Most of us spend a hefty sum on a good pair of shoes. However, like any other product, shoes have a life and need to be looked after in order to remain as good as new. Practicing basic shoe care tips will ensure that your shoes always remain in their prime condition. Here are some ways to look after your shoes.
How to Make Your Shoes Last Longer
Always Invest in Quality Footwear
One of the best ways of ensuring the longevity of your shoes is by investing in branded, quality footwear. Reputed stores will give you the best in terms of fit, comfort and fabric. Buy just 2-3 pairs but ensure that you get your money’s worth. A good quality pair of shoes will last you for several years to come.
Footwear like heels and expensive stilettos should always be stored in their original packing. Do not leave them out on the shoe rack especially if you do not wear them very often. Use shape retainers or stuff the shoe with newspaper so that the shoes do not become misshapen with time. Shoes are best kept in cloth bags and stored in their original boxes.
Protect them from the Elements of Weather
Weather extremities can play havoc with the life of the shoe. Sweat, humidity and moisture can corrode the shoe fabric. If you are staying in a humid climate, air your shoes after wearing them.
This allows the sweat to dry up. If the shoe has become wet with rain, dry them out before storing them. Air them without compromising on their shape. The shoe should dry for a full day before wearing them again.
Give Your Shoes Rest
We all have our favourite pairs but it makes more sense to rotate between 2-3 pairs of shoes. Shoes should be given rest. If they are not allowed rest, they will age faster and get spoilt sooner than what is anticipated.
Brushing and Polishing the Shoes
It is very important to brush and polish the shoes. Leather shoes can be easily polished by purchasing polish from the original manufacturer. This applies to both men’s and women’s shoes. Before polishing them, make sure that you brush the shoes well.
This will help to remove all the dirt and debris that has accumulated over the shoe. Use different brushes for different coloured polish. For materials like suede and velvet use special cleaning brushes and follow, the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
How to Remove Odour
A smelly shoe can be a huge turn off. This happens very frequently with leather foot wear. Air the shoe and use a pinch of baking soda to eliminate the offensive odour. Sprinkle a wee bit of baby powder on the shoes before wearing them again. This way they will remain dry and fresh.
Untying Shoe Laces
Laced shoes are also prone to wear and tear. Shoes like sports shoes should always be removed by untying their shoe laces. This allows the shoe to breathe.
Replacing the Soles and Taps
If your dress shoes are expensive, ask your manufacturer to give you additional shoe taps that are placed beneath the heels. These are meant for protecting the heels. Worn out soles can also be replaced before they start giving you trouble.
Removing Salt Stains
Salt stains can be easily removed from the shoe by rubbing the shoe with a water and vinegar solution. This removes the salt stains and leaves your shoes looking sparkling.
The sole of the shoe is vulnerable to significant wear and tear. One way of preventing this is by investing in sole protectors. Ask your cobbler to attach a sole protector to your original sole. This prevents the actual sole from getting damaged and spoilt. This way you can actually extend the life of your shoes by 6-7 years.
Monsoons can play havoc with your shoes. Waterproof your shoes by spraying them with a water protecting spray before you decide to venture out into the rain.
If they have become marginally wet, make sure you dry them immediately with a blow dryer.
Caring for Suede Shoes
Suede shoes are particularly delicate. They are also very expensive and need to be handled with kid gloves. Water spots on suede are easily seen and should be immediately buffed out with the help of a special suede brush. Salt stains on leather should be wiped quickly with a damp cloth.
Leaving the Shoe out in Humid Weather
Leaving the shoes out in humid weather can make them prone to mould, mildew and fungus. This happens frequently in tropical climates with heavy rain. The leather and the suede immediately catches mold. This can permanently destroy your shoe. One way of preventing this is by keeping a vigilant eye on the shoe and airing them frequently.
The inner parts of the shoe are also vulnerable to sweat and grime. Protect the interiors of your shoe by always wearing an insole. The insole also comes handy especially if the shoes are mildly loose.
Displaying them on Racks
We women love to flaunt our shoes and display their beauty on shoe racks. However, this is not very conducive to the life of the shoes. Unless you are a stickler for routine and take good care of your shoes, it is best to store them in cloth bags.
If you do place them on the shoe rack, space them out evenly. Wipe and dust your shoes everyday to prevent dust particles from settling on the shoes.
Always Wear Socks with Sneakers
You must wear socks with your sports wear shoes. This prolongs the life of the inner sole. By not wearing socks, you are exposing your shoe to sweat and ruin. Sneakers should never be left in the gym bag but should be aired immediately after coming back from the gym.
With these basic shoe care tips, your shoes will last you for years and years to come. They will not only look as good as new but will also give you quality comfort and fit that you always crave for.