Looking After Leather Shoes

Leather boots and shoes are comfortable, stylish and are a cornerstone of men’s fashion but it’s important to look after them.

So make them look good, make them last longer and make them comfier with these clever tips.

New shoes

As Paulo Nutini says ‘I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right’, and if you want to keep that great feeling look after your new shoes.  Start by looking after your new leather shoes before you put them on, it’ll mean less work later on.

Condition your shoes (see below) before you wear them outside. Doing so makes them even comfier from the start and will make future care easier. Start loving and caring for your shoes the minute they leave the box, and they’ll love you back.

Clean up your act

Old leather shoes

What happens when you don’t look after leather
Source: Thana Thaweeskulchai

Have you stepped in mud too many times? Are your boots looking scruffy? If so, it’s time to smarten them up. But don’t jump straight in with a wet cloth and polish.  

You need to prepare your shoes for cleaning, with these simple steps:

1. Remove the laces, it’s easier to clean these separately.

2. Clean off any mud and debris with a rag or a damp cloth.

3. Let your footwear dry. Now you’re ready to condition and polish your boots.

Condition

Hair conditioning

The wrong kind of conditioning
Source: Vibes

Conditioning your boots and shoes will make your leather last longer. It’s pretty simple, just get a cloth and rub small amounts of the conditioner into the boot.

You have 3 options when it comes to conditioner.

1. Dubbin – with a distinct smell and a yellow tint, it’s a great buy that lasts ages and will also help to waterproof your leather. Easy to find in shoe and outdoor shops.

2. Traditional conditioner – there is a lot on the market and all claim they are the best. Do some research and find the product that suits your budget and needs.

3.Vaseline – my personal favourite. Use like you would any conditioner, but don’t double dip, then you can use it on your lips too!

Shine on/Shine off

Get two brushes. A shine on brush, and a shine off brush. Get some polish. Then watch this ‘idiot’s guide’ featuring the wonderful James May.

Keep them tidy!

Treat your shoes regularly. The moment your boots look a little bit sad, cheer them up with conditioner, polish and care.

Here’s some I polished earlier:

Mens polished oxford leather shoes

Polished shoes

Iconic Women in Leather Boots

Thigh high boots

Image source: Maegan Tintari
Iconic and eye catching thigh high boots

When did leather boots earn their well-deserved cult status as the world’s sexiest shoe design?

Well they’ve long been associated with the film ‘Pretty Woman’, where Julia Roberts character never seemed to take her pair off. But actually, the sexy design was around yonks’ before then, though the Hollywood blockbuster no doubt propelled their status!

Throughout the ages, the tall leather boot has graced the foot of many iconic women. First described as go-go boots, they attracted the fashion savvy crowd en masse, everyone wanted to draw attention to their pins and create a sexy silhouette.

So, we’ve decided it’s only fair to celebrate leather boots and the iconic women that wore them throughout the ages.

1960‘s Brigitte Bardot

With her permanent pout and universal sex appeal, there’s no denying Brigitte Bardot was the ultimate 60s icon.

She sang, danced and modeled her way through the 50s and 60s, often in a pair of tremendously high leather boots. They, along with her 24/7 pout and blonde locks, became her trademark look.

1970’s Jane Fonda

Despite their birth in the 1960’s by fashion designer André Courrege, go-go boots properly took off in the 1970s, largely thanks to Jane Fonda’s sexy character Barbarella in the modern space age film ‘Barbarella’.

The intergalactic heroine accessorised her space age outfits with vinyl and plastic boots, managing to combine looking out of this world whilst saving the universe from complete destruction – quite an accolade!

Other ‘70s go-go boots icons include Wonder Woman and the female members of the classic pop group ABBA.

1980’s Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry, lead singer of punk rock band Blondie, was an icon of the glam-punk era. Her key fashion items included berets, ripped slogan t-shirts, clashing prints, and of course – over the knee boots.

Coupled with her trademark tousled blonde hair, this gave her the edgy signature look that continues to inspire designers and fashionistas today.

1990’s Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell was declared one of six named “Supermodels” of her generation and was the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue Magazine.

Her boots were made for walking, and Campbell would know, as she has walked the runway for a wealth of popular designers including Versace and Mizrahi. It’s easy to see how Campbell became one of the top three most recognisable models in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

2000’s Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue has been an inspiration to women for nearly four decades. With her girl-next-door persona and her rather illustrious backside, she has won the hearts of fans worldwide.

