They’re Throwing Salt

I got to NY 2 days after the blizzard had ended.  Streets were icy.  Snow was piled along the sides of cars.  And salt was on every sidewalk and doorstep for a 200 mile radius.  That salt had me scared to wear my Cole Hann, Johnston & Murphy, and Allen Edmonds hard bottoms, which in change, altered my planted wardrobe for the week.  One of my college classmates, however, came over for lunch and had a pair of Cole Hanns on.  As we walked from the apartment to the pub, I asked him if he wasn’t worried about the warping effect that salt has on the shoe and he said by the time he remembered what salt does to leather hard bottoms, he was already on the subway.  Sad day for such a beautiful pair of shoes.

Well, people, all hope is not lost!  I found a quick fix to the shoe warping issue while looking at Valet (download the Valet app on your smartphone for easy access).  If you know you HAVE to go to this interview and can’t put on a pair of shoes you don’t care about, I may have found a solution that will save the investment on your feet.

Salt-Free Shoes

Each winter, the United States uses 18,000 tons of salt on roads and sidewalks. Inevitably, a good portion of that salt will get absorbed into your shoes—leaving otherwise beautiful footwear dried out and stained. It’s important to remember that the salt starts drying and warping the leather quickly, so act fast. Here’s how to save your shoes:

  1. Make a solution of one part plain white vinegar to two parts water.
  2. Dab the solution onto the stains, working from the outside toward the center of the stain.
  3. Dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe down the shoe to remove any lingering vinegar.
  4. Press a dry cloth into the leather to remove out any residual moisture.
  5. Let them air dry for a day and then condition, buff or polish as usual.


Suede isn’t a great shoe option when there’s salt and slush out, but should you get some salt stains on your suede shoes, start by brushing the nap with a suede brush. Dip a cloth into your vinegar solution and wring it out. Dab the solution onto the stain and the blot with a dry cloth until the stain is gone.


The practice of salting roads began in the 1940s.

Source: Valet


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