Caring for leather footwear can be daunting, but leather can last long when you give it a little TLC. Leather footwear care boils down to two practices: drying and cleaning. Drying seems to be the more difficult task between the two, which begs the question of whether you can safely use a UGG protector on leather footwear.
You can use UGG protectors on your leather footwear, including slippers, shoes, and boots. UGG protectors keep your leather footwear safe against stains and water. It also helps waterproof your leather shoes, as well as keep them dirt- and grime-free.
Keep reading to learn more about how to use UGG protectors on leather footwear and how to care for leather footwear in general.
There is no specific UGG protector for specific leather footwear styles — or at least, none that UGG itself manufactures. However, UGG does say that you can clean and protect your leather boots with any of their products meant for leather or nubuck.
For example, the UGG leather protector is a water and stain repellent designed to keep your shoes safe from the elements. It's a complete kit that features everything you need to protect your footwear: the protector itself, a balm and conditioner, a leather balm, and towels for cleaning and buffing.
UGG leather protectors last until the expiration date on their product labels (if such a date is available). They can last for many years, so they are safe and effective to use for a relatively long time. If the product has no expiration date, shake it before use.
UGG recommends you follow these steps when using their protector:
Check this YouTube video to learn how to protect your footwear with UGG's full footwear protection kit.
Leather shoes are durable, and they can last even longer when you take care of them. Besides using water-repellent sprays, other things can go a long way in ensuring your leather footwear stays in tip-top shape. Here's how:
Sam Gill, a store manager at Duke & Dexter, compares leather shoes to a brand new car. He says, "Care for them, and they'll care for you in return." No matter which leather shoes you wear, always give them a quick clean with a soft brush to free them from dust and dirt.
Like every other pair of shoes, leather shoes need to breathe. Have at least two pairs in your dresser, so you don't have to wear the same pair every day. If you can afford a few more pairs, that would be better — preferably with different styles for different occasions.
Also, leather absorbs moisture from your feet's sweat. This moisture causes the leather to scuff, stretch, crease, and stain — all of which are detrimental to your shoes. Giving your shoes a day or two off should be enough to help them dry.
No, a shoe tree isn't a plant that grows shoes. Instead, it's a device placed inside a shoe to maintain the integrity of its shape. It helps that the device has the same shape as a human foot, (though it doesn't look like mannequin feet at all).
"The suitability of leather for shoe manufacture is based on the twin abilities to exclude water, and allow water and air to pass through,” notes Antony D. Covington, a leather Professor at the University of Northampton in Tanning Chemistry: The Science of Leather.
Since leather is porous, it absorbs moisture and odor, which eventually cause it to break down. Aside from preserving your shoe's shape and form, a shoe tree keeps moisture, bad smells, and creases from your shoes. The device does this by allowing air and moisture to pass through your footwear.
To extend your leather footwear's lifespan, you can try this Allen Edmonds Men's Combination Cedar Shoe Tree on Amazon.com. This shoe tree comes in a range of sizes from small to XXL.
This goes without saying, but you should avoid wearing leather shoes during a downpour. You should also refrain from traipsing through road-salt or snow-covered walkways during winter. Even UGG water-repellent protected shoes won't stand the staining of a downpour.
If your UGG leather footwear gets wet, avoid drying them near a radiator or in direct sunlight, as heat cracks and damages leather. Instead, let them dry naturally with a shoe tree.
James Fox, the Brand Director of Crockett & Jones, recommends treating leather shoes with a good wax polish to keep them shining and prolong their life. He adds that you should dry them properly before polishing. As I mentioned earlier, moisture and leather don't mix.
When considering a leather shoe polish, choose cream polish. "It's a hybrid of a polish and a conditioner," says Bryan Kim from The New York Times. This type of polish has more nourishing effects than wax polish. Also, it's suitable for restoring faded colors because it soaks into the leather instead of staying on the surface.
Taking care of leather shoes requires cleaning and polishing them on a routine basis. However, keeping them away from water is one of the most important things you can do. And there's no better way of doing this than using a UGG protector.
Remember to clean your UGG leather footwear after every use and put a shoe tree in them when you're not wearing them. That way, you can use them for years to come.