Homemade Leather Balm

How to Care For Your Moccasins & How to Homemade Leather Balm

Once you made or purchased a beautiful pair of earthing moccasins, it is important to treat and care for the leather regularly. With good care and resoling them when needed, a pair of our leather barefoot shoes can last for years, if not decades.

There are many kinds of leather treatments available in shops, and maybe you  have something at home already. Any kind of neutral leather treatment is recommended. Generally speaking, “what is good for the skin is good for the leather”. If you don’t have anything, even oil, banana skin, or baby lotion can be used.

Essential note: this is talking about full-grain leather. For nubuck and suede leather, never apply oils or fats, use special sprays.

At the end of this article, I share a simple recipe to make homemade leather balm/cream with oil and beeswax.

Overall, what is important is to treat your leather barefoot shoes as regularly to keep it hydrated and soft.
Once a month is a good start. If you expose your moccasins to wet weather often, it can be more.

What you need to keep in mind is that it is best to prevent than to cure. Once the leather has dried and stiffened, it is too late to really get it soft again.

Wet Leather Shoes, What to Do?

It frequently happens that moccasins get wet, don’t worry, it will not damage them. What is essential is to dry them as soon as possible. Best is to hang them up for the sole to dry to. You can dry them in the sun or close to a heat source, but not too hot and too close… Be careful! Remember, your barefoot shoes are a skin. Once they are dry, it is good to apply leather treatment to nourish the leather with oil and prevent it from drying and stiffening.

Muddy Moccasins, What to Do?

In case your moccasins get very dirty or muddy, I would advise that you first try to dry brush most of the dirt.
If it is not enough, you can clean them with a wet sponge.
If it is still not enough, you can rinse them under running water.
Then squeeze them well and hang them to dry.
Once they are dry, it is good to apply leather treatment to nourish the leather with oil and prevent it from drying and stiffening.

A Quick Fix:
Banana Peel or Baby Wipes

If your leather have a poor look, and you don’t have anything else, a banana skin could do the job! Simply use the inside of the banana peel and rub it on your moccasins. It’s not a joke! You might be surprised how well it works. It is not a very good moisturizer, but it will give a bit of shine without being sticky on the leather.

You could also use baby wipes which allows wet cleaning if your shoes are dusty or muddy and the good thing is that, they are made to prevent the skin from drying... It is quick and effective without having to completely wet the moccasins, which could dry the leather.

When to Resole Your Leather Barefoot Shoes?

At first, there is no issue in wearing your moccasins without a sole. It’s even necessary. After a few weeks of wearing them, you will start seeing a clear footprint under your shoes. When you see it, you could already glue another sole or you can wait a while longer. When there is already a hole, it is a little too late, but it is still possible to resole them.

How to make/add the sole is the subject of a small tutorial that you should have received after purchasing a pair of moccasins, or that you can find in the bonus section of the tutorials.

Soles are made of leather or thin rubber crepe and glued with contact cement glue.
The big difference with industrial shoes and our moccasins is that, the sole can be replaced when needed by simply removing it in place and making a new one. In the case they are made with leather and that the glue holds well enough, you could also glue another layer directly on the first one.

It is possible to make slightly thicker soles by gluing two layers together. It could be leather-leather or leather-rubber, for instance.

You can find extra leather and rubber for soles.

Depending on how much you use your earthing moccasins and on the type of ground, resoling might be necessary from 1 to 4 times a year. It is a bit of work, but it is worth the effort. Of course, the rubber sole will last longer…

Easy Homemade Leather Cream To Treat Your Leather Barefoot Shoes

Again, leather loves to be nourished. Regularly treating your leather barefoot shoes with any sort of leather treatment will ensure that the leather stays soft and protected from humidity. It will prevent the leather from stiffening and cracking. With time, the leather will acquire a nice patina. Making a good homemade leather balm to nourish the leather is a good and easy way to care for your moccasins.

This simple recipe allows you to make cheap and quality cream that can be used as much as desired any kind of leather, but also on your skin.

Only two ingredients are necessary:
– Beeswax
– Vegetable oil (sunflower, olive, colza… as you wish)

The oil will penetrate in the leather to nourish it, and the beeswax will act as a water repellant.

For beeswax, you can ask your local beekeeper or recycle the left over of an old candle for instance. My local beekeeper sales it to about 20 euros a kilo. You would need only 100 or 200 grams.

The choice of oil does not have much influence, but never use so-called “table” oil (rapeseed, peanuts or other), over time the oil will go rancid. For a leather balm that is stable over time, use linseed oil. Also, olive oil tends to darken the leather a little more.

The idea is to melt together ¼ of beeswax and ¾ of oil. 100 grams of beeswax will give you 400 grams of leather balm. It lasts very long!

Boil water in a small pot in which you place a jar with a small amount of beeswax. It is more practical to choose a jar with a wide mouth and rather flat.

Let the beeswax melt completely.
Never warm up the beeswax directly in the pot, it is inflammable at high temperature!

When the beeswax is melted, visualize the level of this liquid and add three times this volume of vegetable oil. Let it warm up a little longer until all the beeswax and the oil melts together.
You can use a spoon or a wooden stick to stir it up.

Let it cool down. The texture should be creamy at room temperature. If it is too hard, warm it up again and add a little more oil.

That’s all!

How to Use Your Homemade Leather Balm

To care your moccasins, apply this leather balm with a brush, a soft cloth, or a sponge, or even your fingers. Rub it well into the leather. The leather will temporarily darken, but it will find its original color again after a few days. After the leather has absorbed the cream, wipe the excess with a soft cloth. If you want a more shinny finish, you can buff it by rubbing the leather more.

Now you know how to take care of your moccasins. I hope that you will take good care of them and make good use of them.

“For the Lord gave you shoes to walk in his ways.”

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