Brushes Cleaners Shoe Care Sole Care

How to Waterproof Suede Shoes

In today’s post, we will show you how to waterproof suede shoes. Don’t be intimidated by getting your suede shoes wet, we’re here to help. Follow these 3 easy steps to get your favorite pair of suede shoes ready for any rainy day activity.

Preparing to waterproof your shoes:

Waterproof Suede Shoes - Step 0: Brush

Before Step 1, it is important to brush the suede on the shoes. Here we used our Hanger Project Suede Cleaning Brush. Brushing the suede ensures that there is no dirt accumulated before sealing it with Saphir Super Invulner spray.

Step 1: Spray Saphir Super Invulner

Step 1 - How to Waterproof Suede Shoes

The first step is to spray the Saphir Super Invulner 6 – 12 inches away from the surface onto your suede shoes. After applying, allow 30 minutes to dry. It’s important to spray the Super Invulner into the welt of the shoe — it is a potential entry point for water into the shoe.

Make sure to complete this step outside or in a garage to keep the aroma of from lingering for a long period of time.

Step 2: Apply Wax Polish to Welt

Step 2: How to Waterproof Suede Shoes - Welt

Next, is to add some Saphir Pate De Luxe Wax Shoe Polish in Neutral onto a welt brush and apply the polish at an angle to the welt. As a result, this step’s essential to protecting and cleaning the welt of suede shoes. Be careful not to apply too much polish onto the brush because you run the risk of getting the polish on the upper suede of the shoe.

Bonus Tip: Bonus Tip: Waterproof Suede Shoes

In addition, if you are worried about getting polish on your suede, we learned a cool tip from shoemakers. Simply apply masking tape onto the suede surface edge of your shoe before applying the polish.

Step 3: Apply Saphir Sole Guard

Step 3 - How to Waterproof suede shoes

Also, it’s important to waterproof the soles of shoes, Saphir’s Sole Guard was created to do that. Shake the bottle well and apply onto a cotton chamois. Then, rub the cotton chamois onto the sole of the shoe. Lastly, allow approximately one hour for the Sole Guard to dry.

Brushes Shoe Care

When to Use Our Yak Hair Brushes

Because we carry a wide variety of brushes for shoe polishing, we often get questions on which brush to buy. For instance the Yak Hair Brush is a spectacular brush to add to your polishing line up but when would you want to use it? The density and properties of yak hair make for the perfect finishing brush. The Hanger Project Yak Hair Brushes are super dense and very soft. Because yak hairs are wavy, these brushes have to be made by hand.

Another question we often get is comparing one brush to another. Which is why we made the short video below comparing two of our best selling brushes. Both of these great brushes have an intended use. Which is also why one is not directly better or interchangeable for the other.

The Horsehair Polishing Brush is an essential brush that is great for the steps in-between the whole shoe shine process. It buffs shoes very well and is usually the first brush we recommend buying to start a shoe shine kit. For more information on the horsehair brushes click through to their blog post.

The Yak Hair Brush is the brush you want to finish a shoe shine and really bring out the shine of a pair of shoes. It is also a great brush for touching up a shined pair of shoes before and after wearing daily. The benefits are hard to realize without seeing the brush in action. Watch the video below to see the differences in these great brushes.

Brushes Shoe Care

Horsehair vs. Pig Bristle Brushes

Shoe shine brushes are one of the polishing tools that are essential to the proper maintenance of any pair of fine leather shoes. Not just used during polishing, a good shoe polishing brush can be used to buff a pair of shoes in the morning and clean them at the end of the day. Because the quality of waxes used with Saphir Shoe Polish is so high, sometimes a simple buffing with a polishing brush is all you need to renew the patina. Choosing the right brush is a common question we address with our customers. We most often recommend either a Pig Bristle or a Horsehair Brush.


Pig Bristle Brushes

In general, pig bristle brushes have a stiffer bristle than horsehair. This makes a pig bristle brush particularly well-suited for textured leathers, such as pebblegrain, and shoes with brouging. The stiffer bristle allows the shoe shine brush to get into the leather and remove any polish buildup. This is the ideal brush choice for deep cleaning.

Horsehair Brushes

Horsehair brushes, on the other hand, are great for gentle cleaning and buffing. The softer, more flexible bristle buffs the shoe polish wax to a shine without removing too much, which a stiffer pig bristle brush could do. If you only are going to buy one shoe shine brush, then most likely all you need is a quality horsehair polishing brush. 90% of all polishing brushes, especially those commonly available, are horsehair, and for normal polishing, they do the trick. All our Hanger Project Shoe Shine Brushes are of the highest quality. Our brushes are 100% tail hair (instead of a mane and tail blend), which almost eliminates annoying bristle shedding and provides an even higher-quality buff.

What is our recommendation?

Anyone who is really committed to taking the best care of their shoes, or has a large collection of shoes, needs a set of both horsehair and pig bristle brushes. They are truly different enough in their use to justify having both.

Brushes Shoe Care

The difference in Brush Quality: 100% Tail Horsehair

At the Hanger Project, we believe that quality products speak for themselves. Which is why our Shoe Polishing Brushes are made of 100 percent tail horsehair. Ordinary brushes are composed of a mixture of both tail and mane hair. The mane hair is more brittle and will result in bristle loss through everyday use. Nothing takes away from the ritual of cleaning your favorite pair of shoes than using a low-quality brush that makes a mess.

We are committed to providing the best quality for our customers, which is why all our brushes are the finest quality tail horsehair that almost don’t bleed any bristles at all.

Brushes Shoe Care

Large Round Shoe Polish Dauber by La Cordonnerie Anglaise

We just received a new luxury shoe polish dauber by La Cordonnerie Anglaise. This large round shoe dauber has a 1.5 inch silk bristle head and is perfect for cleaning your shoes. In particular, the generous round bristle head makes this dauber very effective at shampooing your leather or suede shoes before you polish them, which is why I added it to our collection of La Cordonnerie Anglaise daubers and brushes.

Shoe polishing accessories — the things that you use to shine your shoes — are things that most people only purchase once. That is why the LCA daubers, brushes, and shoeshine carpets are so popular with customers. These beautiful, well-crafted items have absolutely no parallel. The Bubinga wood that is used for the brushes and daubers is just absolutely incredible. The depth and complexity of woodgrain is something to just stare at. If we could afford it, our luxury wooden hangers would be made out of the same wood!


Saphir Crepe Brush for Suede and Nubuck Leather

Although Nubuck Shoes appear to look like Suede Shoes, they are actually quite different and require different shoe care handling. Sanding the inside of calfskin leather creates Suede while sanding the outside of the calfskin leather creates Nubuck. The difference results in a texture similar to suede but much, much finer in texture and nap. Because of this, Nubuck Leather is very delicate. A normal brass or hard-bristle suede brush that would be appropriate for brushing out Suede would damage the more delicate Nubuck Leather.

Nubuck isn’t very popular here in the United States but has been gaining popularity in the United Kingdom and Japan for its distinctive and rather uncommon texture. The photograph below displays Edward Green Cherwell’s Chukka Boots made in Nubuck Leather. This fine texture is difficult to discern from a photograph, it really must be seen in person.

Our Saphir Crepe Brush is perfect for cleaning Nubuck Leather and is a great Suede Cleaner. The softness of the natural, rubbery crepe cleans Nubuck but will not damage it. An additional characteristic of crepe is its gummy texture, which “lifts” dirt from the shoe. With use, the color of the crepe begins to darken as it picks up dirt. This can easily be cleaned by simply rubbing it off with your fingers.