How to care for your shoes….

There’s a lot you can tell about a person by their shoes.

A lady knotting her sandal

Tim Cooper, a celebrity Cobbler says “Look after your shoes, and they’ll look after you.” If you have been using shoes long enough, you will agree with that statement.
Buying a nice pair of shoes is just the beginning as you have to take steps in maintaining your shoes in order to keep them looking their best for a very long time.
Here are a few tips to get you started. It becomes easier with constant practice.

Allow shoes to breathe:
Allow your shoes to breath for 15 minutes after taking them off your feet.
During the day, the inner lining and insole absorb a significant amount of foot perspiration this can result in a bad smell and weak insole if it isn’t controlled.
Simply put, air your shoes and don’t wear them two or more days in a row.

A hand holding a red pair of sneakers

Get yourself a shoe tree:
After allowing your shoes to breathe, insert shoe trees. They help restore the shape of the shoes and smooth the wrinkling that occour as a result of wearing.
A pair of cedar shoe trees will also help eliminate odour and further wick away any residual moisture left in the shoes after a full day.
So you ask, do I need to have the same amount of shoe trees as my shoes?
There’s no need to own a pair of shoe trees for each pair of shoes. The vital time for using them is an hour or two after you have removed the shoes from your feet. After that, the shoes will have returned to their natural architecture and the trees can be removed.

A hand fixing a shoe tree

Invest in repair work:
Take time to choose your cobbler as he/she will to resole or reheel your shoes. This will help reduce or prevent permanent damage (or, at least, the outrageous repair costs).

Hands making shoes

Always Use Shoe Horns:
Always use a shoehorn when slipping on your shoes.
There is never a case where a shoehorn should not be used (except for boots, which do not generally require one).
A shoehorn allows you to gently and easily slip on your shoes without damaging the shoe counter.
Have them everywhere; in your briefcase, car, home, office, closet, study, suitcase, downstairs couch. Anywhere where you might be putting on your shoes!

Using a shoe horn

Stuff newspaper in wet shoes:
If you ever get caught in a downpour on your way home from work, act fast and stuff your shoes with crumpled-up newspaper and dry slowly, away from direct heat.
Direct heat can dry the leather too fast, and cause it to crack and once that happens, nothing can save your shoes.
Before the shoes are entirely dry, insert cedar shoe trees to make sure they dry out evenly and maintain their shape

A hand fixing newspapers into a footwear

Polish Properly:
Did you know there is the right way to polish your shoes? Every other way is wrong.
Here’s how.
• Wipe your shoes down with a damp cloth to remove superficial dirt and stains.
• Apply polish, using a circular rubbing motion. You don’t need to slather it on. Just be gentle, the more you rub the better, let the polish dry (This should take about five minutes).
• Buff the entire shoe with a polishing brush and for extra shine, hold the shoe between your knees and buff the toe vigorously with a lint-free cloth.

How to polish your shoes

Use heel protectors:
Ladies get in here! Don’t kill those beautiful heels by walking on surfaces without protecting them. Use them to protect your high heels from sinking into grass, gravel, cobblestone, brick, wood decks, carpet, sidewalk cracks, and other soft or uneven surfaces. With heel protectors your heels are kept clean and damage-free during outdoor events.

A lady wearing nude stilettos with heel protector

Let’s remember the almighty Suede:
Suede shoes are in a category of their own, since you cannot polish away any scuff marks. Use a suede eraser (basically a brick of crumbly rubber) to rub away small blemishes. Then use a suede brush to restore its beauty.

Invest in quality shoes:
Take it or not. Cheap shoes are a false bargain. Good shoes begin with quality material. Be prepared to pay for it. Of course, once you have invested your hard-earned cash in a quality pair, you’re going to want to hang on to them. Put a little time and effort into looking after them and they’ll last longer.

What other proven methods do you use in taking care of your shoe? We would love to hear from you. Kindly leave a comment.

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