Kylie started a style revolution, and is singlehandedly to blame for thick black scrunchies and gold hot pants becoming a standard Saturday night ensemble for a while. Her thigh high Louboutins, accentuate her sexy petite figure. Go-go Kylie!

The world’s best leather boots

Hardwearing, trustworthy and practical – but leather boots aren’t exciting – right? Wrong.

Leather boots have set the world alight – and if you’re not convinced, read on to find out how.

Most iconic boots

justin leather cowboy boots

Image source: Woody Hibbard
Justin – The king of cowboy boots

No pair of leather boots can compete with the good ol’ American cowboy boot – the most recognisable boot on earth. And when it comes to the companies that create this most flamboyant of footwear, there’s one that stands out.

Justin cowboy boots, were the first. In 1879, the young H.L. ‘Big daddy Joe’ Justin left his hometown of Lafayette to travel to Spanish Fort, Texas. Originally a shoe repairer, he soon set up shop on his own, supplying cowpokes with boots for work and leisure. But it was his wife Annie who really got his business up and riding.

She invented a ‘fit kit’ that consisted of a tape measure and measuring instructions for ordering a pair of bespoke boots. Given away by cowboys as they went from ranch to ranch, the word spread with the cattle drive.

Most famous boot

Chelsea boots

Chelsea boots – as worn by The Beatles

The Beatles were a phenomena. The first true super group, they spearheaded the 1960s youth revolution that endures to this day. Their music was like nothing that had gone before – and the same goes for their footwear choice – specifically chelsea boots.

They took this classic design and with the help of designers Anello and Davide, they created the Beatle boot. A high cuban heel and super pointy toe, Beatle boots raised the game. People queued around the block to be measured for a pair and even today, many celebs can be seen sporting Beetles, customised to their own opulent taste.

The highest soles

Tenzing-Norgay-Edmund-Hillary

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary

When Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered Everest on 29th May 1953, they did so thanks in part to the fact that their feet didn’t freeze. Their heavily insulated boots had a revolutionary inner vapour barrier that stopped sweat from their feet turning to ice.

The insulating material was kapok – a naturally occurring hollow fibre since replicated by synthetic fabric technologies. The boots were cutting edge in their day – they weighed in at just 4lb 4oz. Nobody who wore them during the expedition suffered frostbite – truly a ‘highpoint’ of 1950s innovation.

Most heroic boots

Army boots

Image source: Rachwal
Heroic army boots

The British armed forces may be the best trained service personnel on the planet – but an army is only ever as effective as the boots it marches in. Earlier this year, the MOD announced new brown leather boots for troops from all three services.

There will be five variants to cover all deployments, from desert warfare in 40 degree heat to operations in cold, wet climates where temperatures can slip as low as minus 20 C.

For purists who worry about the move to brown leather boots – fear not. Spit and polished black boots will still be de rigeur for parade duty.

Oldest boots

oldest leather shoe

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Oldest leather footwear

Found in an Armenian cave, the world’s oldest leather footwear is believed to date from 3500 BC. The boot is incredibly rare because organic materials usually rot away in a short time. This artifact was preserved partly because it was buried in sheep dung and partly because of the extreme dryness of the environment in which it was found.

Made of just one piece of leather, the boot has been described as amazingly modern in its design. Perhaps that shouldn’t surprise us – after all, there’s nothing particularly new about the human foot.

Out of this world

boot print on the moon

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Footprint on the moon

Micheal Jackson wore penny loafers for his moonwalks, but what about the men who actually walked on the moon?

The boots worn by astronauts may not have so much as a single strip of leather in their whole construction but, if you’re walking in space, your boots need to be out of this world.

According to NASA, lunar boots are slip ons with soles made of materials that reduce the transfer of heat from the surface of the moon. The uppers are made from metal woven fabric designed to resist high temperatures and abrasion. They only come in white.

Golden boot

golden boot

Image source: Sue Hixson
The world’s best football boot

Awarded to the top goal scorer at the World Cup, the golden boot is one of the most prized trophies in football. To win it requires an extraordinary exhibition of skill and composure, in the unforgiving arena of the planet’s ultimate football tournament.

The golden boot has been won by talents like Ronaldo and Gary Lineker, but has passed other great talents by. Maradona never won it – neither did the greatest footballer of all time – Pele.