Give your leather shoes extra care in monsoon

New Delhi: Leather shoes look good, but need extensive care in monsoon to keep the shine and style intact.

Ambud Sharma, Founder, Escaro Royale Luxury, and Anupam Bansal, Executive Director – Retail of Liberty shoes, tell how:

* Know the leather type: Before taking care of your shoes, it is important to know the type of the leather of the shoe. There are all sorts of skins, tanning methods and treatments that distinguish one type of leather from another. Using the wrong type of care and leather water repellent can reduce the life of the shoe.

* Dry leather shoes naturally: Wet weather can be devastating for leather shoes and can cut its life short if not dried properly. The cardinal key to basic hygiene and to increase the shelf life of your classic pair of leather shoes is to let them dry naturally. Using a dryer or a heater to dry leather shoes can turn out to be catastrophic as extreme heat can cause the delicate leather to crack up. For best results, air dry your shoes at room temperature under a fan.

* Brush off the damp mud: Clumps of hardened mud that form on the shoes after a walk in the rain can prove to be taxing for your shoes. Do not forget to brush off the damp mud before it dries. Always ensure to shed-off any mud sticking on your shoes with a quality brush before it dries out.

* Fighting with fungus: The ideal way is to scrub them gently with an old toothbrush or a cloth. It is definitely not impossible to treat them however you must ensure that nothing at all is left behind as it might all grow back.

* Polish them to dazzle: Investing in an expensive leather conditioner or a good quality polish can never be a bad decision, it not only makes your shoe shine high but also protects it from moisture and replenishes the oil in the leather for that perfect spark.

* Store to protect: Leather shoes are sophisticated but need extensive care so it is inescapable to provide them the requisite storage. Massive damage can be caused if moisture sinks into them, so it is recommended to keep them with utmost care. Wooden cupboards often absorb moisture so avoid any moisture retention by keeping a sachet of silica gel in the cabinet and also store them only after them have been cleaned and dried completely at room temperature.

* Keep them clean: Keep your leather shoes clean and dry as much as possible during monsoon. Leather gets tampered very easily due to moisture and water soaked in the shoes. It degrades the quality of the product and is worn off before its time.

* Dehumidifiers: You can place a dehumidifier in your shoe cabinet as it absorbs the humidity in the air keeping the place dry and not exposing your leather to fungus. In addition, keep your shoes in a cloth cover before placing them in shoe boxes.