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This weekend is about the time you’ll want to relegate the heavy footwear to the back of the closet in search of your snuffed suede and cotton.

But before you just toss them into a dark corner for the next six months, you should give them a good once-over. And same goes for the shoes you’re pulling out—things have probably gotten a little musty since last September.

Luckily we’ve got your foolproof guide to spring shoe care, right here…

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First, Desalt: Sidewalk salt can wreak havoc on leather—and in an ideal world, you’ve been desalting your shoes weekly all winter—but the trick is to make sure you’ve gotten all that stuff off before the shoes go into storage and it really begins to eat away. You can spring for some saddle soap, but usually a little vinegar and water on a damp rag should work. Then set the shoes out to dry overnight.

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Make Them Gleam: If you’ve got a shine box, you’re set. If you don’t, that’s all right—just don’t ask Joe Pesci to go home and get his. Don’t sweat it, all you need is a good leather conditioner, polish and a nice brush. Or just pick up this coverall kit from Allen Edmonds. For the real heavy-duty boots, use this conditioner. Then store them away with cedar shoe trees.

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For the Spring Gear: Since you’re also pulling out your lighter-weight and -color shoes that may have picked up a few smells and scuffs along the way last summer, makes sure to brush out any scuffs in your suede with a brush and tackle discoloration with a suede eraser. And when it comes to the canvas sneakers, a sprinkling of fancy foot powder a few days before wearing would do them good.

—N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar