Saturday, June 21, 2008

Loving your leather


Four factors generally determining how long boots will last: Skating level, skater size and weight, type of boot and most importantly, maintenance and care of boots. If properly cared for, the life of a boot can be dramatically prolonged to maintain the skate's original comfort and performance. For handcrafted leather boots, it is essential that care be given after every use best preserve the condition of the skate from the time of purchase. Premature breakdown caused by material deterioration is the biggest cause of boot wear. Leather deterioration as a result of chemical and thermal forcers produced by the feet entering and corroding the leather.

Perspiration = Deterioration

When boots are skated on for an extended period of time, they often become wet from perspiration on the inside lining. Composed of 98% moisture and 2% salts and acids, perspiration is a central element in boot corrosion. The foot produces and carries more bacteria that any other part of the body. Bacteria consumes protien, and since leather is 98% protein, it also eats boots. To prevent these different types of deterioration, perspiration should be wiped from the inside and outside of boots after every use.

Save the Leather

It is often necessary to loosen laces on the boots and pull the tongue forward to allow the boots to dry at room temperature. When wet skates are stored in skate bags or lockers, they quickly become victims of mold, mildew and rotting leather. The routine use of leather protectants will help keep leather looking and feeling like new. Riedell recommends using Silicone Protectant to prevent moisture absorption by linings, Sno Seal to keep heels and soles from weakening, and Lexol® to restore and condition leather uppers. After protectants have dried, using Shoe Finish helps bring back the original color and shine of the boot.

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