Hand-Painted Leather Shoes: How to care for them

Posted by Lee Fleming on

Hand Painted Shoes
An eye-catching range of shoes from the current Barker collection is the hand painted styles which feature in the Creative and Casual collections. These styles are made from unfinished crust leather in the Barker factory located in the Northamptonshire village of Earls Barton and painted by hand in our finishing room. 

Valiant Hand Painted

The Barker Valiant Oxford Brogue is a synonymous Creative collection as it was one of the original hand painted and is available in several colourways including the imaginative multicolour. The Valiant is made on the Barker 446 last from premium calf leather on a full leather sole using the Goodyear welted construction. Other hand painted Barker styles include the Bailey, Hawk, Jax and Victor which are available online and in-store at Barker London flagship stores and selected stockists around the world.

For Autumn / Winter several new Creative collection styles including the Bill, Dean, Fred and Terry are hand painted in classic Antique Rosewood and Chocolate colourways. These styles are made on the 29 last and feature a lightweight XL EXTRALIGHT wedge sole for a contemporary yet classic look. Furthermore, the Greg Sneaker will be made available in multicolour for a limited time only having been inspired by the Valiant – Multicolour.

Shoe Care Kit

When it comes to caring for a pair of Barker hand painted shoes there is several steps to help keep your shoes in good condition and colour without affecting the unique patina created by the skilled craftspeople in the Barker factory. With proper maintenance and attention, your Barker shoes will retain their aesthetic for years to come and will continue to stay comfortable with every wear. Using the most appropriate shoe care products on your shoes is essential especially with the hand painted styles therefore Barker suggests the following steps.

Wearing your Barker shoes over time will result in folds and creases naturally appearing in the leather uppers and if not cared for they may become permanent deformations. A pair of shoe trees are a sensible investment to prevent deformation and will keep your leather shoes in good shape. Barker shoe trees are made from aromatic cedar wood as this helps to absorb moisture while naturally deodorises your shoes while unworn. When investing in a pair of shoe trees be sure to select the correct size that matches your shoe/foot size otherwise the leather may be stretched or misshaped. 

Shoe Care

It may only be a matter of seconds but taking the time to loosen the lacing system before putting your shoes on will avoid damage to the leather uppers alongside investing in a shoe horn. A well made shoe horn will protect the leather in particular the heels which is an area of the shoe most likely to become damaged if placed on your feet without care. 

Prior to polishing or creaming your Barker shoes it’s crucial to ensure no dirt is on the leather therefore a thorough clean with a damp cloth and allowing time for the shoes to dry completely is strongly advised. Crinkled newspaper inside the shoes is recommended until your shoe trees can be re-inserted. 

Hand painted shoe cream

Ensure the correct hand painted cream is selected as without careful consideration the painted finish can be removed. Barker Hand Painted Shoe Creams nourish and condition the crust leather whilst maintaining the rich and vibrant finish. The Neutral Shoe Cream is recommended to keep the original colour and occasional treatment with the appropriate colour should be applied if they are fading or need a scratch treating.

Discover more about the process of Barker shoemaking on the Craftsmanship section of the website.