Reed Medical | Orthopaedic shoes — Adults orthopaedic and diabetic footwear — Children's orthopaedic footwear

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Approved NHS Supplier of Bespoke Orthoses

Footwear Care

Caring for your reed medical footwear


We would like to share with you a few shoe care tips to help keep your footwear looking (and feeling) like new.

Poorly maintained shoes can quickly become uncomfortable, start to smell, and become scuffed and dirty.

There are steps that can be taken to keep your reeco footwear in good condition.

Good care and maintenance can extend your shoes life just by following some easy steps to keep them in good condition.

Different shoe materials will require different methods of maintenance, so it is important that you know what your shoes are made of; the majority of reeco footwear is made from leather or nubuck with the exception of styles such as swellie or vanguard ranges which are a mainly synthetic product.

An essential tool for footwear care is the shoehorn; this assists you in the donning of your shoes and protects the back counter area of the footwear from distortion and crushing; these are available in various lengths to assist if bending is a problem. Always undo any fastenings before donning or doffing your footwear to prevent any unnecessary strain on the uppers.

Leather and nubuck

Try to wear your shoes in dry conditions for the first few occasions and avoid getting your shoes extremely wet.

You must allow your leather/ nubuck shoes to dry out naturally without using a direct heat source such as a fire/ radiator/ tumble dryer etc.  This could cause shrinkage of the leather and cause the material to become “boardy” and susceptible to cracking and lead to hard creases in vulnerable areas. On leather shoes a traditional remedy for salt stains (the white marks on the leather when your shoes have dried) is to use a little vinegar and water, applied sparingly and allowing them to dry out.

 If your shoes are very wet you can help them dry out by packing them lightly with scrunched up paper or newspaper; this helps draw out the moisture from inside the footwear. A good quality shoe tree can also help draw out moisture such as sweat that builds up inside the shoe as well as helping to retain the correct shape of the shoes.


Any debris such as mud or dust should be brushed off using a soft brush or cloth especially around the area called the “welt” where the sole and upper meet, moisture and dirt are prone to get stuck in this area. 

A soft brush for nubuck shoes should be used to raise the “nap” on the surface and to clean off and light marks, any stains can be treated with a mild detergent or fit for purpose cleaner, it is advisable to protect your Nubuck or suede footwear with a waterproofing spray product such as Scotchguard™ or similar prior to wearing outside for the first time. Your footwear will have been treated in the factory prior to despatching but re-application is recommended.

When the leather footwear is dry and debris free you should use a cream or wax polish that will help the leather retain the proper amount of moisture. Wax polishes may lock out the moisture and cause the shoe to dry out more quickly, however, a wax polish is better at covering up scuffs than cream polishes.   

Apply the polish with a soft cloth and a dab of water working in a circular motion until the entire upper surface is covered; pay special attention to any “flex” areas on the shoes for these need to be treated to keep them supple. It is better to allow the polish to dry for a short while before polishing off any excess with a shoe brush or soft cloth.


Before polishing it is advisable to remove the laces first or if your shoes are a touch and close fastening strap style clean off any fluff or debris that builds up on the rigid section that could hinder correct fastening of the footwear.

Ideally new shoes should be worn for no more than two or three hours at a time to allow your feet to “break them in”. Only when the shoes and the feet have become accustomed to each other should they be worn for a whole day.

It is recommended that you do not wear the same pair of shoes for more than a couple of days in a row. Wearing the same pair of shoes for a long period of time does not allow the shoes to dry out and can cause the shoes to break down prematurely.

Different shoe styles can put pressure on different parts of the foot, so in order to alleviate any problems from occurring; it is recommended that shoes are worn in rotation by having two pairs of shoes swap around every couple of days to prevent excessive stress on the foot.

You must give your new shoes a chance to work; they will feel different to shoes off the high street because they are custom made to fit your feet and to assist with any condition you may have. They will give support and cushioning in specific places and if worn with a custom orthotic could be re-positioning your foot into the correct position that could be slightly uncomfortable until you become accustomed to them.

Be sure to examine your bare feet after the removal of your shoes. If you notice any areas of concern (redness, blisters, rubbing) you should contact a health care professional immediately.