Here are a few tips to help make your beautiful shoes last longer. After all, shoes are an investment, right? Almost as valuable as a stock portfolio (um, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea)!
If you want to make your shoes last longer, you have to take care of them. Fortunately, it’s easy. A few seconds here and there can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to keep your footwear in tip top shape:
- Beautiful Soles! When I first get a new pair of nice heels, the first thing I do is take them to get soled. This means that the shoemaker ads a thin piece of rubber to the area that touches the ground. I always ask for a color that matches the original bottom of the shoe, whether it’s black, tan, or even red. This not only provides a nice grip to prevents slips after a night out, but it also protects the original soles from scuffs, general wear and tear or even eventual holes.
- Clean as a whistle! As careful as I may be, dirty discolorations are inevitable. This goes for my boots, high heels, tennis shoes, and even my rubber sandals.
Suede shoes are the most susceptible to showing dirt and wear. Before you first wear them, spray them with a suede protector, and repeat every few months, depending on how often you wear the shoes. This crucial step helps repel moisture, and makes it easier to wipe off surface smudges. You can also spray your leather (non-suede) shoes with a protectant.
Daily grime outside (and the little feet of my toddler) make it nearly impossible to keep my tennies clean for long. Fortunately, canvas shoes are fairly low maintenance. Simply put them in a bowl of water with a bit of laundry detergent. Then use a small brush (a toothbrush works great) along with a Tide or other stain removal stick or product to buff out stains.
Rubber is thankfully very easy to clean, as long as you’re diligent. In the summer, my rubber sandals get a ton of use. Over time, dirt can discolor the surface, and will stain if left alone. This is most noticeable around the edges of the shoe, and especially in the back. I only wish I had known about the power of baby wipes much earlier (I literally use them for almost everything now!). Before I put my shoes away for the night, I grab a baby wipe, and quickly wipe the perimeter of the shoe. The yucky stuff comes right off.
- Moisturize! Moisturizer isn’t just for your dry hands. I used to work at a company that sold high end leather handbags, shoes and accessories. I learned that leather loses moisture just like your skin. Every so often, apply a leather moisturizer to your leather shoes (this also applies to your leather handbags and other accessories – even your sofa!). Gently rub it in a circular motion with a soft cloth. The leather will come back to life. Your shoes will look and feel supple, and will retain their color longer.
- Water works! Over here in Lovely Los Angeles, it does not rain much, but because of that, I often get caught off guard when it does. What to do if your shoes get wet? Simply stuff the interior of your shoes with newspaper so that they keep their shape while they dry. Let them air dry, as heat can harm your beautiful shoes.
- Vroom vroom! This was not only my son’s second word (yes, his first word was Mama!), but also applies to the damage daily driving can have on your footwear. When I am wearing nice heels, or shoes I want to maintain, I simply slip off the right shoe before driving. It sits comfortably on the seat next to me as I avoid those nasty black car mat markings caused by the back of my shoe rubbing the car mat as I use the gas and break pedals. I have learned the hard way that this seems to happen regardless of the make and model of the car, low end up to high end, car mat shoe abuse is definitely a thing.