Caring for Leather Shoes

We have no doubt that shoes are important. They are a way to express yourself to the world—and the best way to let the world know you care is to polish your shoes. We recommend polishing as often as once a week for a brilliant look.

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

We recommend:

1. Collonil Unisex 1909 Fine Polishing Brush

2. Alden Men’s Alden Fine Shoe Paste Wax or Boot Cream

3. Meltonian Men’s Shoe Polish

4. Alden Men’s Shoe or Boot Bags

5. Men’s Alden Fine Shoe Trees

Step 2: Get ready. Throw down some newspaper and make sure your shoes are clean. Use a Shoeshine Brush or a wet cloth to clean off all the dust and grime you’ve somehow picked up this week.

Step 3: Polish! Wrap the rag tightly around your fingers and apply the polish in tight circular motions. Start with one shoe and then move on to the other. You can also apply polish with the brush. A toothbrush or Q-tip can be used for hard to reach areas.

Step 4: Brush it Off. Wait up to 20 minutes to be sure shoe is dry, then use your Shoeshine Brush to carefully wipe off polish.

Step 5: Shine! Buff with a shine cloth or chamois for a beautiful shine. Be sure that the cloth or chamois is clean and lint-free!

We want to hear from you, how do you best shine your shoes? What kind of polish do you like to use?

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Protecting Your Feet From the Cold

As the temperature outside drops, the risk of cold-related injury to your feet increases. Prolonged exposure to cold weather can result in frostbite or–in the case of very humid or damp conditions—trench foot or pernio.

You face a greater risk of frostbite and other cold-related injuries if you have poor circulation or nerve damage, have been consuming alcohol (increases body heat loss), or use products that contain nicotine.  Here are some tips to protect your feet from the cold:

1. Stay nourished and hydrated.  Dehydration, lack of nutrients, and low blood sugar can all have a negative effect on your body’s temperature regulation.

2. Stay warm. Layer your clothing.  Your base layer should be an insulating material that wicks away sweat and moisture, such as wool or synthetic material.  Wear socks in materials designed for cold weather, such as Smartwool and Darn Tough socks.  Longer socks offer more protection than ankle socks.

3. Stay dry. Remember that drier feet are warmer feet. Clothing should be waterproof if possible. Avoid Cotton because it retains moisture, choose synthetic or wool instead.  Carry an extra pair of socks in case your first pair gets wet from sweat or the elements. You can help prevent your feet from sweating with antiperspirant products, foot powders, and special insoles.

4. Pick the right shoe–in the right size! Waterproof shoes are preferable in wet, cold weather. Be sure that the shoes are a good fit, and that you try them on with the pair of socks you intend to wear with them. (For info on how to try on shoes properly, watch the video below.) Shoes that are too tight can interfere with blood flow. Shoes that are too loose will allow exposure to wind and cold.

5. Rotate your shoes.  Your feet need time to breathe in order to stay healthy—and so do your shoes.  Rotating between two or more winter shoes is ideal so that each pair has time to air out and dry, creating a better environment for your feet.

Posted in Alden Boots, Alden Lasts, Alden Shoes, Boots, Casual Shoes, Dress Shoes, Earth Keepers, Frye, Frye Boots, Timberland Boots, Timberland Shoes, Ugg, Ugg Boots, Winter Boots, Wolverine, Wolverine Boots | Leave a comment

How-To: Pedicure & Foot Hygiene

Pedicures aren’t just about making your feet look good–they’re about making them feel good, too. Here are some helpful tips to keep your feet happy in a safe way!

1.  Begin with soaking your feet in warm soapy water.  They should stay in there for about 10 minutes to soften skin and nails.

2. After soaking, take a pumice stone to clean and soft skin and nails to get rid of dead skin cells and calluses. You can also use body scrub, a Hindu stone, or emery board to exfoliate the skin.

3. Use an orange stick or Hindu stone to push back the cuticles. Avoid excessive trimming, as cuticles are a normal part of the nail that protect you from infection.

