How to Clean Nubuck and Leather Shoes

Earth Wayward

Nubuck and leather shoes are fine investments in quality and, with the proper care, will endure for many years. A little time put toward their maintenance and upkeep will pay off season after season, as these two materials will earn you plenty of compliments throughout their lifetime.

How to Clean Nubuck

Nubuck is a beautiful, high-quality leather that is similar to suede. However, since it is fashioned from the exterior part of the cowhide, nubuck is tougher and slightly thicker than suede. This type of top-grain leather has been sanded and finished, meaning it possesses a natural ability to repel stains. However, to keep your shoes looking clean and new for years to come, you will be required to do a bit of maintenance.

One problem you may encounter with your nubuck shoes is that they may start to show shiny spots. These blotches can make your footwear look worn out before their time, yet they are the easiest things to fix! To keep your shoes looking sharp, invest in a nubuck brush. A quality brush is gentle enough to avoid damaging the shoes, but sturdy enough to buff out those shiny spots and eliminate dry dirt. They bring out the shoes’ natural grain and nap. Choose a brush that has both wire and either nylon or rubber bristles. To fix the shininess and restore that brand-new matte look, brush the shoe with the wire bristle section of a nubuck brush, then more lightly with the nylon or rubber bristles.

The wire bristles can also be used for harder stains or ground-in dirt. If that fails, use one of many liquid cleaners made specifically for nubuck. After following the directions of the cleaning solution and being careful not to over-saturate, use a gentle-bristled brush to lift the nap. An alternative to liquid includes a package of nubuck cleaning cloths for spots and scratches that already have cleaning solution on them, which will make it easier to dispense just the right amount.

Other nubuck cleaning products for spot cleaning include a solid rubber block made specifically for this purpose, as well as a nubuck eraser. No matter what you do, always remember to patch test first.

How to Clean Leather

There are many ways to clean the wide variety of types of leather footwear. Again, always perform a spot test on an inconspicuous area of the shoe before proceeding with any and all cleaning methods, so you don’t ruin your footwear.

Simple, everyday leather cleaning solutions include mixing distilled water with a teaspoon of gentle liquid face or body soap, and rubbing it in the direction of the leather grain with a sponge. Significant dilutions and gentle products are necessary to prevent drying and splitting of the shoes.

Leather shoe protector can go a long way toward reducing the need to clean and protect the exterior of your shoes from permanent damage, and you should always condition your shoes after cleaning. Otherwise, the soap can dry out the leather and result in long-term damage.

If you need to remove rock salt stains from your boots before packing them away for the warmer seasons, you can do so by mixing one part water with one part white vinegar and gently wiping off the boots. You can also mix equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar for another solution option. For stubborn stains (especially those with ink), try applying some rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and gently wiping them away.

Check out the wide variety of leather and nubuck types of footwear and related products at!

Sandals for Every Summer Activity

Spring Step Abigail

For many of us in colder climates, our feet have spent too long falling asleep under the weight of boots trudging through snow (so long polar vortex!). Now is the time to do the opposite and don some chic sandals, as our feet have undoubtedly earned this sunshine and warm air. Of course, no one particular model is practical for all your summertime activities. Luckily, there are variations that are specifically designed for a wide range of activities and weather, from the rain of spring to the dog-days-of-summer; from dancing and dining to rafting and hiking.

Let’s start off with many of our favorite summertime pastimes of going to the beach. For some, this may entail doing nothing more than simply lounging about in the sand. However, many of us fill the hours with running after the kids, trekking up and down the boardwalk, riding the Ferris wheel, playing a round or two of volleyball, wading in the water and napping under an open paperback. With so many different activities happening on top of unpaved surfaces, don’t make the mistake of wearing sandals without arch support. In addition to your discount flip flops that you don’t mind getting ruined in the salty water, the Women’s Vionic with Orthaheel Technology Fleur II is super cute and can help to prevent injuries.

There are many gatherings that take place outdoors, from BBQs to backyard dances. More often than not, you are going to be on grassy surfaces rather than pavement, so forego the thin heels in favor of sturdier platform sandals. Designs like the Spring Step Abigail sandals bring a sense of femininity that will elongate the legs and pair flawlessly with a sundress, and you won’t have to worry about thin stilettos sinking into the dirt.

Many workplaces become more lenient on the dress code over the warmer months so, if your office allows you to wear sandals, check out peep-toe footwear like the BeautiFeel Women’s Valentina. The limited amount of exposed skin and darker aesthetic still make this shoe professional while simultaneously infusing a touch of summer. Avoid flip-flops or flats with minimalistic thin straps that might be interpreted as overly casual.

