Depending on the area where you live, winter weather brings cold and rain, or snow and ice. If you experience the latter conditions, chances are you get to deal with road salt every day until the end of the winter season. But while road salt is great for protecting drivers and pedestrians from sliding on slick surfaces, it can take a terrible toll on your shoes. For example, salt can stain and break down leather if it’s not removed in a timely manner.
If you live in a part of the country that uses road salt during the winter months, read on! Below are a few tips from a longtime shoe store in Basalt, CO for preventing salt damage to a variety of footwear.
Put lotion on leather
The bottoms of your shoes are not the only spots that make contact with road salt. Salt can kick up onto other parts of your shoes while you walk. But there’s good news: there is a way to save leather footwear. Before you go outside, simply add a protective layer of lotion or leather conditioner that repels water, dirt and salt. Apply it correctly to reduce the chances of coming home with stains on your shoes.
Wipe shoes clean
After finally arriving at your destination, gently wipe your shoes clean of salt, snow and debris. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to gently brush away grime. Doing this also keeps salt from soaking into the shoe materials and leaving stains.
Get moisture out of shoes as soon as possible
At this point in the winter season, you know that road and walkway salt can leave a gritty residue on your shoes, and maybe even stain them. But winter weather in general can quickly wreak havoc on all types of footwear, such as by soaking them through with rainwater or melting snow and ice. After you’ve wiped your shoes clean of dirt and salt, you might consider giving them time to dry out. The best way to dry any type of soaked shoe material is to stuff the shoes with dry newspaper. Leave them out to dry in indirect heat, as direct heat will cause shoes to crack, especially leather footwear. Keep newspaper in the shoes overnight.
Know what to do about stains
Whether you have brand-new winter shoes or have been wearing the same pair for a few seasons, there may come a time when your shoes develop salt stains. If this does end up happening to your footwear, and your shoes haven’t been sitting soiled for long, there’s a chance stains can be removed. All you need to do is mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with one cup of water, then use a soft, clean rag to blot the stain. Don’t apply too much of the mixture. Let your shoes dry completely before wearing them outside again.
For quality footwear brands like Merrell and Rieker, look no further than the selection at Midland Shoe. The experts at our shoe store in Basalt, CO are ready to help you walk out with the right pair of new shoes today!