Everything You Need To Look After Your Shoes
Things You Need For Looking After Your Shoes
Shoes are a must. They not only protect our feet but keep them warm as well. Some people develop a love for shoes so intense, they have dozens of pairs. Good quality shoes cost more but are usually worth the investment. While there are plenty of shoes available at really cheap prices, they are usually made of inferior materials and they simply won’t last. In the end, cheap shoes can cost you a lot more. By the time you replace several pairs of cheap shoes, you could have bought those expensive better-quality shoes.
Good quality shoes pay for themselves in more ways than one. Not only will they last longer, but they are also better for your foot health. The manufacturers of good quality shoes invest a lot of resources in researching and developing footwear that looks good, feels good, and supports your feet. When your feet are happy, your whole body is happier.
As good and long-lasting quality shoes are, you still need to look after them. Spending a little extra time giving your shoes a little TLC will not only extend the life of your shoes, but it will also make sure they keep their comfortable properties as well. We’ve put together a list of everything you need to look after your shoes, so they look after you for as long as possible.
1. Clean, Clean, Clean
Dirt, sweat, and grime are the natural enemy of good shoes. We get it. That six-hour hike was exhausting and spending eight hours on your feet at work all day has drained your energy levels. But think of your shoes. Leaving all the dirt on your shoes will gradually deteriorate the materials. Sweat left inside your shoes is no better. The oils and acids from your skin will affect your insoles and if you have spent the day sweating in your shoes, the moisture can fast track the damage to your insoles, not to mention leave them quite smelly. This can lead to increased bacteria and fungus being left behind in your shoes which will transfer to your feet. You don’t necessarily need to clean them the moment you walk through the door, but try to get them clean within a day or two.
2. Get Some Waterproofing Spray
Most good shoe stores sell a collection of products all designed to look after your shoes. One such product is waterproofing spray. This spray is a must for new shoes, especially for materials such as suede. By spraying an even layer of this spray over your shoes, you have applied a protective barrier over them which will shield them from water. This is particularly useful in cities where the water contains a number of pollutants as well. Keep a can of waterproofing spray in your shoe cabinet at all times and spray your shoes, new or old, at least once before the rainy season begins. You should re-apply this spray a few times a year, especially if you frequently wear a particular pair.
3. Add A Little Sole
If you’ve invested in an expensive pair of shoes or boots that you plan on wearing often, it pays to take them to a cobbler and have a thin rubber sole added to your shoes. New or old, this will prolong the life of your favorite shoes. If the shoes are new, they will certainly last longer and if you’ve had them for a while, you will be able to keep them for longer. Another benefit is that the additional sole layer can be one with extra grip making them perfect for staying upright when the paths are wet or covered in ice and snow.
4. Baby Powder The Inside Of Your Shoes
Foot odor is no laughing matter and it can drive away family and friends faster than a charging bull can. It’s embarrassing and nasty. The sweat that lingers in your shoes is also destructive to your insoles. Moisture left in your shoes will damage those insoles and the other nasties in the sweat will further accelerate the deterioration. If you’ve had a sweaty day, sprinkle some baby powder inside your shoes when you’re not wearing them. The powder will absorb the moisture and the baby fresh scent works wonders at eliminating the odors. Best of all, baby powder is cheap.
5. Invest In A Shoe Care Kit
A shoe care kit is a must-have to look after your shoes. A good shoe care kit will have everything you need to keep your shoes clean and looking their best. Look for a kit that includes stiff shoe brushes, soft shoe cloth, shoe polish, and shoe conditioner or crème. Make sure it comes in a neat carry case so you can take your shoe care kit with you when you travel.
6. Condition Leather Shoes
Leather is one of the most natural materials used in making shoes, and it’s also one of the longest-lasting materials. The trouble with leather is that it does need a little extra care. Leather left on its own will start to dry out, crumble and flake if you don’t give it a little attention. Make sure you have a good quality leather boots oil or shoe polish on hand and use it to keep your leather shoes conditioned and supple. Follow the conditioning with a protected colorless polish and your favorite leather shoes will last you for a few years.
7. Use Shoe Trees
One of the fastest ways to destroy good shoes is to leave them in a corner of your wardrobe to sink into themselves and lose their shape. When you’re not wearing your shoes, grab a couple of shoe trees and insert them into your shoes. Shoe trees will maintain the shape of your shoes when you’re not wearing them and by keeping this shape, they will always be comfortable and looking like new. Shoe trees are available in one solid piece made of wood or plastic, but the best shoe trees are adjustable making them ideal for larger and smaller shoes. Shoe trees are an absolute must to use when your shoes get wet as they will prevent them from warping.
8. Stale Bread For Suede
A grease stain on suede shoes is a nightmare but it doesn’t need to be. You can’t grab a cloth or a sponge to rub the stain because you risk ruining the delicate finish that makes suede such a beautiful material for shoes. Rub the stained spot on suede shoes with a piece of stale bread. The bread will soak up the grease, but won’t damage the material.
9. Keep Those Empty Wine Bottles
Boots are some of the hardest shoes to maintain because of their sheer size. By simply putting them in your wardrobe, the uppers can fold over and lose their shape. To maintain that nice shape you need to keep your boots upright. While there are devices you can purchase to keep your boots upright, one of the cheapest solutions is to put those empty wine bottles to use. Place the bottles inside your calf boots to keep them upright. If you love boots and have multiple pairs, this is a good reason to pull out that corkscrew and enjoy a few extra glasses.
10. Keep The Boxes
We all do it when we buy shoes. We bring them home, try them on, and throw away the boxes. Before you add a little more cardboard to the trash, reconsider. Keeping shoes in their boxes will protect them from dust when you’re not wearing them. You can also keep the tissue paper wads that are usually jammed into the shoes and put them inside to maintain the shape. Sure, you can buy sturdy boxes to protect your shoes while they’re in storage, but why spend money on these when the shoeboxes already come with the shoes for free? Save the money and get yourself some more shoes instead.
11. Alternate Your Shoes
We all have that pair of shoes that we absolutely love and we wear them as often as we can. To extend the life of your favorite shoes, alternate wearing them. This prevents you from wearing out that one special pair of shoes in record time and it also allows sweaty shoes to completely dry before you wear them again. It’s a win-win solution.
12. Avoid Bare Feet
We get it, some shoes just don’t call for socks but wearing shoes without them exposes them to direct sweat and flaking skin. This can make them smellier and will wear out the insoles a lot faster. Get yourself “invisible socks” that fit your feet but aren’t visible above the shoe line. If this isn’t for you, you can get disposable insoles that have been designed to absorb sweat and odor while protecting the insides of your shoes. These insoles usually come in multi-packs so you can change them as often as you need to.
13. Keep Your Feet Clean
As silly as it sounds, to look after your shoes, you also need to look after your feet. Keep your feet clean and deodorized before you put your shoes on. Spoil yourself from time to time and treat yourself to a pedicure.