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HOW TO KEEP YOUR SHOES CLEAN

23.04.16

Sneakers, dress shoes or boots - we love shoes. But, no matter how many resolutions we make to keep them pristine, the reality of having them hit the pavement day in, day out means that they inevitably show signs of a life on the road. Then there are the unexpected disasters to contend with (namely muddy puddles) which are cause enough for a micro meltdown. No longer do you have to suffer the indignity of stained sneakers or lacklustre loafers - we've compiled a list of tips for making sure your shoes stay looking their best.

The Lucas rust suede penny loafers

SUEDE SHOES

Ah, suede, is there any other fabric that feels almost better than it looks? Suede clearly has a lot going for it sartorially speaking, but moreso than any other fabric, it needs regular TLC to keep it happy. So before you take those suede sneakers or loafers outdoors pay attention to the below steps.

1. If your suede shoes have any surface dirt on them, cleaning them with a brush (a specialist suede one) is your first port of call. Brush your suede throughly in all directions to lose any unwelcome passengers.

2. Stains on your suede a little more stubborn? You'll need a suede cleaning block which - through gentle abrasion - will wear away persistent marks. Words of warning; be gentle.

3. Suede should always be protected, whether fresh from the box or freshly cleaned. For this you'll need a suede spray, which you should apply from a distance of about 10cm. Go easy to avoid your suede shoes' soft nap getting over-immersed.

Note: Regularly apply suede protector as necessary and it will act as a barrier between would-be strains and your shoes. Ideal.

The Finn tan double monk strap shoes

LEATHER SHOES

If you're wearing anything that could be consider a 'dress shoe' (that's Oxfords, Derbies, loafers, monk straps and whole cuts incase you were wondering) constant high shine is a requirement, always. Even if you're wearing them with jeans. Luckily, they're less likely to fall prey to would-be stains than suede  shoes but they still need a measure of care to keep them clean.

1. Take a shoe brush and make sure you brush lightly but thoroughly to loosen and remove any surface dirt.

2. Once you're happy you've got a clean work surface, remove your shoes' laces to ensure that when it's time to apply polish you'll get an even protective coating.

3. Next, take a clean cloth and apply a extremely sparing amount of shoe polish to it, then buff your shoes using a circular motion - make sure that you don't forget the tongues of your shoes.

4. Wait ten to fifteen minutes for the polish to dry.

5. Take your shoe brush and buff each shoe gently.

6. Re-insert your laces and you're good to go.

Note: Leather is natural material and needs regular nourishment to keep at its very best, so don't wait until your shoes need to be cleaned and instead get into the regular practice of polishing them.

The Don 1971 white sneakers

SNEAKERS

Sneakers are no longer solely the preserve of sporting fields, or even off-duty weekend wear, the menswear world has embraced them as part of the working wardrobe too. The upside? You'll never not be comfortable. The downside? Much more grime. Don't under any circumstances bundle them into the washing machine and instead take heed of our sneaker saving rules. 1. Remove your sneakers' laces. 2. Knock your sneakers together to dislodge debris. Sounds simple, but it really works wonders. 3. Use a (clean) damp cloth to gently buff away surface imperfections. 4. If the above doesn't rid your sneakers of stains, reach for an old tooth brush and warm soapy water. Apply the water to each trainer and gently brush at stains. Do not try this with suede sneakers though. 5. Let your sneakers dry fully. 6. Apply a light layer of sneaker protecter to keep undesirable stains from cropping up again. 7. Replace your laces. Note: If your laces are irreparably stained, we suggest buying some fresh ones as a instant and easy way to breathe new life into your sneakers.

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