I’m always intrigued by the numbers of New Yorkers dodging raindrops in their pricey pumps and wingtips on their way to work in the morning. Despite the fact it had been raining all night and into the morning, didn’t seem to impact in any way their decision to head out in a pair of rainboots.
For those who don’t mind risking their Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos, here are some easy tips to protect them from future drizzles and downpours.
1. Sprays that protect leather and suede from the elements can be easily found at shoe repair shops, discount chains or online. Brands such as Kiwi offer a Rain & Stain Protector; once sprayed on shoes, it can last up to 15 raining days. There are also versions from Scotchguard, Crimson and Crep. But keep in mind, sprays do not make shoes waterproof — only water-resistant.
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2. If you’ve already been caught in the rain, there are some ways to help bring shoes back to life. Products from Leather Honey, a U.S.-based company that offers products free of toxins and harmful chemicals, has created Leather Honey Boot & Shoe Cleaner. It easily gets rid of stains, dirt, grime, mildew and odor. Use it in tandem with the brand’s companion conditioner for the best results.
3. There are a range of shoe brands also offering their own leather conditioners and protectants. Check out Dr. Martens Wonder Shoe Balsam, which protects against water and liquids as well as salt marks, as well as Ecco’s waterproofing spray, which protects against rain, stains, dust and dirt.
4. If your shoes have already weathered a storm or two, it’s not too late to restore them through proper drying. Stuff shoes with newspaper several times until the water is fully absorbed. Never blow hot air on them from your blow dryer; this can cause shrinking and cracking.
5. Check the weather report before leaving the house to avoid ruining a favorite pair of shoes. There are lots of fun rainboots from luxe brands such as Hunter and Joules to more affordable versions from Chooka and Capelli.