Care of clogs and leather goods
1. Keep them dry if you can
Obviously during the British summer there is no possible danger of things getting rained on; but you should try to keep clogs and leather goods out of the rain as much as possible. Vegetable tanned leather (from which most of my leatherwork is made) will deteriorate over time if constantly exposed to repeated wetting and drying; and heavy wetting may discolour some leathers.
2. If they get wet, don’t try to dry them off too quickly
The worst thing you can do for wet clogs is put them next to – or on top of! – the radiator. This risks cracking the wood. Just put them on a piece of paper and let them dry slowly in a ‘normal’ environment such as a porch or hallway.
Standing water should be brushed or wiped off leather goods that have got very wet or saturated. After that, just leave things to dry out naturally – they all do eventually. The worst thing you can do is rub them vigorously and turn the hairdryer on them. Your own skin wouldn’t respond well to that kind of treatment and neither does leather!
3. Re-treat them occasionally
Clog soles are varnished and wax polished before dispatch. If the soles are undyed, simply apply a beeswax polish every now and again to keep the wood looking good and to enhance its water resistance. If you have black soles which are looking scuffed and sad, the blacking can be touched up with Indian ink or any suitable wood dye. You should wax them afterwards to seal in the dye.
On standard clogs, the leather has a durable, surface-applied finish – however, it cannot really be revived with polishes if it becomes very scuffed or worn.
For best clogs made from vegetable tanned leather, shoe creams and leathercare products designed for that kind of leather are fine. If in doubt, Sedgwicks Leathercare is a tried and tested substance for keeping veg tanned leather conditioned. Simply apply a thin layer with a rag every now and again, more often if the leather has been exposed to lots of heat, cold, water or a combination of all three. Leave to soak in for a few hours then buff the leather with a soft cloth.