Why is shoe care so important?
Let’s face it, dancing shoes are not ordinary items in our wardrobe. They are our tools, our gear, our swinging weapons… we feel strangely attached when we think about them. Therefore, we should take the sufficient time to give them a good clean and maintain them in good shape. After all, we want them to be of our service for as long as possible.
When it comes to dancing shoes, there are some tricks that can preserve our shoes longer and protect them from damages, scratches, moist, etc.
So here you go!
Before your first dance
It’s wise to polish your shoes right after you buy them or before your first dance. After you treat them initially they will become more resistant to external damages and scratches will be easier to erase. Also, they will get softer and shape up your foot easier.
So just before taking them to their first social dance, follow the polish routine described below.
…and after a dance
Well, it can be hard to take care of your shoes right after a party or a social dance when you are dead tired and swungover. No need to do that much, only a small effort can save the day/shoe. Take your shoes out of the bag and stuff them with paper, any kind of, for example a newspaper, you can even use a small towel. Leave them for the rest of the night. That way the paper will absorb the moist and you will have dried out shoes in the morning. It will also reshape the shoes and straighten the wrinkles.
However, never place your shoes near a heat source, this can dry out and crack the leather.
Next up, cleaning your shoes.
Clean up and regular maintenance
Good idea is to clean up your shoes after dancing to remove dirt, stains, occasional scratches and marks. You can use a soft brush, a damp cloth or moisturized shoe care wipes. You can also apply a specialized shoe cleaning spray. Remove the laces before applying any products and most importantly avoid products that contain detergents or acids. Don’t forget to clean the soles as well. After applying a product leave your shoes for about an hour or so.
To keep your shoes from drying out, every few months apply a moisturizing conditioner. And again, don’t forget the sole in case it is made of leather as well.
Shine them regularly for as long as you own them.
Before polishing your most dear dancing shoes you’d better follow the above-mentioned clean-up routine. You’re done? Ok, let’s go, grab your shoe polish wax and a clean cloth. You can use neutral color polish or one matching the color of your shoes, it’s up to you.
Using a small amount of product apply it with the cloth from the tip of your fingers doing circular moves and occasionally a toothbrush for difficult to reach places.
And finally, la crème de la crème: take a soft bristle brush and give it a good hard brush as the final touch. For a visual guidance, watch this shoe master do his magic.
“Now you can dance!”
Wrinkles and creases: To prevent it, insert a shoetree to restore the shape of your shoes right after wearing them. Always store your shoes with a shoetree inside. If wrinkles already happened, no worries, rub a wet sponge along the wrinkles; while still wet, put the shoe tree and adjust the shape of the shoe; leave it overnight to dry.
Fading color: A good conditioner ritual should do the trick, otherwise you might want to re-dye them.
Slippery soles: A rubber or a suede sole guard attached to the outsole may do the trick. Have in mind that suede becomes extremely slippery after some dances, so you might what to brush it regularly with a hard brush.
Suede and nubuck: Apply protective sprays for suede every couple of months. Talcum powder will be your best friend to remove liquid stains. And most importantly, don’t use water to clean up your suede or nubuck.
Article by: Alice Voreux