dry for few minutes before applying the conditioning balm.
To apply the leather conditioning balm use a soft cloth to apply a thin coat and allow the balm to penetrate into the leather. Work into the leather in small circular motions for deep conditioning and waterproofing. Repeat until the entire surface is covered. You can apply a second coat if you think it really needs some extra attention.
How often you clean your leather depends on the item and the conditions. A leather wallet will only need cleaning once a year. A pair of boots on the other hand need a cleaning and refresh of leather balm every 1-3 months, especially in the winter.
For my boots if they seem to be less water resistant then I will know it is time to clean and coat them again.