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How to properly take care for your shoes

You can now calmly face different surfaces, mud, and wetness – with sturdy footwear on your feet and the right shoe care tips at hand. In our camel active guide, you will learn how to properly care for, clean, and waterproof leather, suede, and fabric shoes. Perfect tips for long-lasting and well-maintained shoes!

The importance of shoe care: Why is it important to take care of your shoes?

Your shoes are always there for you. They have walked countless kilometers with you. They have conquered mountains, wandered through meadows and forests, braved snow, mud, and dirt. All they need now and then is a little care.

With the right tips, your companions will stay in top shape and rival new shoes in terms of functionality. Dirt and water simply bead off well-maintained boots and hiking shoes!

Materials and their care: which shoe care products are suitable for leather, suede, fabric, and co.?

Ready to give your shoes and boots a care treatment? Then grab shoe cream, shoe wax, waterproofing spray, dirt erasers, and Co. and get started! We accompany you with proven shoe care tips and reveal in a step-by-step guide which care products you can use to quickly and easily breathe new life into leather, suede, and fabric shoes.

Caring for and cleaning leather shoes - how to do it:

Leather is a true natural talent: It is supple yet robust, flexible, breathable, and warming. However, to keep leather shoes in shape, they should be cherished, cared for, and protected – preferably every 4 weeks.

Step 1: Waterproofing the shoe
When new smooth leather shoes arrive, the first step is: waterproofing. Waterproofing is very important before the first wear and should be renewed regularly. It protects the shoe from moisture and dirt without affecting the leather's breathability. Wind-and-weather hiking boots and boots get an extra dose of shoe care from you with protective shoe wax or shoe pomade.

Step 2: Cleaning the shoe
After experiencing your first outdoor adventures, it's time to tackle the dirt. Shoe cleaning is the order of the day! Depending on the degree and type of soiling, choose for shoe care: a soft damp cloth for easily removable dirt, a shoe sponge for firmer adhesions, or a soft shoe brush for loose dust.

Step 3: Applying shoe cream
In addition, you should apply a shoe cream every two weeks for intensive care. Work it into the shoe with an applicator or a cloth and let it soak in for up to 15 minutes. Do your faithful companions look pale or have scratches? Then give them a dose of colored shoe cream or shoe pomade!

Step 4: Polishing the shoe
Friction generates heat. This allows care products to penetrate the leather especially well. So choose between a soft shoe brush, a foam cloth, or – best suited – a microfiber cloth and start polishing. Now quickly waterproof the shoe again and the shoe care is complete.

Suede, nubuck, and wild leather - gentle care for rough shoe types:

Suede, nubuck leather, and wild leather shoes have one thing in common: They all have a roughened, velvety soft surface with fine fibers. These are a bit shorter in nubuck leather - and a bit longer in suede and wild leather. All three types of leather belong to the suede family and like their shoe care to be especially gentle.

Step 1: Dry cleaning suede
Regular dry cleaning forms the basis of your shoe care program. It ensures that no dust settles. Because mixed with moisture, this quickly penetrates the sensitive material. The result: unsightly stains!

To prevent this, equip yourself for shoe care with a long-bristled brush for loose dust. Alternatively, you can also use a shoe brush with rubber bristles or lamellas for light soiling. In addition, there are specially made shoe brushes for each type of leather - e.g. suede brushes. A nice side effect of brushing: The surface is roughened, the look becomes more velvety, and your favorites are well prepared for shoe care.

Step 2: Removing stains from suede shoes
Do your shoes have nasty stains or encrustations? Then treat them with special erasers for suede and nubuck leather. To do this, rub the eraser in circular motions and with light pressure over the stained areas. Is the stain not disappearing? Then carefully test a damp cloth or a moistened shoe brush. But beware: Suede shoes are real sensitive. They must not be treated with too much water or pressure during shoe care.

Step 3: Cleaning products for stubborn stain cases
So far, all attempts to eliminate stains have been unsuccessful? Then you need cleaning products specially developed for your type of leather. For suede, mild lotions with natural ingredients or shoe cleaners in foam form are suitable. Wax- and fat-containing shoe creams should be avoided. The application is simple: Distribute the care product evenly on the shoe with the shoe brush. Then pick up the dissolved dirt with a soft, clean, and slightly damp cloth. Insert shoe trees. Let it dry. Done!

Step 4: Waterproofing suede and refreshing color
To prevent new dirt and stains, the last step is: waterproofing the shoes. Here, combined care products are often used for more suppleness and color freshness.

Cleaning fabric shoes - care guide for long-term

Enjoyment In summer, they are in high season: fabric shoes. They are light, comfortable, and can also be worn barefoot. But shortly after the season, many espadrilles, slippers, and fabric sneakers are cast out. The reason: The sensitive material is dirty and looks like it's ready to be discarded. But wait! These shoe care tips will save you from an unnecessary separation and ensure that you enjoy your fabric shoes for a long time.

