After a scorching summer, rain comes as a much-awaited gift from the heavens above. And no matter how old you become, it is always fun to splash in the puddles or take a leisurely stroll during this time. But there’s one downside to it. Rain can be damaging for your shoes, whether they are leather, suede or canvas. Wet shoes smell unpleasant, can become a breeding ground for mould, and are of course impossible to wear! But if you follow these clever ways to take care of them, your monsoons will become much more enjoyable.
Air-drying can be very helpful – Even if your shoes get a tiny bit wet, air-dry them in a natural manner or under a fan. Never use a hair dryer or direct sunlight for this, as the high heat can cause the leather to crack. Air-drying will also make your shoes long-lasting and hygienic.
If your shoes get really wet – In such cases, air drying is not enough. You need to first wipe the outside and inside of the shoes with a dry towel or cloth. Then get rid of the remaining moisture trapped inside with balled-up newspapers or soft tissues. But these will get wet as they soak the moisture. So, remember to replace the wet newspaper or tissue with dry ones after every hour or so. If the shoes are extremely wet, it might take a few days before they are dry enough to be worn again.
Smart storage – This is especially necessary for expensive leather shoes, which tend to retain moisture or dampness. If you don’t wear them on a regular basis during monsoons, store them in sturdy cloth bags after stuffing them with old newspapers. You can also keep silica gel sachets or a bowl containing soda bicarbonate in your shoe cabinet, particularly if it is made of wood. Silica gel or soda bicarbonate can absorb any remaining moisture that your shoes might have.
Dealing with mould – Mould or fungus that grows on or in shoes can be a real bummer in the rainy season. What you can do is use an old toothbrush to gently scrub them off before air-drying the shoes. As long as you make sure that not even the slightest bit of mould remains, you can keep your shoes and wear them safely.
Get rid of damp mud – During monsoons, it is very easy to get your shoes caked with damp mud. But if you let the mud harden, then it can become very challenging to clean the shoes. Also, it might cause damage to the material in question. Hence, try to brush off the mud from your shoes before they become dry.
Polish properly – A good quality wax-based leather polish or a leather conditioner might come in handy for this. Polishing your shoes till they sparkle can not only make shoes look attractive, but it will also protect the leather from moisture. Just dab a little bit of conditioner on a soft cotton rag and rub all over the surface of your shoe in a gentle manner. Polish your shoes more frequently than usual during monsoons.
You can opt for these products to polish your shoe.
Waterproof them – You can try applying special waterproofing compounds like water protectants, leather preservatives and weather protectants on your shoes to keep the rain from spoiling them. These products are of industrial grade and can work better and longer than ordinary polishes. But remember that these don’t make your shoes shine. For that, you will need to use these waterproofing compounds along with polishes.
Hacks for suede shoes – Before stepping out during monsoons, make sure you apply a layer of suede sealant all over your suede shoes. It will keep dirt and stains at bay. Just brush the shoes with a suede brush before spraying the sealant. If you get them wet, first pat with a dry and clean towel. Then sprinkle some talcum powder or cornflour and leave it like that for the night. The next day, remove the powder with a suede brush and you are good to go!
While you are focusing on how to take care of shoes during rainy seasons, here are a few more things to keep in mind:
-Make sure you have multiple pairs of shoes, so that if one gets wet, you have another to slip into the next day.
-Wear socks, since these will protect you from direct contact with wet shoes, preventing bacterial or fungal growth on your feet.
-If your shoes look really damaged or have cracked soles, avail professional help without trying to fix everything yourself.
-It is also a wise plan to buy some galoshes for very rainy days. Made from rubber, these repel water nicely and are easier to clean and maintain than leather or suede.