4. Trim toenails straight across. Doing this and avoiding cutting the nails to short will help prevent ingrown toenails. When filing the nail, maintain a straight edge.

5. Nails should not hang over the edge of the toe.

6. Massage lotion into the feet. This is a great time to massage your own feet with a roller or your hands.

7. Use nail polish removed to remove excess lotion from the nails before painting with nail polish.

8. Be sure that you are getting enough Vitamin D and Calcium in your diet.

9. Always ensure that feet are able to dry properly to avoid rashes and eczema. Change your socks daily. Create a shoe rotation to allow shoes to dry out between wearings.

10.  Make sure your shoes fit! Properly-fitting shoes can help to prevent blisters, corns, calluses, and sweaty feet. Shoes that are too tight or fit poorly can cause or aggravate many foot problems.

Do you need arch support? Check back for next week’s blog to find out!

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How to Take Care of Your Shoes

We’ve done a lot of guides on cleaning and polishing leather shoes, so this week we’d like to explain why. If treated properly, high-quality leather can last a lifetime. To maximize your investment on your footwear, you should take proper care of it.

Leather is made from animal hide, which means it was once part of a living organism (sorry to remind you). When hides are made into leather, they are treated to remove anything that can decay. However, in order to ensure that your leather does not begin to decay again, it needs to be taken care of and conditioned regularly. Improper care or negligence can result in dry, cracked leather or damage to the color and finish.

Wet and Dry Cycles

After being cured and tanned, leather can only retain a certain amount of moisture. Leather hide gets its strength from criss-crossed fibers, but if they aren’t treated properly, these fibers will dry out and crack, causing shoes to lose their shape and warp. This is why we recommend conditioning your shoes.

This is also why you should never expose your shoes to direct or extreme heat. Don’t leave them near the radiator and never put them in the dryer. To dry waterlogged shoes, remove them from your feet ASAP and also remove the insoles. Tip them on their side and stuff shoes with newspaper, paper towels, or white cotton towels to absorb moisture and once dry, polish or condition as usual. Leave them in a ventilated area and let them air dry at room temperature.

In the same way that shoes shouldn’t be dried too quickly, they should not take in moisture too quickly, either. This can cause them to be water-damaged. Find out more about water damage and how to Waterproof Your Shoes here.

Avoid Salt and Other Chemicals

Especially in the winter months, you should take care to avoid road salt and other chemicals, which can discolor and weaken the shoe’s finish. Using a shoe care product may be the difference between a quick cleaning and a permanently damaged shoe. Be sure to clean the shoe with more than just water as soon as possible to reduce the chance of salt or chemical damage.

Avoid Odor and Living Things

You deal with rainy and icy weather. Your feet sweat. You wear your shoes over and over… this creates a warm, moist environment where other things like to grow. Use baking soda or other odor removing products, rotate your shoes, and slip in a pair of cedar shoe trees when not in use.

We’d love to hear any tips that you have to share with us or answer any questions you might have!

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Get Happy… Feet!


You rely on them every day, and they take you everywhere you need to go. Your feet do a lot for you… so what can you do for them in return?

1.  Learn More About Them!

Foot ailments don’t just occur in athletes.  According to the APMA’s 2010 survey, most Americans have experienced pain or problems with their feet. Foot pain can interfere with many of your favorite activities.  Get to know your feet and get advice on how to care for them from the APMA’s website and by tuning in to some of our tips and tricks!

2.  Put them up!

The phrase “Put your feet up” exists as an idiom for a reason! Give your feet some much needed R & R.  Reduce feet and ankle swelling by elevating your legs above your heart while sitting or lying down.

3. Rub them down!

Foot massages feel great and release all that unwanted tension. Your feet will appreciate a good rub-down, and so will the rest of your body! Benefits of massage include better circulation! If you want to learn to massage your own feet, you can start by watching this video. Use lotion, especially during cold, dry months to moisturize!

