Whether you're making shoes yourself or just trying to take good care of the ones you have, you need quality leather footwear supplies. And between specialty shops and a wealth of great sources online, you can be sure to find absolutely everything you need.
Reasons to Have Leather Footwear Supplies
It wasn't so many decades ago that most people only had one or maybe two pairs of shoes at any one time, and once they were adults, they had to make the shoes last as long as possible. Even the very wealthy could not be too profligate, because shoes were expensive. And if you lived in a village or rural area, it didn't matter how rich you were, you had to wait until the traveling cobbler came through to get a new pair of shoes. So it should come as no surprise that people used a wide range of footwear supplies to keep their shoes in top condition - one reason why so many vintage shoes are still available and look so good.
You can still get a lot of the tools needed to keep shoes in excellent shape, it's just that most people prefer not to bother. Since a lot of shoes can be bought cheap, and trends change so quickly, it's easier just to wear the shoes till it's time to move on with the fashions and then give them away. However, if you buy expensive shoes in a classic style, you will want to keep them as long as possible. And with the economy being so difficult, you may find it's easier on your wallet to buy a few good footwear supplies to maintain nice shoes than to have to go out and invest in yet another new pair.
The Basic Shoe Care Tools
For smooth leather monochromatic shoes, you must have good shoe polish. Even the best shoes are easily scuffed and a bit of regular polishing will keep them looking nice and new. Modern shoe polish usually comes with a sponge, making the polish application easy, but if you really want to do it right, you should invest in a good horsehair polish applicator. You can get 100% horsehair brushes in light or dark colors for light or dark shoes. This is the best way to achieve maximum shine in your shoes.
If you don't need any polish but your shoes are looking a bit dull, a lambswool buffer or horsehair brush will quickly restore gleam to good leather.
For suede or nubuck, you want a hard wire purpose-built brush. It's easy to maintain suede once you get the hang of it, but you may want to take the shoes to a good shoe repair person first and ask for some pointers.
Shoe repair shops and banks used to give away promotional shoehorns, because everyone used them. People have gotten out of the habit now, but if you want to make your shoes last longer and look better, you should get a shoehorn and use it to guide your foot into a stiff heel, rather than rely on your finger.
Trees in the Closet
As you know, leather stretches with heat and pressure so that it accommodates your foot nicely. But a shoe can also lose shape over time. A good shoe tree will prevent this. When you take off your shoes, you should insert trees before putting the shoe away. This helps it to maintain its proper shape. You can buy trees in wood or plastic, but cedar is especially nice because it absorbs foot odor and leaves your shoes smelling fresh. If you don't want to invest in trees, you can stuff paper in the toes of your shoes instead.
Lay in some good leather footwear supplies, and you'll see the savings add up!