For activities that will involve more walking, check out a sandal like the Women’s Pikolinos Alcudia. Its gel-padded insole helps to lessen foot fatigue, and the strap around the ankle provides an especially secure fit that won’t “flap” about. Also note that this synthetic sandal is a vegan shoe.

Sometimes what’s in store for the weekend is less hammock lounging and more go-getting. If your feet are going to get wet while rafting, kayaking or hiking, look for breathable synthetics.  The Merrell Azura sandal is a sporty solution for numerous reasons: it provides odor control in the mesh lining and in the footbed; the cushioned heel provides outstanding shock absorption and cushioning; and the durable outsole helps ensure traction as you traverse the great outdoors.

Regardless of what endeavor activity you engage in, make sure that your sandals don’t rub or squeeze tightly. Browse our many options of women’s sandals to make sure your feet are stylishly equipped for your favorite summertime activity.

Great Shoes for Nurses!

Dansko Professional Blue

This title should probably be expanded to anyone who stands on their feet all day long – like teachers, restaurant workers, other medical professionals, etc. But here at Footwear etc., we get a lot of questions particularly from nurses about the best footwear they can get for their particular occupation. We have several brands that excel in everything a nurse needs: great support, lightweight, stable, holds up well over time and in sometimes mucky conditions, and affordable. Looking for shoes that meet these criteria? Here are several brands that you might find indispensible in your life!

Dansko makes a wide variety of styles that make standing on your feet all day a pleasure. (I can attest to this, as a former teacher, that Dansko clogs are wonderful for all-day wear.) My favorite: the Professional. It’s available in a rainbow of colors (including white). Recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association, Dansko Professionals are amazingly comfortable and provide outstanding stability and shock absorption, a deep heel cup, wide toe boxes, and a mild rocker sole that helps propel you forward while maintaining rear stability. They’re easy to get on and off, and are made from very high quality leather. I’ve spotted these on my hairdresser, my husband’s surgeon, and teachers. There’s a reason why these shoes are so popular with men and women on their feet all day!

If you love brightly colored/patterned shoes, look no further than Alegria. They also have a mild rocker outsole to help propel you forward, yet remain stable in the rear of your foot. The removable insoles have latex, memory foam, and cork to provide outstanding fit and comfort. What really sets this brand apart is the wide variety of colors and patterns of each model. These are the happiest-looking shoes you’ll probably ever come across, and are a favorite among nurses everywhere. Who needs boring shoes in the workplace? Have some fun with Alegria shoes!

Need slip resistance? Check out shoes by Genuine Grip. Slip resistance is the company’s mission in creating these shoes, and reducing slip and fall accidents is its specialty. Slip resistance is very important in many occupations, like in medicine or restaurant work, and that feature along with outstanding comfort and durability is tantamount to a successful wearing experience. Men and women have a wide variety of choices of styles, from slip-ons to booties, and various styles are available in either black or white. These rugged shoes are designed for all-day comfort, and are a great choice for nurses and other on-your-feet professionals.

Sanita shoes and clogs are another great choice for women. Endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association, these shoes contain anatomically-shaped footbeds that feel great to your feet. The synthetic outsoles absorb shock, and are skid-resistant. Your toes will not feel constricted since the toeboxes are wide, and the uppers are made from high quality leather. Sanita excels in all-day comfort and durability, so you can rest assured that your footwear won’t make you conk out before you’re ready to relax!

If you’re on your feet all day and need really comfortable shoes, check out these fantastic brands at Pamper your feet while you work!


Top Selling Sandals for Summer!

Icon Jill

If you’re looking for some great new summer sandals, but haven’t decided what to get yet, you might want to take notice of some of the top sellers at Footwear etc. Many of these new models are flying off the shelves, and customer demand has been outstanding. With so many different styles and colors to choose from, you can find something appropriate for every occasion. We’ve got sandals for the beach, sandals for a night out, sandals for the office, sandals just to make you happy…you name it! And all of them are specifically designed to make your feet feel great as well as look great. Intrigued? Here are some of those top sellers:

The Women’s MBT Hanuni is a sporty sandal available in black or red/black leather. As with all MBT shoes, it has a rocker sole that forces you to find your own center of balance. This action can help take pressure off your joints, back, knees, and is great for walking. It’s an easy-to-wear shoe with 3 adjustable hook and loop straps, so you can really adjust the fit properly.