Step 1: Clean fabric shoes with a brush

The first step in cleaning fabric shoes is so simple that hardly anyone has it ready: Grab a cleaning brush and remove dust, sand, and dirt. It's best to repeat this after each wear. Because dirt that doesn't stay on the fabric can't mix with moisture and penetrate.

Step 2: Clean fabric shoes with cleaning lotion

Has the dirt settled into the fabric? Then lure it out with a mild cleaning lotion and the firm bristles of a cleaning brush! Then pick up the dirt and shoe cleaner with a damp cloth or sponge. For the rubberized parts of the sneaker, a dirt eraser is ideal. Goodbye abrasion and streaks!

Step 3: Waterproofing fabric shoes

Once the shoes are clean, it's time to waterproof them. Because this protects fabric shoes from new dirt, moisture, and possibly even from fading. Here the rule is: the more often, the better. The moisture-sensitive textile needs the protection even more often than leather shoes. In general, fabric shoes that are frequently worn should be re-waterproofed about every two to three weeks. If the shoes become visibly wet or heavily soiled, it is advisable to clean them immediately and then re-waterproof them.

5 Hacks for well-maintained and long-lasting shoes

If you're good with shoe care, here are 5 extra tips to polish up your care skills and sustainably extend the life of your shoes.

Tip 1: Use gentle waterproofing sprays – let the environment breathe

Did you know that many waterproofing sprays contain health and environmentally harmful substances like PFAS or PFCs? These are difficult to break down in nature and also accumulate in the body. A better approach is to use health and environmentally friendlier pump sprays for waterproofing shoes. To find them, pay attention to the fine print. The care products should not contain warnings such as "Health damage possible by inhalation!" or "Harmful to aquatic organisms."

Tip 2: Try water polishing – achieve shiny results

Want to care for your leather shoes and give them an extra dose of shine? Then moisten the cloth with a few drops of water while polishing. Now wrap it around one or two fingers and rub over the shoe in circular motions. With this water-cream technique, the surface of the leather becomes smoother, and light is reflected more intensely. This type of shoe care is a real shine performance! But beware: this technique is only recommended for smooth leather shoes!

Tip 3: Shoe care in winter – goodbye mud and salt edges

We love winter with the crunching snow under the soles. But often, snow slush, ice, and road salt are part of the deal. Besides much care, leather shoes and boots now need intensive cleaning. If the shoe brush and cloth fail when cleaning the shoes, use leather soap and the sink. Tackle salt edges with vinegar water. Simply let the shoes dry thoroughly after cleaning, perform the usual shoe care, done.

Tip 4: Washing fabric shoes – how to do it right in the washing machine

Should I really do it or better leave it? Maybe! Hand washing may seem uncomplicated, but washing fabric shoes in the washing machine is controversial. For some, it's the most effective way to clean shoes – for others, a no-go. Because there's always some risk when washing in the machine: The shoes can discolor, shrink, or lose their shape.

Still want to try? Here are our 5 washing tips for your fabric shoes:

  1. Ensure your fabric shoes are washable. Fabric shoes with leather or decorative applications should not see the inside of a washing drum.
  2. Remove loose parts like laces and insoles and clean them separately.
  3. Choose a gentle wash cycle at max. 30 °C and max. 600 revolutions.
  4. Use laundry bags and towels as buffers.
  5. Then dry your fabric shoes at room temperature. To maintain their shape, you can use shoe trees, or alternatively stuff them with newspaper or towels. Make sure to let the shoes air dry, away from direct sunlight.

Got used to washing shoes? Then we have some tips on cleaning and caring for winter jackets for you.

Tip 5: Store shoes correctly – airy, dry, wrinkle-free

Are your faithful companions not in action or "out of season"? Then it's important to store them well. Because that extends their lifespan. Here are 4 storage tips for your shoes:

  1. Choose a well-tempered, dry place. Because too much heat, cold, and moisture can damage the shoe material. So, it's best to store boots, sneakers, and Co. in the living area.
  2. Get out the brush, shoe cream, and shoe wax and ensure thorough shoe care before storing.
  3. Let your shoes breathe, rather than randomly stacking and squeezing them. Proper shoe storage with enough space and air keeps them in good shape.
  4. Use shoe trees. This type of shoe care also ensures top shape and prevents wrinkles.

Perfectly equipped for every adventure: camel active boots & shoes

Especially when it becomes wet, cold, and uncomfortable again in autumn and winter, good shoes are in demand. Outstanding quality and workmanship as well as high-quality materials are now more important than ever. So, step into the new camel active shoe collection and out into the adventure! These warm, weatherproof, and robust boots and shoes will become your most faithful companions, no matter the weather.


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