Although the calendar may say spring has come, in northern climes a glance out the window may still reveal more than a few stubborn snow banks and some persistent sleet. As weary as you may be with the long, drawn out winter, a quick glance down at your trusty footwear may give you a different kind of concern.
As you slipped and shivered through the snow and ice season your boots and shoes literally walked through the muddy, cold, wet mess. While you relaxed in front of the fire and enjoyed a hearty dinner at the end of a wintry day, your faithful leather outerwear huddled in the hallway, perhaps in a pool of melting slush, wondering when its nurturing turn would come.
Take stock right now of the situation. Water damage is worrisome enough, but the ice and snow of a Canadian winter poses a more serious issue: salt and sand may have saved a tumble on the glare ice, but dissolved and deposited deep into the pores of your footwear’s leather uppers it can spell disaster for the future of your favorite boots and shoes.
Fortunately we have discovered a storied line of leather cleaning, care and revitalizing products in the Saphir collection distributed by the Avel Company of France. Formulated from natural botanical, plant and animal oils, Saphir products are absorbed deeply into leather and help moisturize and condition the organic materials.
If you notice streaks of gray or white on your leather footwear, chances are good dissolved salts have been deposited after walks through snow, slush and water during the past winter. A treatment with Saphir Desalter helps dissolve the residue which can then be removed from the shoes or boots with a soft cloth, beginning the revitalization of the leather.
Once the salt is removed, assess any water damage. The leather may seem tight or wrinkled -- think about how your fingers look after a long soak and you have an idea what you might see. The irony of water damage is the soaking actually dries out the leather, so look carefully for signs of cracking or flaking.
An effective solution for the water-abused leather is Saphir Dubbin. Rich in seal and mink oil, the dubbin is absorbed into the very fibers of the leather, softening and hydrating the material. A bonus to this treatment is that the oils absorbed act to protect the shoes or boots from further damage from dirt, grime or moisture. Saphir Renovateur Medaille D'or 1925 is another approach, with a deep conditioning dose of mink oil, purposely without pigment to let the revitalized leather shine through.
In some cases, the salt may be gone and the leather softened and supple, but the harm meted out by the winter’s precipitation may include badly faded coloration or even stained or discolored areas. Saphir has several answers to this problem in Avel Cream Renovator. This mink-oil based polish is loaded with pigment to restore the color of your footwear while conditioning and moisturizing the leather. Other options to revitalize the colors of your winter weary boots and shoes include Saphir Deluxe Paste Shoe Polish, Saphir Juvacuir, Saphir Medaille D'Or 1925 -Cream Tube, Saphir Medaille D'Or 1925 Shoe Cream and Saphir Surfine Shoe Cream. The range provides quite the lineup for superior color restoration that also improves the look and feel of the leather.
Once you have attended to your loyal winter footwear with Saphir quality products we promise to outline strategies for proper off-season storage as you begin to swap out your spring and summer shoes, boots and sandals. And as the more temperate months of the year are approaching, we challenge you to commit yourself to a routine of regular shoe and boot care, no matter the weather. Browse our product lines for ideas, and be assured your valuable leathers will reward your efforts with years of comfortable and handsome service.