If you’ve invested in a pair of alligator leather shoes, you already know about the quality of alligator skin. You probably know how those shoes are lovingly designed by gifted artisans for maximum beauty and comfort. You also know that they’re meant to last a lifetime, unlike the lower-end dress shoes.
But what you may not know is how to take care of that investment. Plain and simple, these aren’t your every-day dress shoes, and shouldn’t be treated like them.
So how do you take care of your Belvederes for maximum durability?
- Allow at least one day in between wearings. This gives the shoes time to dry out, air out, and rest (and also an excellent reason to have more than one pair).
- Store in a cool, dry place, on a wooden shoe tree. This helps keep the leather supple and clean. Too much heat and the leather will crack.
- Wipe any dirt off with a clean cotton chamois before cleaning with any products.
- Clean the shoe with saddle soap and water or a reptile leather cleaner (which you can get from a shoe repair store).
- Dry off the leather with a soft rag.
- Apply a conditioner, such as Mink Oil (recommended brand Meltonian) or Reptan. These condition and waterproof the leather.
- Let the conditioner stay on for a few hours.
- Using a horsehair brush, buff off the conditioner to achieve a nice, soft shine.
- If you’d like a higher finish, use a low solvent mirror gloss, such as Saphir Medaille d’Or.
Don’t Make These Three Mistakes
Now that you know how to take care of your alligator leather shoes, you’re good to go, right? Wait a minute. Don’t make these few mistakes, which can quickly ruin the durability of your luxury shoes.
- Don’t let them air dry if they get wet. When your shoes get wet, take the time to dry them off before putting them on the shoe tree. Don’t let them dry off by themselves.
- Don’t soak the shoe in water while cleaning. Use the least amount of water as possible.
- Never use acid or chemicals on the leather.
Keep your alligator shoes in the best condition by following the cleaning steps above and making sure you don’t make the mistakes that will ruin them. By taking care of your investment, you’ll be enjoying your Belvederes for many years to come!