The age old question we hear time and time again. Let's be honest, most of us aren't thinking of conditioning our brand new jacket when we walk out of the store, we just want to wear it! Not to mention the skepticism you feel when someone tells you to buy something extra in order to complete your already pricey purchase.
Let me take a minute here to set the record straight and explain exactly why conditioning your leather is not only a good idea, but a smart one.
What it comes down to is longevity. If you only plan to enjoy your new item for a year or two, then you might not need to worry about leather care. Heck, if I had that kind of disposable income, I wouldn't wash a thing. I'd have a brand new set of stainless steel cutlery every time I ate dinner! But if you are like most people and you expect your leather to stand the test of time, you will need to take special care to protect it.
After a couple of years, leather will lose many of the original oils that it started with. These oils are crucial for keeping the fibers lubricated and flexible. As these oils begin to be stripped away due to the environment and general wear, the leather will become dry and coarse. This makes it prone to damage and once that happens it's irreparable.
Imagine walking home on a frigid, cold winter day. The lack of moisture in the air has caused your skin to grow dry and eventually peel and crack. Your lips are chapped beyond recognition and you realize there will be no relief until you reach your lip balm at home.
You finally make it through the door of your house and immediately you begin to warm up. Your body, being the wonderfully efficient machine that it is, attempts to repair your minor skin trauma by providing as much nourishment as it can to hydrate and replace those damaged cells. You generously lather lotion all over your skin and coat your peeling lips with a fresh layer of moisturizing lip balm. The relief is absolute bliss. You then toss off your trusty leather boots and leave them in the corner, without another care in the world.
Well, those neglected leather boots are made of skin just like yours. And just like your skin underwent some trauma in the cold, your boots also took quite a beating. The difference here is your skin received nourishment, both from your body and the through the application of lotions and moisturizers. Your boots did not get the same treatment and over time this lack of care will compound, making it very apparent. Treated leather is a little more durable than skin but it still has its breaking point. Your leather boots will dry and crack and, unlike your body, your leather can't repair its cracks once they have formed. So the only chance you have to keep your leather healthy is to provide them with nourishment before the cracks appear. If you do this regularly, your leather will last for decades to come!
We highly recommend it. It can greatly lengthen the lifespan of your leather goods as well as keep them looking fresh and beautiful. And if you're going to spend all of that money on a beautiful, expensive piece, why wouldn't you spend a little extra to keep it looking that way?
This advice also applies to maintaining leather furniture and upholstery, not just leather purses, garments and footwear. Leather upholstery has to endure years of physical pressure, rubbing, and heat. A good conditioning can keep the leather fibers protected from the potential wear and tear that can result from this type of contact. Leather saddles and equestrian gear are also perfect candidates for conditioning for the same reason.
Of all of the items that we could use this for, we would definitely use a leather conditioner for shoes and boots. You tread around town, stepping in snow, puddles, mud, dirt and rocks — you literally have the whole city on your feet! Left unchecked, your footwear is sure to show signs of wear faster than any other pieces you have.
If you're looking for the right tool to breathe new life into your leather, check out our Leather Rescue Conditioner. Self-promotion aside, we truly do believe we have one of the best leather conditioners on the market.
So now you know the "why". If you want to find out "how" to keep your leather looking better than you bought it, subscribe below to view our next blog on "How to Condition your Leather". Your leather will thank you.