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Caring Soles: How To Clean Your Brogues

 Brogues are a true wardrobe staple thanks to their stylish aesthetic and versatility. Their popularity is largely down to the decorative perforations that cover their uppers but these small holes have a tendency to collect dirt and can prove difficult to clean - try not to wear them this coming bonfire night.

To help you keep your favourite pair in tip top condition we’ve compiled this handy guide on exactly how to clean your brogues.
What You’ll Need:
Step One: Preparing Your Brogues
Before you begin to clean your brogues, remove the laces and place some newspaper inside them. This will draw out moisture and ensure that your shoes are completely dry. Once your shoes  have fully dried, remove the newspaper and replace it with a pair of shoe trees to retain the shape of your brogues during cleaning.
Step Two: Cleaning
Take your shoe brush and lightly remove any dust and dirt from the uppers of your brogues. Use a damp cloth to remove any stubborn areas of dirt or mud that refuse to be brushed away. One unique area to consider while cleaning brogues are their perforations which can be gently cleaned out with a toothpick. If you used a damp cloth during cleaning you should allow your shoes to dry naturally afterwards, never use artificial heat to dry your shoes as this will dry out the leather and lead to cracking.
Step Three: Conditioning
After cleaning your shoes it’s important to condition the leather. Conditioning not only keeps your shoes looking shiny and new but it also protects the leather and will help to prolong the life of your brogues. To condition, use a soft cloth to evenly apply a quality shoe cream or conditioner to your shoes uppers. Use circular motions to massage the product into the leather before leaving for approximately half an hour. Once this time has passed, use your cloth to remove any excess conditioner from the uppers and use your toothpick to remove build up from the perforations. While conditioner should not alter the appearance of your shoes it is always best to do a spot test before applying conditioner to your favourite brogues.
Step Four: Polishing
Once conditioned it’s time to give your brogues a good old polish. Use a wax based polish and apply it to the uppers of your shoes in circular motions, making sure that you get an even coverage. When it comes to polish it is best to apply the product thinly but often rather than in thick coats. For best results, allow the product to work its magic on the leather for a few hours before buffing it up with a soft shoe brush to achieve your desired level of shine. The more you buff the shinier your shoes will be.
Always ensure that your shoes are fully dry before wearing them. It is also advisable to rotate your shoes so that each pair has a ‘rest day.’ This allows your shoes some time to breathe and will help to make them last that little bit longer. While it may seem like a lot of work, it is best to give your shoes a good clean at least once a month or whenever they get particularly dirty.
Copy by Tom Mankin


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