Boots have always been at the heart of our footwear offering at Loeffler Randall. Year by year everyone's favorite LR classic, the Matilde boot, is our best-selling style, going back to its introduction in our very first collection.
As fellow boot lovers - some may say leather "connoisseurs" - we know that the most important thing you can do to ensure a long and happy life for your shoes is to build a lasting relationship with a trusted cobbler. Proper leather care, along with an expert's advice, will ensure that your boots remain in exceptional quality for years, and perhaps even generations, to come!
Therefore, we're proud to share some of the helpful information gathered from our very own experiences of wearing and caring for our Loeffler Randall boots. We hope you find it useful, too!
[Illustrations by Cecilia Carlstedt]
Ensuring a perfect fit:
Slide on your boot with a thin sock and take a step. Notice that the heel should fit comfortably with a bit of slippage - not too loose and not too tight! LR boots fit true to size, however, take notice of the shape of the toe in each boot; if you have a wide foot you may prefer to size up for the additional room. Remember, it's always easier to adjust a boot that's too big (rather than one that's too small) simply by adding an insole.
Breaking in your boots:
Both wearing your boots and using leather cream on them will break them in and make them softer for a personally tailored fit. As is normal for anything made of naturally tanned leather, the leather of your boots might stretch a little bit over time, but don't worry - this will only make them more comfortable!
The "when and where" of boot care:
Depending on how often you wear your boots and where your boots live, you'll want to care for them accordingly. Say you live in a rainy area - you may decide to replace your sole within a few wears to prevent water damage early on. Say you live in a dry area - you may need to polish your shoes more often to keep them hydrated and healthy. Or, say you live in an urban area (like us!) - you might want to check your heel lift more often to make sure it's not worn down from contact with rough pavement. You get the idea...
Caring for leather soles:
A flexible and form-fitting leather sole is both a luxury and a tradition of Loeffler Randall boots. Sole care is a matter of personal preference and individual wear (see above!) - as a general rule, if you push your thumb against the sole and it feels soft, you should replace the sole. A cobbler can fit your boot with either leather or rubber soles, as appropriate. Replace the heel-tap once it wears down, and lastly, stay attentive to the heel lift because a worn-down lift can damage the heel or wedge cover, which is difficult to fix.
Embracing your boot's individuality:
Loeffler Randall boots are handmade with love and care using naturally tanned leathers. Every pair will be unique, which is a sign of quality. Any tonal changes, textural variances, or incidental marks should not be considered imperfections. We love the way our boots develop an individual patina over time, the unique characteristics are by design!
Keeping your boots clean:
It's normal with consistent wear for your boots to become scuffed or dirty, in which case we recommend polishing them. First make sure to wipe off any surface dirt with a soft, dry cloth. Then, put a dab of colorless leather cream onto a cotton cloth, and rub onto your boot. Wait five minutes and wipe off excess with a clean cloth. This method can fix minor marks and extend the life of your boot. Or, just take ten and hop into a shoe shine chair for a pro clean and shine.
If you get your boots wet:
If you do find yourself with drops of water on your boot, you should wipe them dry, and use leather conditioner to help even out spots. For deeper or more mysterious stains, always consult your leather care professional before trying anything at home. On rainy or snowy days, leave your leather boots at home and wear your LR rain boots instead!
Storing your boots during the off seasons:
We first like to stuff our boots with crunched up newspaper to keep the shape and absorb any humidity, and then we place them in the Loeffler Randall dust bag provided with our boots. Store your boots in a dry, room-temperature location - then get excited for the next time you get to take them out and wear them again!
A Few of our Favorite Products:
Meltonian Polish: Meltonian Boot & Shoe Cream Polish, easily sourced from your local cobbler, is our go-to for polishing our leather boots. Meltonian comes in many different colors, but we like the colorless cream which works for any color. For deeper scuffs, you can usually find a good match - just make sure to test the polish on a small, inconspicuous location on your boots.
LEXOL Leather Cleaner: LEXOL Leather Cleaner is a reliable pick-me-up for well-loved boots. Pour a bit of LEXOL on a damp cloth, and rub it over your shoe. It works like a charm to blend spots, clean surface dirt and add a bit of moisture.
Blister Block: It is common to get blisters with even the best-fitting shoes. We find that applying Band-Aid's Blister Block to our feet as we are breaking in our new shoes keeps us pain-free.
Cedar Trees: Cedar shoe trees work wonders for both deodorizing the shoe and keeping the shape.
The Cobbler Choice:
We highly recommend finding the perfect cobbler for you. Known for their expert craftsman advice and careful shoe surgeries, cobblers are artisian problem solvers who will extend the life of your shoes.
The best way to learn anything in life is through relationships, so it is recommended that you find a cobbler through word of mouth. If you would like a second opinion, you should check online for ratings of popular locations.
Below are a few cobblers that we trust in the New York City area:
Cowboy Boot Hospital is within walking distance from the Loeffler Randall office, so you can be sure that this is where we get many of our shoes repaired. They work quickly and accurately.
Jim's Shoe Repair is a family-owned midtown shoe repair that has been around since 1932. You can count on them to fix your beloved shoes with love and care.
Leather Spa has locations throughout Manhattan. Their reputation as a chain of excellent and high quality leather shoe repair preceeds them. They are a bit pricey, but their obvious skill and precision will not leave you disappointed!
It is always best to discuss risks and expectations with your cobbler before committing to a refurbishment or repair.
Loeffler Randall is providing these recommendations as a courtesy to the customer. Loeffler Randall is not liable for any results from repairs conducted by the listed establishments.