A pair of well-made shoes can be expensive and they become even more expensive when you have to retire them early because you did not care for them properly.
No amount of polish or “waterproofing” spray is going to keep out water if you are continuously subjecting your footwear to the elements. However, taking preventative measures such as waterproofing is important as it will provide short-term protection. Even the man who owns galoshes does not always have the luxury of having them handy when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Water & Salt Damage
Water can and will destroy the suppleness of your shoe’s leather; leather that would have withstood tens of thousands of flexes can have its life cut to a fraction of this. Leather is animal skin, most often cattle or horse, which is made up of fat and proteins that retain a set amount of moisture after being tanned.
In addition, salt and other harsh chemicals can stain leather. They are difficult to remove once they permeate the leather, and if left untreated will not only discolor but weaken the top layers which can damage the finish.
Wet feet are uncomfortable and most of us do not have the option of taking our shoes off and walking around in socks at work. Nothing can ruin a Monday morning presentation like cold wet feet and squeaking shoes.