Nursing shoes require constant upkeep, but busy nurses who care for patients have little time to toil over the scuffs and stains that inevitably appear on their initially pristine uniform shoes. “The problem with white shoes is twofold, said Gene Burten, president of Burten Leather and Findings, Los Angeles. “White shoes tend to get dirty and scuffed easilyIt’s a problem of cleaning and restoring.”
Moreover, with nursing shoes making the crossover from function to fashion retailers can expect to dispense an extra dose of shoe-care advice to Florence Nightingales and fashionistas alike.
Kevin King, the marketing product manager for Kiwi Brands Inc., Douglassville, Pa., recommended a three-step process that included: cleaning and conditioning, polishing and protecting. He suggested that smooth leathers be cleaned and conditioned with a leather lotion followed by a heavily pigmented shoe polish such as Kiwi Shoe White. “Polishing white shoes can be tricky,” he admitted, “many polishes tend to cause chalkiness, cracking or peeling.”
In the final step, protecting, King noted: “the more you protect, the less you have to clean and polish.” He also encouraged protecting the shoe at the time of purchase and after every six to eight wearings.
Three-step process notwithstanding, many firms expressed enthusiasm about the increasing variety of shoe-care offerings. Donald Kanners, vice president of Sales for Cadillac Shoe Co., Livonia, Mich., recommended: “any leather cleaner followed by a refinisher” to replace color. “A lot of the time people look at their shoes and say, `they’re dirty,’ when in reality the finish is scuffed,” Kanners said.
Kanners suggested a foam instead of a liquid refinisher, because “liquids tend to be thinner in consistency and leave a dull chalky finish.” He recommended Cadillac’s White Refinishing Foam, which can be left with a dull finish or buffed to a shine.
On the other hand, David Shinder, president of Collonil Europolish, Seattle, suggested Collonil’s Combi-White liquid, which “has a lot of pigment and can be used on all smooth leathers.”
Angelus Dry Cleaner/Spot Remover was recommended by Burten as an effective agent for removing dirt and marks from leather uppers and rubber bottoms. “If the color has been removed,” Burten said, “it should be replaced with a high-end liquid polish such as Punch Leather White or Tana Ultra White.” According to Burten, sprays and leather dyes are not necessary if a good liquid polish is used. He also suggested a shoe protector with a waterproofer. “If your shoe is in good condition, you just need some cream polish to add shine.”
Erwin Bauer, operations manager, at CS Pierce Co., Brockton, Mass., touted the firm’s Total Leather-Care system. Bauer suggested using leather cleaners to “get the dirt off before you cover up the marks.” Bauer also recommended Superwhite Golf and Athletic Dressing as appropriate applications for nursing shoes. “The dressing takes the place of polish,” he said. “It’s ease of use; you just flip it up and put it on.”
Despite the vast selection of products, shoe-care firms emphasized that many of their white-shoe products are environmentally friendly. “Collonil is known for its environmental safety and recyclable packaging,” said Shinder.