Leather Lifespan Lengthening
If we really think about it, leather shoes have no place in Philippine society. No one brings a pair on their summer vacations, they're not really any good for travelling, and they're completely unsuitable for significant parts of the year. The only reason leather shoes even exist in this corner of the world is because of the dictates of fashion.
Why Leathers Exist in the Philippines
Children are told to wear leather shoes even before they can read, and continue to do so after graduation so they can get a job and a promotion. The rationale behind it is simple; leather shoes look good. Parents want their kids to look their best at school. It also gets them accustomed to the idea of leather shoes to position them to look their best and enable further success.
This is actually a great parental strategy to adopt, just as long as people know how to take care of their leathers. There isn't much difference between the prices of leather shoes and sneakers; the only deciding factor is that the latter is designed to withstand the elements, the former not so much. This rainy season presents people with a legitimate threat to their shoes.
Shoes do have some level of durability against water, but they require more attention to maintain. Persistent exposure to water will cause shoes to lose their shine and suppleness, causing the material to crack. Excessive moisture will also warp the shape of the shoe, making them uncomfortable to wear, as well as unpleasant to look at.
New but Just Like the Old
One of the most prevalent myths about shoe care is that newer shoes have stronger resistance against moisture because everything's still tied tightly together. This isn't entirely accurate, because while it's true that the seams that keep a shoe together loosen with age, becoming more vulnerable to leaks, it doesn't mean new shoes will fare any better.
The danger with bringing new shoes into the front lines is that they could experience shock. It's important to remember that leather shoes are still animal hides made up of fat and protein, even in this state they'll still react to moisture the same way skin will. A good rule of thumb is that the shoes need to be worn three or four times before they can get wet, so that they're properly broken into the shape of the foot.
Another thing people don't think about is when they're shoes do get wet is that they need to wipe or flick the water off them as soon as convenient. Leather absorbs moisture, making it softer; every drop can contribute to warping the shoe, making it important to draw as much of the moisture out of the shoe as possible.
One of the popular Filipino home remedies for wet leather shoes is putting them behind the refrigerator. This is a resourceful technique only moms will be able to think up. But, it's also a double-edged sword; if the shoes stay behind the refrigerator for too long, it'll make the leather shrivel, warping it even further.
The rate at which the leather dries at those temperatures needs careful monitoring so people can get the pros without the cons. The basic idea is to keep leathers away from water as much as possible, and to draw water out of them as soon as it's convenient. It doesn't really matter how this is done, as long as the shoes don't cook.
There are still things like skills, personality, and personal hygiene that can get in the way of achieving success. But, looking the part is always half the battle, and having shiny and well taken care of leather shoes can cover any deficiencies in those areas at least during the job interview.