Taking care of your shoes means taking care of yourself

A quick glance at the shoes: this is usually the first — almost always unconscious — “picture” we mentally take of those we meet. If shoes are responsible for the first impression we give, it is better not to have them dirty or unkempt. Especially, given that a clean and well looked after shoe is also bound to last longer — this applies also to good ‘Made in Italy’ products, despite their already long life.

In a frenetic era like the one we live in today, taking a moment to take care of what we own, might not only be useful, but also relaxing and soothing. It is no coincidence that in recent years there has been a real explosion of the phenomenon of modern shoe shiners, who offer their expertise and experience to those who want to treat themselves and unwind a little.

For those who want to do it themselves, without using the services of a shoeshine, there are plenty of products on the market, the same is true for tools. The procedures to undertake change depending on the materials and leatherwork.

But usually a little common sense is all that is needed.



We start with leather shoes which, by their very nature, should be treated with the same attention and care that we use for our own skin.

As there are hundreds of face creams, for all tastes and all budgets, so there is an infinity of creams, waxes and polishes for leather shoes, which need to be both cleaned and “nourished”. One should also account for the fact that there is a variety of skin types, and Italian shoes made with Italian leather should be thought of as equivalent to a face with soft, elastic skin – all to be caressed. For these reasons, it is better to use few products, but of high quality, and used them sparingly and delicately.

A soft cloth (wool is perfectly fine) is required to treat shoes with cleansing cream.

The polish, on the other side, should be spread with a cotton cloth or sponge. 

At the end, one final wipe with a clean cloth will give the final touch.

Suede shoes present more issues: never use polish, nor metal brushes. The best tool to use is a brush with rubber bristles that should be used every day, if possible.

Patent leather shoes are those that become dirty more easily, although they can be cleaned just as easily: you can use a bit of cleansing cream, or actual milk, with a soft cloth, or a wet sponge with slightly soapy water.

Synthetic materials are more resistant, thus a cloth, lukewarm water and a soft brush can do the job.

Video: courtesy of Franceschetti