Updated: Feb 27
If you live on the East Coast, or anywhere with colder climates, you may understand the struggle of keeping your boots in good condition during the wintertime. Like most things, there is some up-keep required to maintain or even pro-long the lifespan of your boots. Even if you are investing in a quality pair, your boots (no matter the fabric or material) are not immune to the threat that Mother Nature may pose during this time of the year.
Taking Preventative Measures
One of the misconceptions about bringing your footwear into our shop is that there already needs to be some visible wear and tear. In actuality, we recommend bringing your boots in before you've even worn them. Taking preventative measures are key when it comes to making sure you get the most out of your newest investment. The first way to do this is by weatherproofing. This can be done on most types of materials and can help prevent or lessen the damages caused by rain and snow. This includes leather, whose water-repelling qualities diminish quickly as it begins to dry out and crack.
So what exactly does "weatherproofing" entail? While it is different depending on the material, it basically creates a thin barrier by sealing the shoes in a water-repellent coating (made with materials such as wax or silicone). While the name suggests that the service will leave the footwear completely safe from water damages, it is more "resistant" than "proof." As with most repairs, how long or well the service works depends on how often you wear the boots or how much moisture they are exposed to. We always recommend trying to stay clear of wearing your leather or suede/nubuck when possible during wetter climates and rotating your footwear often to give them time to dry and rest in between wears.
Another way to prevent or lessen the damages is by applying rubber sole and heel guards to the bottoms of your new footwear. This is especially important when it comes to leather soles, as these tend to be the least water-resistant type of soles. Sole and heel guards will not only help with water damage, but damages caused by the rock salt laid out to melt snow.
Restoring Damage That's Already Done
Depending on the severity of the wear and tear, there is some hope in attempting to reverse or restore your footwear damaged during the winter months. While we recommend bringing your boots in for weatherproofing and sole/heel guards prior to wearing them, it can still be done after being worn. Sole and heel guards can help prevent further damage and cover up existing damages. Along with this, there are other actions that can be taken to try to save your footwear. If your boots develop salt stains, water stains, or etc, do not let them sit. We recommend immediately taking your boots to be cleaned. If the stains or damages sit for too long, it becomes harder to remove them. Along with this, leather will begin to crack after allowing the damages to dry it out. If this happens, there is little that can be done to reverse it.
Investing in your winter boots is important if you are hoping to wear them for years to come. Whether you decide to take preemptive measures or post-weather damage control, we will be ready to take on the challenge of keeping your winter footwear as good as the day you bought them. Stop by our shop in SOHO, NYC or feel free to request a quote and ship us your footwear from anywhere in the United States to make sure your favorites are ready to combat Mother Nature's winter wrath.