Shoe Care

Taking care of the shoes you own shouldn’t be thought of in the same way as brushing your teeth when you get home after 8 beers at the K-Town karaoke bar. First of all, it isn’t hard. So don’t fret over what you’ve signed up for. Follow a few basic rules and you’ll have your Founders for years to come, looking better every day.

(1) Treat your leather shoes to a daily brush and a weekly buffing.

Rule number one: brush off any excess dirt or dust with a brush or damp cloth before you head out. And if you’re wearing your shoes a few times a week, it’s worth treating them to a quick buff and conditioning. When it comes to conditioning our shoes, we prefer Saphir Renovateur above all else. We hope to be carrying shoe care products on our website soon enough, but in the meantime, visit Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project for Saphir products and many more shoe care products.

(2) Use a shoehorn.

Always use a shoehorn when putting on your shoes to avoid damaging the back.

(3) (Try to) keep them in rotation.

We’re certainly not here to stop you from wearing your favorite pair of Founders everyday, but alternating your shoes, if you can, will increase the life of the sole, the insides, and the entire pair.

(4) (Definitely) keep them dry.

When your shoes get wet, stuff — don’t cram — them with crumpled-up newspaper to draw out the extra water and keep the shape.

(5) Keep an eye on the heel and sole.

Our loafers and oxfords have double leather soles, our boots a single leather sole underneath a Vibram rubber sole. Those soles should last you a long while. That written, keep an eye on them and as they wear too thin, shoot us a note at and we’ll help you find the best place to get them repaired and back in rotation.

(6) Take care of your shoe trees just as much as your shoes.

As for your shoe trees, when the cedar smell starts to fade, hit them with a little fine-grit sandpaper to bring it back to life.

Following these few rules is going to carry the life of your Founders shoes into their teens. And keep your eye out as we draft up a more detailed set of shine guides for all shoes in all conditions.