If you’ve read menswear blogs for any length of time, you’re probably well acquainted with the basics of proper shoe care. Give your shoes a day of rest in between each wear and insert cedar shoe trees when they’re not in use. When the leather starts to look a bit dry, apply leather conditioner and use some polish to help raise a shine. If you have the time and inclination, you can also bull the toe caps and heel cups in order to give your shoes a bit of flashy detailing.
There’s another shoe care technique – wear your shoes as often as possible, put them through hell, apply leather conditioner sparingly, and do little else. This is particularly good for workboots, where you want the age to show. The best example of this might be a pair of service boots Andrew Chen (3sixteen’s co-founder) bought from Viberg two years ago. You can see them here new and here after eighteen months of wear. Andrew tells me he did little to take care of his shoes except wipe them down with a damp cloth every once in a while. Truthfully, they don’t seem like they were even wiped down that often, and that’s probably why they look so great.