How to Protect your Wedding Shoes
Posted on April 03 2020
We receive quite a lot of emails asking how to clean wedding shoes after the big day, and it's something we're going to cover very soon. Before we get to that however, one thing which a lot of people don't realise is that there are some easy steps you can take before the big day to protect your wedding shoes and make them a lot easier to clean afterwards.
It's easy not to bother- you get your shoes, you try them on then put them safely away in their box until the wedding arrives. You keep meaning to protect them but what with all the other things to do in the run up to the wedding, somehow you just don't quite get around to it...
We get it. Life is busy, and never more so than when you've got a wedding to plan on top of everything else. But (and it's a big one)... protecting your wedding shoes before you wear them actually doesn't take that long, but you will save so much time when you come to clean them later, trust us. So for the (very) short term pain it's a definite long term gain :)
In this short eight minute video, Rachel shows you two simple tricks to give your shoes the best chance of staying as good as new long after you've eaten the last piece of wedding cake...
1. Use a Protector Spray
You wouldn't spend loads of money on a new hair cut and then go outside without an umbrella or a bit of hairspray would you? It's not quite the same thing, but leather and suede are natural materials and as such they really benefit from a bit of protection from the elements.
It's a good idea to treat your shoes with a suitable protector spray before you wear them. There are loads on the market and they come either as an aerosol or pump spray. If you're ordering online you might not be able to get an aerosol due to shipping restrictions, but a pump spray is just as good.
Step 1- Prep
Before treating your shoes, you need to cover up any parts of the shoe which may be damaged by the spray- these include metallic, pearlised and patent leathers as well as some synthetics and all trims. It's up to you how you do this, but we like to use masking tape- simply cut into strips and lightly attach them to the sections you need to cover.
Step 2- Spray
Once your shoes are all ready, first do a little test on an area of the shoe you won't see, such as the inside of the heel. Hold the shoe between 10 and 30cm away from the nozzle (check the instructions for the specific distance as these vary between brands) and lightly spray the area. Leave to dry for at least 15 minutes and if there are no adverse effects you're good to spray!
Taking one shoe at a time, lightly spray all exposed areas. It's much better to apply several light coats rather than completely drenching the shoe first time as this can lead to water marks and an uneven finish.
Step 3- Dry
For best results, once finished leave the shoes to dry naturally for around 3-4 hours (again check the manufacturers instructions for exact timings). Don't be tempted to apply any heat to speed up the process as this can damage the leather.
Once you've taken the time to protect your shoes there's one last, easy step you can take to keep your shoes looking new for longer.
2. Use a pair of Clean Heels
One of the most badly affected areas on a pair of shoes after wear is the heels. These guys take the full brunt of the wear as they often slip into pavement cracks, or sink into the grass leaving unsightly mud marks. You can clean them of course, but when it comes to shoe care prevention is definitely better than cure.
Let me introduce a small but might wonder product- meet Clean Heels! These slightly odd looking things are a life saver when it comes to protecting the heels of your wedding shoes. You simply pop them on over each heel and the wide base stops you from sinking into the ground and thus avoiding big dirt marks up your heels- genius!
They may look a bit odd, but as they're transparent they're virtually invisible in photographs (and in real life) so you don't need to worry about that. If you do want to take them off once you're inside, they come in a little drawstring bag so you can simply pop them in your handbag until you next go outside. Handy!
And that's it- two easy ways which don't take very long but will save you a load of cleaning time after the wedding. Simple right?
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