Boots are an essential part of a minimalist’s autumn/winter capsule wardrobe. Not only do they elevate any outfit, they also keep your feet warm and protected from the elements. Investing in a quality pair of boots is always a good idea, however, to make sure they last, you’ll need to brush up on proper care and maintenance. Not sure where to start? Here are five tips for keeping this minimalist wardrobe staple looking brand new.
Tip #1: Protect Your Boots
First things first, protecting your winter footwear from the elements is a crucial step towards maintaining quality. Leather is a natural material that’s susceptible to damage from water, snow and dirt. Before you wear them, consider using a waterproofing spray to help shield the leather or suede from rain and unexpected spills. Also, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat, which can cause the leather to fade and crack.
Tip #2: Clean Your Boots
Thoroughly cleaning your boots helps to prolong their lifespan. Dirt and dust can accumulate over time, scratching the leather and wearing it down. Using a soft cloth or brush to remove these contaminants prevents them from causing damage. For stubborn stains, use a leather cleaner specifically designed for leather to stop discolouration from setting in. Avoid harsh chemicals or soap and water – both ruin leather.
Tip #3: Condition Your Boots
Leather boots require regular conditioning to keep them soft and supple. As it ages, leather can lose its natural oils, drying out, cracking and turning dull. Leather conditioners help to restore these oils, keeping your boots looking and feeling new, as well as protecting them from future damage. Conditioning also helps to maintain the flexibility and durability of the leather, ensuring that your go-to boots will last a long time.
Tip #4: Store Your Boots Properly
When it comes to winter boot storage, choose a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to help to prevent the leather from fading and cracking. Stuff them with acid-free paper or a boot tree to maintain their shape and prevent creases from forming. And skip plastic and other non-breathable materials – they trap moisture leading to mould growth and other damage. Instead, store your boots in a dry place with good air circulation.
Tip #5: Repair Your Boots
If your boots end up with scuffs, take the time to restore them. When even minor scratches go unaddressed, they can weaken the leather, making it more likely to tear or break. (Repairing your minimal footwear is a more sustainable option than buying new.) Invest in leather polish to restore colour and shine and extend the lifespan of your boots. If the damage is severe, take them to a professional cobbler for expert-level repair.
Shop our favourite A.Emery boot styles this season.
Read next: 3 Details To Look for When Investing in a Timeless Black Ankle Boot