As believers in slow fashion, we want you to treasure your Laiiks for years and years to come. And while we’ve made every effort to build the shoes to last with materials that age beautifully, there are also steps you can take to further their lifespan. Believe us, if you treat your shoes well, they will return the favor!
In order to steer the wonderful authentic aging process of vegetable tanned leather in the right direction, the leather needs care and so we’ve compiled some tips for you. It's super easy!
Tips on Leather Care
When buying a new pair of vegetable tanned shoes, avoid wet weather for the shoes during the first few weeks. Exposure to the sun, to the oils in your skin and to wear give the fibers in the leather ample time to become more flexible, resilient and less likely to react to water.
If your shoes do get wet: Pat the surface dry with a lint-free towel, stuff in some loose paper and let dry naturally. Do not expose to heat (like a hair dryer) or to direct sunlight.
Tip 1: Keep Your Shoes Clean
This is the most basic of tips, keep your shoes clean. If the dirt is light, simply take a dry lint-free cloth to rub off any excess dirt or dust on your shoes. If the dirt is deeper, you can slightly moisten the cloth (please, not soaked!) to clean more stubborn dirt on vegetable-tanned leather. It’s a delicate balance between having the cloth too wet and staining the leather vs. too dry that it won’t penetrate and remove dirt, dust, and grime.
If the dirt is even deeper, it has difficult stains, or you want to thoroughly clean the leather, a dedicated leather cleaner can be helpful. Saddle soap is a popular choice, or you can try ours.
Tip 2: Wax and Condition Your Shoes
Trust us, the best thing you can do to protect, restore, and heal your shoes is to condition them with an all-natural, semi-thick wax or leather dressing. Whether you’d like to use our leather cream or you have a favorite, it’s important to use a cream with natural ingredients like beeswax and natural oils for veg-tanned leather. The oils in it are great for conditioning and restoring tired leather and the beeswax is key to waterproofing the leather. While no amount of beeswax will 100% waterproof your leather shoes, it is important to frequently condition your leather shoes. The more you do so — we’d say maybe once every 2 months depending on how frequently you wear them — the more resistant they become to the elements. Please note that leather cream will darken vegetable-tanned leathers, especially the closer it is to the natural color, to form a beautiful, rich and unique-to-you patina.
With the right care and conditioning, vegetable tanned leathers have the ability to “heal” scratches and discolorations, which is something that chromed leathers usually cannot do. Just one of many reasons to love it!
1. Clean dirt, buildup and other surface contaminants.
2. Apply small amount onto lint-free cloth, rub in circular motions until fully coated.
3. Dry for 1 hour and then buff. Apply more coats if needed. Let cure for 24 hours.
Tip 3: Store Well
This may seem like a no-brainer, but please take care to store your sandals and shoes so that they’re not trampled on or weighed down by other shoes, bags or apparel. And while not absolutely necessary, it’s always a good idea to use shoe blocks or trees to keep the shape fresh! Otherwise, you may want to store them in our Laiik dust bags and boxes when they're not on your feet!