Online Extra: Prancing Through the Snow (and Slush, Sludge and Ice)
In the January issue of BRAVA (on stands now!) we offered easy tips from Peg Larabell of Eastside Shoe Repair for helping your shoes weather winter storms. Here’s a recap of her sage advice along with a few extra tips for the road!
Guard leather against puddles: When puddles hide around every corner, protect leather shoes from damage with a waterproofing spray. But be careful of the kind you pick, as petroleum-based sprays can dissolve the glue holding your shoes together. For smooth leather, look to a waterproofer made of animal oil or beeswax. It may take a bit more work to apply, but is often the best way to go to keep your shoes safe until spring.
Wash away salt: When sidewalk salt takes up residence on your shoes, wipe your footwear gently from end to end with a cleaner made of 1 part vinegar and 20 parts water. This handy trick can be used on purses, too, which often pick up salt when bumping against car doors and more.
Suede it ain’t so: If suede isn’t properly treated, tromping through salty, slushy conditions can stain (and eventually crack) the shoes. While suede sprays do exist, winterizing this style of shoe (as well as some leathers) is often best left to professionals, who can clean, moisturize and protect the shoes for winter wear. Head to any local shoe or repair shop and ask about their winterizing options, and your favorite boots and shoes will live to see another season.
Not your dad’s shoe covers: For that pair you want to give extra protection or want to wear out and about longer, overshoes are always an option. Brands such as Neos keep the wet snow out and warmth in, and are even less conspicuous when covering up a pair of boots.
Be a quick-change artist: Some shoes just aren’t winter-friendly, such as stilettos and finely made dress shoes, which often become cold, wet and damaged quickly. But for some events, fancy shoes are a must. Rather than suffering through the snow, head out in more protective footwear and then change into your nicer shoes once you arrive at your destination.