Earthies has come out with an adorable multi-colored sandal called the Arvello. It’s casual, yet dressy enough to wear with maxi dresses or some skirts. Containing straps in turquoise, green, and orange, this sandal exudes summertime flair, and as with all Earthies shoes there is great heel and arch support so you’ll be comfortable with every step. The adjustable buckle strap around the ankle provides a custom fit you’ll absolutely love.

My current favorite slide is by Icon, called the Jill-448. I happen to be a sucker for colorful artwork, and this shoe features images from Paul Klee’s famous painting, “Garden View.”  The shoe is a casual thong style with dual buckle accents, and contains splashes of red, pink, green, blue, and yellow. You can wear this shoe with anything! It looks equally great with shorts as it does with a casual dress, and could be the most versatile summer shoe you’ll own.

Need to do a lot of walking this summer? Check out the SoftWalk Women’s Bolivia. It’s available in black or gold wash leather, or cognac nubuck. What I particularly like about this shoe is the outstanding eggcrate footbed, which is designed to make your feet feel like you’re walking on clouds. These shoes really do feel that luxurious! The fit is wonderful given the three hook and loop fasteners, and there’s even a hidden elastic gore in the back strap for extra comfort. If you’ve got travel plans this summer, take this shoe with you!

Here’s a sandal that absolutely screams summer: the Arcopedico Fire. It comes in orange or leather, and is a slingback style with decorative cutouts. With a 1 ¾” heel height and a Velcro back strap, it’s easy to wear, particularly since it’s a wedge! The cork and latex midsole makes the footbed really comfortable – it can mold to your feet. And the curved sole by the toe helps propel you forward, making walking a breeze. What more could you want in a cute, summer sandal?

These are just a few of the best sellers from Footwear etc. Explore the many options to choose from at!


Shoe Trends in 2014: Marvelous Metallics

Alegria Coco

Shining, glittering, sparkling shoes are all the rage this year. Why? Because there is something simply enticing about a metallic look! Much like strappy kitten heels and neon-colored shoes, a metallic sparkle draws the eye downward to create the illusion of longer legs for a flatteringly-slim appearance. Furthermore, it’s an appealingly unconventional way to add oomph to your outfit, as normally sparkle is reserved for the earlobes or the neck. For fun ways to incorporate this hot trend into your closet, keep reading!

Color Combinations

Silver and gold can be compared to gray and brown, two colors that are lauded for their ability to smoothly pair with almost any color. There are no hues in the spectrum with which metallic won’t look great. Furthermore, you can use metallics to balance the undertones of your other garments; for example, if you are sporting a dress that features cooler tints of blue and lilac, you can use gold pumps to add a dash of warmth.

How to Accessorize

A set of sensational metallic shoes or sandals can make a solid first impression. However, be careful not to overplay your hand when accessorizing with sparkle. The more intense the metallic of the shoe is, the less intense your other jewelry and/or clothing should be. A good rule of thumb is that no more than two elements in your outfit should feature metallics; choose between your shoes, one article of clothing and/or your jewelry.

For Work or For Play

Like all your other shoes, you’ll want to match your glimmering footwear with the activity you’re anticipating. If it’s a day at the beach or a casual weekend, strap on the silver flats. If you’re going to work, look for a pair of the many hybrids available today in trendy shoe shops. (By “hybrid” we refer to shoes that feature two different colors, allowing the metallic to serve as a tasteful accent that is appropriate for the office.) For a similarly reserved aesthetic that is ready for the workplace, consider footwear that has a subtle metallic finish rather than a very shiny finish. However, once you transition from day to night, don’t be afraid to break out of your shell and bring on the shimmer and shine. Boldly metallic footwear is a fantastic way for a woman to feature sparkle without appearing too childish, so a stylish pair of silver heels can truly spice up that beloved little black dress.

 Maintain Comfort

What truly makes metallic footwear so wonderful is the fact that it automatically dresses up any outfit, allowing you to sport comfortable flats and yet look fashionable for the evening or office. Because high heels can cause a number of health problems for women, adding a touch of sparkle to flats and other comfortable styles is a great way to help you avoid bunions, hammer toe, corns and ankle injuries. Plus, your overall enjoyment will be increased as you will be able to move about confidently without wobbling or fear of falling!

Now is the time to begin shopping for this hot commodity, as metallic shoes are the perfect standout piece to dress up with over the summer! Start your search at Footwear etc. with collections from designer brands like Mephisto, Naot and Arcopedico.