4.  Work Them Out!

Your feet need exercise, too! Pick up marbles or other small items with your toes, walk as if you were on a tight rope, and rotate your ankles slowly.  Avoid toe cramps by raising, pointing, and curling toes. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.  Search Pinterest for more foot exercises!

5.  Get a Proper Fit!

Many foot problems are caused or made worse by ill-fitting shoes. A properly fit shoe can make all the difference when it comes to conditions like hammer toe, gout, bunions, or swollen feet. A properly-fit shoe will not only help reduce pain but can also prevent many foot conditions from happening. Get fitted at your local store or come see us in Norwalk, CT and we will be happy to assist you!

Check back next week for more about good foot hygiene!

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How to Clean Suede Shoes

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Many people are intimidated when it comes to cleaning suede shoes. However, with a few tricks and tools, you’ll find the process is rather easy. You’ll Need: 1. A suede brush 2. A suede eraser 3. Rag and sponge 4. … Continue reading

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Taking Care of Your Athletic Shoes

How To Clean Your Athletic Shoes

They’re designed to keep up with you, so they know how to get down and dirty. That doesn’t mean they have to stay that way, though. Here’s how to clean up your athletic shoes!

Step 1: Get Prepped. Brush off any excess dirt, remove shoe laces and insoles. Allow the insoles to air out, using foot powder or baking soda as necessary to eliminate odor. Rinse the shoes with cool water to get rid of loose dirt that didn’t come off with brushing.

Step 2: Wash! With most styles, you should be able to machine wash with cool or warm water and regular detergent. We recommend washing them in the same load as your towels. Adding Pine Oil disinfectant to the beginning of a wash cycle (warm water only) can help disinfect your shoes and protect your feet from bacteria or fungus. Lysol brand disinfectant can also be used.

Always check with the manufacturer to be sure that shoes are machine washable.

If you have any doubts at all, hand wash shoes with a soft brush and liquid detergent diluted with water. Scrub the inside and outside of the shoe and be sure to rinse afterwards.

Step 3: Dry! *NEVER put shoes in the dryer. Do not put them near a radiator. Do not attempt to dry them with a hair dryer. High heat will damage shoes. DO put sneakers in a well ventilated area to dry. Stuff them with white paper towels or white cotton towels to absorb the moisture and help retain shape. Some use newspaper, but the ink may transfer to the shoes or to your socks.

Step 4: Finishing Touch. A “magic eraser” or wet wipes work wonders on getting scuffs out of rubber. If all else fails, you can use shoe polish to touch up scuffs.

Posted in Athletic Shoes, Brooks, Casual Shoes, CrossFit, CrossFit Open, Ecco Golf Shoes, Fitness, Golf Shoes, Inov8 Shoes, New Balance, New Balance Classics, Pendlay, Reebok, Running Shoes, Saucony Shoes, Sneakers, Uncategorized, Vibram Five Fingers, Workout | Leave a comment

How To Waterproof Your Shoes


Why should you protect your shoes? A pair of quality shoes is an investment—a well made pair can last quite a long time if properly cared for.  However, one of the quickest ways to wear out your shoes is to allow them to be water-damaged. At, we have a variety of waterproof shoes. However, if you’d like to protect shoes you already have, you can learn to make them water resistant below!

Always let your leather and suede shoes dry naturally and never put them near heat (fireplace, radiator, etc) to dry.  Shoes that dry out quickly can crack if not treated well.  To speed up drying to an appropriate rate, remove insoles and stuff shoes with newspaper, changing out for dry newspaper occasionally. The same way shoes shouldn’t lose moisture quickly (dry naturally), they shouldn’t intake a lot of moisture at once, either.

What materials SHOULD be protected, and what shouldn’t?   Soft leather, silk, suede, fish and reptilian skin should all be protected from water damage. However, attempting to waterproof patent leather, shiny soft leathers, animal hairs, or sparkly artificial materials like sequins or glitter will only ruin the finish of your shoes.

Step 1: Make sure shoes are clean.

