Shoe Care tips

A pair of Finsbury shoes is made from a natural material; leather. This material ages and evolves over time. It will slowly develop a patina. If you want your shoes to remain in good condition, you need to carefully take care of the leather. If you don't, the leather can loose its splendour and can become prematurely unusable within a few weeks only.

In all our Finsbury stores in France and abroad, our team of passionate professionals will be happy to provide you with some of the best "purists" advises to educate yourself. However, if you want to delegate the cleaning process of your shoes, due to lack of time for instance, Finsbury provides full services options (cleaning and repairing) in our Atelier in Paris, a traditional shoemaking located at 17 rue des Petits-Champs. All operations will be carried out by our "master shoemaker" at preferential rates.

Rule number 1 :
Use Shoe Trees

Considered as some sort of coat-hanger for shoes, the shoe tree must be used systematically for each of your pair of shoes.

It dries the leather by absorbing any moisture inside the shoe, minimises inelegant-looking creases and preserves the shoe's shape by stretching out the leather which becomes slightly misshapen over the day.

In order to be fully effective, the shoe tree must :

Be made from wood! Its very first job is to absorb humidity, therefore, it cannot be made from plastic.

- Be inserted in the shoes from the moment you take them off. Each pair should have its own shoe tree.

Fit perfectly the shoe. A good tree shoe shouldn't be a UK 6 - 7 size but should rather be a UK6 or a UK7.

Be adapted to the shape of the shoe. The shoe tree could cause the shoe to become misshapen if it is not adapted to fit the shoe.

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Rule number 2 :
Alternate your shoes

It is not only a question of making the shoes look nice but it is also an essential element to ensure that they age well and last much longer: a pair of shoes should never be worn two days in a row!

Leather is a natural material that needs to be given time to rest! Ideally we recommand to have 4 or 5 pairs of shoes and change them everyday so you do not wear the same shoes more than twice a week. In that way, the wear and tear of each shoe will be virtually insignificant. Therefore, since the shoes age much better and last longer, you will quickly see the benefit of saving money (and could even allow you to wider your shoe range).

Naturally, when you are not wearing your shoes, put them on a shoe tree!

Rule number 3 :
Polish them regularly

Leather is a living material and so it is vitally important that it is hydrated regularly in order to optimise its flexibility but also to make it more waterproof and last longer.

It is recommended to polish your shoes every 4 or 5 times they are worn. Taking into account the alternation (Rule number 2), it means you should polish your shoes about 2 to 3 times a month, or every week if you only alternate with 2 or 3 paires of shoes.

It is important to use beeswax polish in a metal tin. You should not use liquid products or apply polish using a sponge or a tube. You should not apply waterproofing spray on leather! These are exclusively made for velvet calfskin leather.

We encourage you to clean your shoes with a delicat cream before polishing to remove dirt. Applying too much polish will cause white stains on the leather and you will have to use some milk cream to remove them.

To apply polish, use a soft cloth or a horsehair brush. Carefully apply a low quantity of polish in small circular moves, so the polish can penetrate the leather. Leave the wax to be absorbed for 15 minutes and make your shoes shine with a horsehair brush (we recommand to polish your shoes at night and make them shine the next morning).

You should also apply cream onto your shoes every 2 to 3 weeks in order to nourish the leather. 

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Rule number 4 :
Look after your soles

The soles of a Finsbury shoe are available in rubber or leather. Leather soles deserve, just like the main body of the shoe, to be looked after through regular and careful care. If the sole is not taken care of and hydrated, it can get damaged in just a few weeks!

To look after your soles, you can follow one of the below options:

- The most traditional one involves greasing the soles with mink oil (sole use exclusively). This oil will make your soles more waterproof and also strengthen the stitching and the sole itself (do not apply that oil on the main body of the shoe). It will therefore stop these two elements from drying out and getting damaged from sunlight exposure.

The shoes should be greased in the evening with a dry, soft cloth. Apply a millimetre of oil to the sole, making sure to cover the sole completely, then let it dry on its edge over night. The following morning the leather of the sole will have absorbed almost all the oil. This will make the sole much more flexible and provide optimum comfort.

- The other option, much more usual, is to add a rubber pad (Topy) underneath the sole. Those who use this method highlight several advantages: guaranteed protection of the sole, maximum longevity of the shoe, no need to take care of the outsole, no risk of slipping. The sole is also more suitable for winter and rainy conditions.

However, some downsides still exist: Rubber soles tend to reduce the flexibility of the sole. The sole will not move as it should which might result in some visible creases.

Finally, when using a rubber pad, the following key rule should be respected for an optimal result: do not add a rubber pad on a new shoe! You should always wear your shoes for around five to ten times to make them more flexible and perfect to your feet. Ask your shoemaker to add a metal top cap on the soles of your shoes. These will protect the sole and the rubber pad so that it doesn't come off. As the metal toe cap are built-in they won't make any noise while walking.

Rule number 5 :
How to create a subtle glazing ?

Glazing is the final step in the shoe-polishing process. Mainly made by leather shoes real lovers, glazing your shoes will make you a true ambassador of male elegance.

"Polishing your shoes is a compulsory act, glazing them is a cultural one".

It all starts by giving your shoes a good brush to remove the dust. A nourishing, colourless milk is applied on the upper shoe. The shoe should then be left to rest for a short while. You should then proceed to polish your shoes roughly with the cloth held between your middle and index fingers. Any excess polish is removed with the brush. The glazing operation can then begin:

This technique consists in mixing polish with a small amount of water (roughly 80% polish / 20% water). Your cloth should be very slightly moistened where it touches your fingertips (not too much!).

With fairly large circular moves, the combination of the three elements at once (polish, water and the move heat) will help the wax particles of the polish to crystallise.

Repeat the circular moves as many times as necessary. If the leather doesn't become shiny, do not hesitate to add a bit more water.

At the end of the process both the front and the back of the shoe should have a dazzling shine to them. The leather is protected and also demonstrates a real depth of colour and marble effect. As it can be expected, the glazing wears off over time as the shoe is worn. Wipe the shoes with a soft cloth each time they are used and reapply the glazing every 3 or 4 times they are worn.

One last piece of advice? A glazing on a black shoe should be very light whilst other colours can be subject to a stronger glazing, leading to a brighter shine.