Saturday, November 27, 2010

Boots: Three Annoying Problems and How to Solve Them

Find out how to make your favorite pair fit, find your size and protect your boots from the weather. 
 By Yolanda Wikiel

My Favorite Pair Just Doesn't Fit"
A good shoe-repair shop can make surprising alterations.

Stretch the shafts up to a half inch: $25 to $50. 
Widen the shafts by adding up to three inches of extra material: $50 to $200.
Insert an elastic gusset in each boot: $40 to $120.
Take in the shafts up to six inches: $80 to $140.
Widen the toe boxes up to a half inch: $15 to $25.
Shorten the shafts: $40 to $100.

"I Can Never Find My Size"
Do your feet fall on the small or large end of the spectrum? Bookmark these especially accommodating sites. sizes 9 to 15. sizes 3 to 16. sizes 4 to 11. sizes 4 to 14. sizes 4 to 12.

"I'm Worried That Rain and Snow Will Ruin My Boots"
First pretreat leather and suede styles: Spray them with a silicone-free water repellent, such as Vectra-16 Spray ($13, Reapply at least twice a season. Have a cobbler attach rubber sole protectors (about $20) to the bottoms so that water won't seep in.

When boots get wet: Stuff them with newspaper to preserve the shape and speed the air-drying process. Next, condition leather with colorless Kiwi Leather Lotion ($7, Or remove water marks on suede or nubuck with a suede eraser, and restore the nap with a brush. (Kiwi Suede & Nubuck Kit, $9,

If boots get stained with salt: Combine 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water. Using a paper towel, dab the solution onto the spots until they disappear. (Suede boots should be cleaned by a professional.)

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