How to Protect Your Shoes and Boots During Winter

Everyone needs a good pair of boots to get them through the winter. But how do you protect them from the season’s cold, snow and salt?

How to protect your shoes and boots during winter? How do you protect them from the season’s cold, snow and salt? Read on.

A pair of good-quality boots are one of those wardrobe staples that are absolutely essential when it comes to keeping your feet warm and dry during the winter months. But the snow, rain and cold weather can wreak havoc on your favorite pair of shoes or boots. The leather or fabric can stain, dry out, discolor, crack or even become irreparable. Follow these guidelines to make sure your winter shoes and boots last for many years to come.

General Tips

Invest in at least two pairs of good quality winter boots or shoes so you can alternate the days you wear them. Leaving at least 12 hours between wear will help them dry properly, retain their shape and last longer.
Clean your winter shoes and boots every time you wear them, using a rag or brush, and deal with any stains immediately.

When you get a new pair of shoes and boots, make sure you cover them with protective spray or conditioner. This will help repel water, protect them from damage, and help keep your feet warm and dry when you wear them.

Never store boots or shoes near a heater or radiator; the burst of heat can cause irreparable damage. If your winter shoes get wet, blot off excess water with newspaper then place cedar shoe/boot trees inside, or stuff them with more newspaper.

Leather Shoes & Boots

 Protect Your Shoes and Boots During Winter

Condition your leather shoes and boots before using them, especially in wintry conditions. Treat them regularly to keep them in top condition.
Remove any dust and dirt with a soft, damp cloth. Also, remove the shoelaces to prepare your leather shoes and boots for conditioning. Apply some water-repellent dressing, conditioner or even saddle soap to the seams and stitching on the upper part of your leather shoe or boot – not the sole – using your fingers. Then apply the conditioner to the rest of the shoe in an even coating.

Leave the shoes for around an hour to let the conditioner sink in properly. Then use a clean damp cloth to remove any excess product, and replace the laces. Repeat whenever necessary, but this should be done more regularly for new shoes.

Removing Salt Stains

 Protect Your Shoes and Boots During Winter

If you live in the town or city, you’ll probably have experienced those nasty white rings around your shoes whenever the roads get gritted with salt to help fight the ice in winter. To remove these unsightly marks, you can use a homemade solution of either lemon or white vinegar.

Squeeze some lemon juice onto a damp cloth, and press down firmly onto the salt stains. Repeat a few times, using more lemon juice, until all the salt stains are gone. Alternatively, use a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water instead of the lemon juice. Once the salt stains have been removed, use a dry cloth and press down onto the shoe or boot to dry all the treated areas.

Suede Shoes & Boots


Untreated and unprotected suede tend to result in a bit of disaster when you wear them in wintry conditions. But as long as you take proper care of them they should be fine. Although you should probably opt for leather or a vegan alternative when there’s lots of dirty and slushy snow around.

Brush suede shoes with a special suede brush. Then apply a waterproofing spray or suede protector to help prevent stains and water damage. Test the spray on a small, less obvious area on the shoe first to make sure you don’t damage the suede or ruin the color. Brush and spray your suede shoes or boots regularly to keep them protected.

Use the suede brush every time you wear your suede shoes to keep the nap looking fresh and remove any surface dirt.

You can gently rub your suede shoes together to remove light stains, or invest in a special suede eraser. Mud can be brushed off once its dry, but more serious stains should be taken to the cobbler for professional cleaning in case you permanently damage the suede.

Always store suede shoes and boots away from the sun, since direct sunlight will cause the color to fade, and in a cool, dry place.

Protect your shoes and boots during winter and enjoy hot winter dates.

Just because the temperatures in the winter are cold doesn’t mean your relationship has to be! You can definitely keep it warm and cozy or sizzling and seductive this winter and these outfits will help do it!

About the author

Natasha Cornall

Natasha Cornall is the editor of Drawdrobe. She's a keen baker and a writer specializing in fashion and beauty.

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