Frankly it’s not certain what Mother Nature has in store for us anymore. Just when you think the sun’s going to start beaming, it rains in buckets, it blows in gale force and, dare we even tempt it, snows despite all logic, reason and prayer. The changing of the seasons, especially in Canada, can test the patience of a stoic.
You may have an idea of what to walk in as the seasons violently change, but the fact of the matter is humidity and heat perform a fluctuating samba that puts some of your finest shoes in danger without realizing it. We asked Toronto footwear omnistore Getoutside Shoes‘ in-house Product Knowledge Expert (a title we aren’t certain they didn’t make up because we asked) for products and tips to keep your kicks kicking during the uncertain dawn of summer.
This can seem a little contradicting: water and moisture can be damaging, but then again, having your shoes (leather or otherwise) dry out is just as bad. The more vicious and viscous enemy can be stopped with a good water repellent. A highly recommended defendant is Ten Seconds for keeping leather, suede and nubuck safe from the watery world, they also make suede cleaners if ‘it’s already too late.’ Ten Seconds has no silicone in it, which makes it better for leather, letting it breathe. However silicone protectors have their place too, such as canvas shoes. You can pick up a silicone water guard from Atsko.
As mentioned, dreaded heat and drying out is equally damaging to footwear you’d rather keep cherry. If leather is dried out you have several options. For smoother leathers, Hikers Mink Oil comes recommended, though if using a mink oil nibbles at your conscious it’s far from the only option. Red Wing Shoes and Tanner Preserves’ leather protectors are good and you can choose which you want to work with depending if you prefer sprays or creams more.
Cork is also a huge victim of dry heat, and there’s a very thin and short line between healthy and spongy to stale toast covered in dirt. To keep the spring in cork steps use the aptly named Kelly’s Cork Renew.
The enemies of your shoes may not always be outside elements, in fact, one of it’s greatest threats is none other than… wait for it… YOU. Or at least your feet. Heat may wake up our senses but it also startles our sweat glands, and it would be less than flattering to hear a fog horn every time you slip off your shoes. The hotter the day, the better prepared you need to be, changing socks regularly and frequently is key to insuring moisture and bacteria don’t start building condos under your soles.
But socks and socks alone won’t do it, there is heavier artillery. Scented insoles, as cheesy as they may sound, may become your strongest alley in the war against stank, the better ones, like Tana, are so potent and pleasant you’d sooner become tempted to hang them on your car mirror. If not just for the conversation piece alone.
Never fear, reader. Mother nature, for all its seasonal greatness, may have some vendetta against your finest footwear, but it’s not a battle you have to lose. Just take it one step at a time.
Special thanks again to GetOutside Shoes for the help, the products mentioned are available at their store.