Christmas party season is upon us, but so too is the threat of snow and sleet. It’s a tricky combination to deal with, on one hand you want to look your best at your Christmas party while on the other you want to be protected from the elements. Unfortunately, style and functionality rarely go hand in hand but at Quarter & Last we don’t believe you should have to compromise your outfit because of the weather.
It goes without saying that the best method to protect your formal shoes from snow and sleet is to simply not wear them in it. However, at this time of year this is simply not a practical rule to live by and there will be the odd time that you get caught out in the snow while dashing from a restaurant to a taxi or hopping between bars. Please note, the following tips are designed to help protect your shoes from accidental and brief snow exposure and are by no means a way to weather-proof your shoes!
Tip 1: Be selective about which pair you wear
Pictured: Loake 300B
We’re not suggesting for one minute that you pair your best party suit with a pair of snow-ready hiking boots but if it is snowing outside then it’s advisable to leave your suede, leather-soled brogues at home. Instead, we’d suggest opting for a pair with leather uppers and rubber soles - dainite is perfect for these kind of weather conditions, though this sole type tends to feature on more casual styles. While leather shoes are by no means resistant to snow and sleet, they will fair far better than suede if treated correctly. Which leads us nicely into tip number two…
Tip 2: Pre-exposure protection
Pictured: Q&L Protecting Spray
At this time of year, it is advisable to apply a waterproof protector spray to your shoes every time that you plan to wear them. Winter is notoriously wet, so a good waterproofing spray will help to preserve your shoes should they get splashed or dripped on. For best results, apply the spray a few hours before wearing your shoes to give it chance to dry and settle. All sprays lose their effectiveness over time, making it extra important to keep your protective layer topped up during the winter months.
Tip 3: Post-exposure treatment
As well as protecting your shoes before you wear them, we advise giving them a quick treatment after wear too. This will help to preserve and restore your shoes leather uppers and help them to last longer in the extreme conditions of winter weather. A simple polish or shoe cream should do the trick and will help to keep your shoes looking great as well in tip top condition.
Tip 4: Avoid artificial heat
If you are unfortunate enough to get your shoes wet, it may be tempting to try and dry them as quickly as possible. However, this can do more harm to your shoes than good and should be avoided at all costs. As leather is a natural material, drying it out too quickly can lead to excessive dryness and cause cracking. It is always preferable to use a towel to dry your shoes as best as you can before stuffing your shoes with water absorbent paper to draw out the remainder of moisture as they dry naturally.
Follow these tips and you’ll be one step closer to a stress-free Christmas. Do you have any shoe-saving tips of your own? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below.
Copy by Tom Mankin.