Thank you for caring for your ara shoes! We hope you enjoy them and are happy to provide you with a few tips concerning the correct care.
In the following we can offer you some general tips on proper leather care.
- Clean before applying a care product!
- Aniline leather
- Suede leather (suede & nubuck)
- Greased leather (in case of velour and smooth leather)
Clean before applying a care product!
Dust and dirt must be carefully removed from the shoe before applying a care product. The gentlest method is always the best. Hence you should not apply shoe polish or other care products on a dirty shoe, since the shoe could take on a stained appearance after treatment, the reason being that shoe polish cannot completely cover the surface. Furthermore, the dirt on the shoe prevents the polish from being absorbed. With smooth leather, use of a cloth (if necessary damp, but not wet) is sufficient. Special brushes or cleaning rubbers are available for suede leather cleaning. Care products should only be applied to dry shoes. Prior to use, please treat the shoes with an impregnating agent. This will protect them against moisture stains, inhibits dirt accumulation and simplifies daily care. Spray impregnating agents are easiest to apply. Simply spray from a distance of approx. 30 cm. Before using shoe care products you must distinguish between two types of smooth leather: Apply a drop of water onto the leather (select an indiscernible area inside the shoe) and rub in gently. If the water is absorbed and the leather darkens, your shoe is made of so called aniline leather (leather imbued with water soluble aniline dyes). If the water drips off, the type of leather used is surface-dyed smooth leather. Aniline leather is comparable to wood, coated leather in this case to painted wood.
ara predominantly uses open-pored aniline dyed leather without a color coat on the nappa side. The pores are still visible thus the breathability of the leather is completely maintained. This leather is thoroughly sorted prior to production since only the best skins are used. Due to the ethical husbandry, all suede leathers display natural characteristics such as scratch marks, insect bites etc., which are however few in number with this very carefully selected leather. Due to the varying skin structure, some areas of the leather absorb more dyestuff than others. Therefore uncoated aniline dyed leather can show slight differences in color intensity. Even if the aniline has a slight protective coating, the color can change temporarily during cleaning and caring since this leather is highly absorbent. As long as the leather is damp, the color will appear somewhat darker. It is therefore advantageous to treat the shoes with impregnating spray prior to cleaning in order to make them less sensitive. A very thin layer of the care product, true to the saying “less is more”, should by applied in rotating hand movements. Subsequently polish with a soft, lint-free woollen cloth or with a commercially available brush.
Suede leather (suede & nubuk)
Since the use of grease and wax is not permitted for maintenance of suede leather, as the very fine hairs would otherwise stick together, suede leather sprays are to be recommended. Suede leather sprays do not only refresh the color, but also impregnate and protect the shoe against water stains. Initially, while the shoes are new, abrasive dust (fine leather dust) may be released from the upper leather. This should not be mistaken for color abrasion. Simply pat off the dust or suction clean the shoes with the power nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you can remove any particles with a clean, adhesive lint roller. Suede leather shoes should be brushed regularly with a cleaning brush and should be impregnated from time to time. Normal dust and slight abrasion can also be removed with a cleaning brush or an abrasive pad. Please test each care product in a hidden area of the shoe and stop your efforts in good time if the desired result is not attained.
Greased leather (in case of velour and smooth leather)
Some types of leather have been surface-treated with oil or grease. Such types of leather are referred to as pull-up leather and very quickly show signs of wear, yet can easily be treated by brushing.
With regard to all aforementioned types of leather, be they smooth, suede or greased, we cannot accept any liability for the characteristics of the leather since each skin, and thus each part of a shoe may react in different ways. That speaks in favor of the natural origin of leather with its correspondingly well-balanced characteristics. However, no synthetic material can be compared to genuine leather. We therefore consider valuable advice more important than “step by step instructions for care”. By way of comparison, leather that has been incorrectly treated (wrong practice or wrong care product) is difficult to repair. We therefore recommend that each care and cleaning product is first of all tested in an indiscernible area inside the shoe. Never use solvents such as acetone, stain remover, cleaning solvent, ethyl alcohol and the like, since this would dissolute the leather dye. Only use high quality leather care products which will restitute the natural humidity to the leather. Never use “easy shine” products. The composition of such products causes drying-out and cracks. High quality care products are available in our shop in the category ‘Care’.