Anytime your handmade leather sandals need cleaning or moisturizing, we highly recommend a good quality saddle soap, such as Meltonian or Fiebings saddle soap. Once a year or so, depending on use and conditions, it is also a very good idea to put a new coat of cork sealer around the edge of the sandal.
Remember that genuine leather should be cared for somewhat like your own skin:
- Leather doesn’t like to dry out. If your leather sandals look the least bit dry, it is always a good idea to moisturize them with either saddle soap, leather cream, or oil. Saddle soap has the advantage of cleaning the leather and restoring a natural moisture without feeling too oily.
- When the leather is dry rather than dirty, use saddle soap with very little, or even no water.
- When the sandals are dirty, you can wash them first with water, then ideally allow them to dry a little, and apply saddle soap while they are still slightly damp. It is then a good idea to wear them at this time until they completely dry, as they will form nicely to your foot. This is a good breaking in tactic when the sandals are new and you are in the process of breaking them in.
A few times a year, and especially before storing your handmade leather sandals for the winter, it is highly recommended to do the following:
1- Follow the usual saddle soap cleaning procedure described above
2- Take the extra measure of undoing the knot and pulling each section of strap back several inches to expose the usual “hidden” section under the footbed. This section is prone to greater wear from friction, dryness, and accumulated grit. It is therefore very important to clean this thoroughly, and even rub as much oil as you can into the leather to protect it from drying out.
Cared for in this way, you should enjoy your Soul Path handmade leather sandals for many years.