Taking a look through our seven shoe care tips for longer lasting shoes will pay dividends. Of course, some shoes are disposable such as cheap jelly shoes and flip flops where there is little you can do by the way of shoe care to help them. But good quality leather shoes will work and look their best if you look after them.
Investing in good quality shoes increases comfort, breathability, and gives you a longer lasting shoe, but it does necessitate taking care of them. This will be repaid in spades though, adopting basic shoe care tips will make sure that your shoes last longer, look better, and look after your feet.
1. Treat them!
Suede and leather shoes can be spray treated to increase water repellence, make them less likely to stain, and put on a protective coating. It is always recommended that you buy a proprietary spray recommended by your shoe salesman and treat your shoes according to the instructions. Suede especially will benefit from this forethought.
2. Clean them.
Do not allow them to sit with dried mud on them, ever. A damp (damp!) cloth will take off most stains and marks, suede does not respond well to water, don’t use it wet, leather is more robust. Remove all mud and debris, as soon as possible, and dry the shoe afterwards. A tiny dab of that household favourite baking soda may remove a particularly stubborn mark, but try it on an out of the way area first to test the color-fastness.
3. Polish them.
I know, old fashioned, but it acts as a color restorer, a protective layer, it buffs them to a shine, and it makes sure there is no dirt. Don’t over apply the cleaner or it will rot the stitching, but read the instructions, apply the cleaner, and make them look gorgeous.
4. Use a shoe tree.
Talking of old-fashioned. Using a shoe tree, preferably a cedar one, will make sure that your shoes keep their shape. Throwing them into the bottom of your wardrobe with another ten pairs on top will not. Stand them separately, pop a shoe tree in them, and they will retain their shape ready for the next wear. The shoe tree also acts as a deodorizer, and absorbs moisture.
5. Rotate your shoes.
Wearing the same pair day after day is a sure-fire way to kill a pair of shoes in the shortest time frame. Give them a rest between wearing, allow them to air, dry and breathe, and then come back to them after at least a day. You will get considerably more wear in the long run.
6. Visit your cobbler.
They are out there! Now that you have a high quality pair of shoes repair rather than replace is the order of the day. Your cobbler will replace heels for you, can repair soles, replace any torn or loose stitching. It is an art, and a good cobbler will be worth their weight in looking after your footwear and keeping it in tip top condition.
7. Use a shoe horn.
Treat your shoes gently. Do not jam your foot in them and bend the backs down. They are structured items, but they aren’t that robust. Support your shoe as you put your foot in, and take it out, so that the body of the shoe does not get bent out of shape. A shoe horn will ensure that the integrity of the shoe’s heel shape is not compromised as you put it on.
A good pair of shoes is a beautiful thing. Looking after them takes a little bit of care and thought, and it really is more and more unusual to find someone with dress shoes, or really good quality high heels. If you have treated yourself then these seven shoe care tips for long lasting shoes will ensure that your purchase is never regretted, that your fabulous new shoes will last you, a lifetime if necessary, and that you will get pleasure from them again and again.