You don’t want to waterproof over dirt, dust, or excess polish, so be sure to clean shoes and remove excess build-up before waterproofing.  A universal product like Collonil Clean & Care (Colorless) works on a variety of materials, including canvas/fabric, suede, nubuck, and smooth leather. Remove the laces before cleaning, polishing, or waterproofing. As with all products, test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous patch of the shoe to ensure it does not cause discoloration. Dry shoes as instructed above.

Step 2: Make ’em water resistant.

We suggest you follow the directions on whatever product you choose, but here are some tips:

1. Always do a spot test, just as you would with polish or cleaning products. Use the side of the shoe’s tongue where the laces will hide a mistake or the inner side of the back of the shoe.

2. Be sure to read all of the labels and ensure that the product fits the material. We have various products from Frye, Collonil, Skidmore’s, and Alden to help you protect your shoes from water damage:

Alden Leather Defender: Water-based spray for leather shoes and boots. Should not be used on suede or nubuck.

Skidmore’s Beeswax Waterproofing: Penetrates leather leaving a waterproof seal. Leather only, no suede or nubuck.

Collonil NanoPro Spray (300 ML) and Waterstop Spray (200 ML) are designed for a variety of materials, from leather to suede to canvas and fabric.

Frye makes a cream and waterproof spray for leather. You can find our blog on using these products here.

 Step 3: Shake it off.

Now that your shoes are water resistant, take pride in their longevity. Waterproofing is no excuse to slack on shoe care, however. Be sure to maintain your shoes and create a rotation so that they have time to dry out in between uses.

In warm dry climates you can get away with weekly polish and waterproofing once or twice a year, but in rainy and cold climates you should polish and waterproof much more often, and possibly invest in a pair of waterproof shoes or galoshes to travel in.

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The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 is the latest in functional fitness shoes.  The newest generation of the F-Lite Series boasts not only an eye-catching new design but also a lot of other new features.

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You’ll get more protection with a re-constructed toe bumper and 360 degree Ropetec that extends into the upper of the shoe. The toe bumper will ease the impact of burpees and the Ropetec adds more durability for rope climbs.

You’ll enjoy more movement with multi-directional meta-flex technology that allows for natural flexibility. You don’t worry about having to stay in place, either with the enhanced stability heel.  Denser by 40%, the heel will provide you with all the power you need for olympic lifting.

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When you’re comfortable, you can do more.  Despite being a zero drop shoe, the F-Lite 235 from Inov8 offers just the right amount of cushioning to get the work done.  Get it done with a forefoot cushion for shock absorption and super-soft mesh pressure vent.

Check out some of our Polyvore sets or grab them yourself from our Website.

inov-8 Women's F-Lite 235 Standard Fit Blue-Pink

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SmartWool : 20 Years of Sock-cess

We’d like to congratulate one of our Brands, SmartWool, on 20 years of comfort and innovation. There are many things that factor into their success, but we’d like to take the time to point out some of our favorites:

1. The Best Materials

SmartWool  uses Merino wool to craft their fine products.  Merino sheep exist in one of the most interesting climates on the planet, having to deal with very hot summers and harsh winters. These Southern Hemisphere-dwelling sheep have a fine, light, white, strong, smooth, and bountiful coat of wool that keeps them cool in summer and warm in winter.

SmartWool  is Zque accredited–sustainable and responsible economically, environmentally, and socially. Zque accreditation also focuses on animal welfare and source transparency.

2. Thoughtful and Innovative Technology

The company name isn’t an accident. SmartWool uses innovative tech to bring maximum comfort to your feet. Specialized knitting techniques for ease of movement and moisture management, arch and ankle support, and adding extra wool where it counts (WOW™ Technology) are all thoughtful ways that SmartWool keeps you comfortable.

3. Easy Care and Long Life

SmartWool also creates durable products that are easy to care for. Their Marino wool goes through a smart wash that smooths out the scales of the wool and reduces shrinking and catching in the wash.  SmartWool’s WOW™ Tech puts extra wool in high-impact zones to not only increase comfort, but also durability.

Find your own reasons to celebrate SmartWool at or at our store in Norwalk, CT.

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