EastlandShoe.com
Customer Service

Caring for Your Leather and Suede Footwear

Since 1955, Maine-based and family-owned Eastland Shoe has been handcrafting quality leather boots and shoes for men and women. Eastland's casual footwear is made from quality tanned leathers. To retain the natural character of the full grain leather, minor color variations, briar marks and scratches have not been buffed. Natural fats and oils contained within the leather may surface as a white film on the outside of a new shoe. This "bloom" is a natural mark of quality and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Occasionally, some colors will transfer from the leathers to socks.

Our customers often ask us how to care for their leather and suede shoes and boots to keep them looking their best season after season. Eastland shoes are made for long lasting comfort and durability, but you can lengthen the lifetime and improve the fit of your new footwear with a few simple tips.

Here are our recommendations, from the ground up: *

Leather Soles
Although it is not recommended to wear leather soled shoes in inclement weather, if you do, the most effective way to keep water out is to have a cobbler install sole guards—thin pieces of rubber that affix to the sole of the shoe.

Leather Uppers: Cleaning and Waterproofing
Remove mud and dirt with a gentle cleaner, such as Lexol-pH or dab with a damp cloth so that the marks disappear; then dab with equal parts water and white vinegar. Next, try a surface treatment to keep water and dirt from damaging the leather, such as a silicone spray or water-repelling cream.

Silicone sprays form a protective layer, are quick, and won't alter coloration. But sprays require frequent applications and can ultimately crack the leather by not allowing it to breathe. On light-colored leather, we suggest Meltonian Water & Stain Protector or Kiwi Protect-All; these won't change the leather's hue.

Application of a water-repelling cream several times a season provides extra protection with minimal discoloration. Most contain natural oils, beeswax, and/or silicone (which, when applied in this manner, better allows a shoe to breathe).

Waterproofing with beeswax is a labor-intensive process (you'll need a hairdryer for proper application) and will darken leather, but it's also the longest lasting and one of the most effective methods. True waterproofing comes only from mink oil, but there are major downsides: significant darkening and, ironically, leather damage in the long run.

Suede Uppers: Cleaning and Waterproofing
Remove dirt and restore the nap of suede and nubuck with a suede brush. Suede and nubuck shoes should be treated before wearing with a protective spray to prevent water stains. Make sure that any waterproofing/protective spray you use is made especially for these materials.

Remember, Different Materials Require Different Treatments
For suede, stick with sprays. Full-grain, calfskin, and exotic leathers (any leather you don't want darkened) require a light cream. Smooth-leather chukkas, boots, and shoes do well with a beeswax finish. And for heavier-duty workboots, choose mink oil or a heavily oiled cream.

Keeping Your Leather Footwear in Shape
To speed drying and help maintain their shape after time outdoors, fill footwear with wooden shoe trees – cedar wood helps to absorb moisture and control odor. Don't place them near heat, which can ruin leather by making it crack. Allow 12-24 hours between wearings for leather to dry completely.

Shoe Repair
Before minor problems become permanent damage, take your Eastland shoes to your local shoe repair shop.

Canvas Shoe Care Tips from Eastland Shoe

Materials needed:
-Nylon bristle brush (like a tooth brush) and a soft, cotton rag
-Mild cleanser, laundry detergent or dish-washing detergent (non-bleach)
-White cream shoe polish

To clean the canvas:
-Apply the mild detergent to the brush and gently scrub the soiled area of the canvas.
-Rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat if necessary.

To clean the outsole:
-Apply the detergent to the soft rag and clean the outsole edge.
-Rinse with lukewarm water and dry.
-Add cream polish to a dry area of the rag and apply it to the sole edge (sparingly).
-Avoid excessive amounts or multiple coats of polish which will create a poor result.
-Wipe edges for desired appearance.

***Allow 12-24 hours to dry completely***

**We recommend that if you do decide to use a polish or waterproofing product on your shoes that you first test it on a small area that is not very visible.

*Note: Eastland does not endorse any shoe care products or brands. We recommend first testing any products on a small area of your footwear. Please contact our Customer Service Team at 1-888-988-1998 or Contact Us via email with any shoe care questions or concerns.

 

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