Light maintenance is key
Taking care of our handmade Italian footwear is a breeze because high-quality footwear doesn't require excessive attention—just a light touch of maintenance to maintain an effortlessly natural and classic look. When you get a new pair, there’s no need for immediate conditioning or polishing - they’re ready to wear out of the box. We recommend sitting down at a shoe shine stand every once in a while, but if you aren’t in a location to have that luxury, the following guide will help you out at home.
Shoe trees are essential
Cedar (not plastic) shoe trees will wick away moisture, maintain your shoes’ handcrafted shape and also remove foot odor.
In combination with the shoe trees, resisting the urge to wear our beautiful shoes many days in a row will also greatly add to their look and life. Remember leather is a skin, and if you’re going to beat it up, giving it time to heal is also important. We know every guy doesn’t have the robust shoe wardrobe to wear 7 different pairs of shoes for each day of the week, but mixing in two or three pairs will go a long way.
Heel and Toe Protection Extend the life of your soles
Whenever we get a new pair of AomiShoes handcrafted shoes, we stop by a cobbler’s shop and pick up heel and toe protectors for them. These simple pieces of plastic extend the life of your soles significantly. They wear down themselves after a few months, but replacing them ensures the two major wear spots on your shoes—the toe where you push off and the corner of the heel where your foot initially hits the ground—stay intact. You don’t have to hike all the way to your cobbler to get these nifty sole savers.
When it’s been a rough day and our shoes look worse for wear, we take the time to give them a quick polish. There are two types of polishes: cream and wax. If you choose cream polish, apply to the shoe dry before brushing it off vigorously. This method is best when you want a matte finish to your shoes. For a more shiny finish, use wax polish.
Simply apply, brush, and rub with a clean towel. The longer I spend on this process, the shinier the finish. Using a combination of the two is also totally fine. You can repair nicks in the color with the cream, and burnish the toes and heels with a black or dark brown wax, and then brush and rub for shine. Our preferred move is to use the vibrant color creams to repair and the darker waxes to burnish and reinstate that hand-painted finished look.
Color change over time
One thing about shoe polish to keep in mind is that it will affect the color of your shoes over time. For instance, after polishing my Marrone Cagney Cap-Toe Oxfords with brown polish four or five times, you will notice that the leather has become darker. You can burnish the toes of your leather shoes this way—just use black or a very dark brown polish on the toe and spread it up with a clean towel until you have the desired look.
Our shoes are finished at our factory using Saphir Medaille d’Or waxes, and we have the exact ones to match on our site.
For Suede: A different approach
Contrary to popular belief, suede shoes can be easier to take care of than shoes made from other materials. After all, you don’t have to polish and condition them every few weeks like you do with calfskin. There are some things you need to do, however, in order to keep up their appearance. If your suede shoes are in need of a cleaning, follow the steps below:
Brush vigorously in both directions using a horsehair brush to remove dirt and stains.’
Rub the surface of your shoes with a damp towel. This brings up the nap.
Stains may also be rubbed off with a damp towel and Suede Cleaner. Allow the leather to dry before assessing your success.
Brush perfectly walks the fine line of rough but gentle to get the suede fibers running in the same direction again.
If there are lumps of dirt or dry scuffmarks that won’t come off this way, try rubbing them off with a fingernail file. Be gentle.
Keep the suede protected using a weather protector spray.