Do you remember last winter? Or have you blocked as just more psychological trauma? It was brutal. So much snow and ice and cold. And so much salt everywhere. Well, until it got so cold the salt wouldn't work anymore and everyone had to switch to sand. Although the sand was kinder to my boots, it sure made an awful mess in my front hall.
Shiver! I am not looking forward to facing another winter like that one, and am holding out hope that we will be spared another polar vortex. But even a regular winter in these parts involves a healthy dose of snow, ice, salt and slush. Do you know how to protect your footwear from damage?
This week Tana sent me to my local Walking on A Cloud store to get an in depth look at their line of shoe care products, and some tips on how to care for my boots and shoes this winter. Since I consider my footwear an investment, I was eager to see what new tips I could pick up. And I took advantage of the visit to pick up a gorgeous new pair of boots for myself too.
Tamara, the manager at the Leaside (women's) location walked me through the product line. Tana carries a range to products to clean and protect leather, suede and nubuck, including sprays and creams and sponges, brushes and cloths, as well as insoles and inserts to help with fit and comfort. There's even an insulating insole you can add to boots that maybe aren't so warm, to help keep your feet cozy when you're out for a walk or standing waiting at a bus stop.
I've always been careful to spray my boots with Tana All Protector when I first buy them and then again at the beginning of each winter season. This was critical when I lived in St. John's, where the winters are notoriously wet and slushy, but really important anywhere you get snow, or salt, or standing water you might be walking through. The All Protector is water repellent, helping to keep your feet dry, and it protects your footwear against salt damage. I've already sprayed my new boots to keep them safe.
Tamara encouraged me to use water for regular cleaning of salt, but to also give my boots a good cleaning periodically with Tana Cleaning Lotion. This product is applied with a soft cloth to remove dirt, debris, and salt stains. After cleaning, the boot should be conditioned with a polish, dubbin, or mink oil to keep the leather soft and supple. Always finish of with a re-application of All Protector to seal out the elements.
This universal Style 16 Protector is designed for your jackets, bags and luggage. Please don't forget about these! I have gotten serious damage to leather purses from laying them on the floor in the car. Even scraping by the car door as you attempt to escape a parking spot can leave bad salt stains on your purse or jacket. Tamara pointed out that this product is also great for waterproofing this season's fashionable moccasin-style boots. I was wearing Uggs knock-offs last winter and really wish I had thought to do this!
Tana wants to help you prepare to weather the winter this year. One lucky Canadian will win a grand prize of $2000 in the Weather the Winter with Tana contest. There are also 5 bi-weekly prizes of $1000 each. Feeling lucky? You can enter here for your chance to win. Contest closes December 10, 2014. Official Rules & Regulations.
Bottom line - we spend good money on our footwear (and purses too!). It's important to protect our investment and get our money's worth from these purchases. Taking the time for protecting, cleaning, and conditioning pays off. And the Tana products make the process easy. I conditioned and protected my new boots in about 5 minutes. Bring it on, Winter!
Disclosure: I am taking part in the Tana Shoe Care Blog campaign. While I have received compensation as part of my affiliation with this program, the opinions shared are my own.