Tips for Shoe Care and Maintenance
Personal style can tell you a lot about a person. It is an extension of our ability to express ourselves and, in reality, it can even be a form of nonverbal communication. Not everyone sees it this way, but you can definitely tell when someone has taken the time to dress in a way that makes them feel incredible and sends their desired message to the world.
Personally, I love to mix and match my pieces. I love pairing high end details with affordable classics. I believe in sensibility for my basics so that I can invest and indulge in finer pieces that stand out to me. Think a Prada skirt paired with a simple tank from Target. Of course, confidence is the key that brings it all together! Shoes are definitely pieces that I love to invest in. Occasionally I like a cute, less-expensive shoe and in that case I tend to invest in its care to make sure it lasts as long as possible. With the right love and care, shoes can last a long time, and be the perfect finishing touch to every outfit.
Today I’d like to share with you some of my best tips for getting the most out of your favorite shoes. These tips and tricks, for men’s and women’s shoes, will extend their life and keep you as comfortable as possible while you dress to impress, whatever that means for you!
Winterize Your Boots:
This process is something you should do in the off season so that they’re ready to go and in great shape when winter rolls around. I live in Florida now, but when I lived in Atlanta I always took my boots to a cobbler at the end of winter so that the leather could be reconditioned or new soles could be put on if needed. For storage, you can invest in boot shapers, or just use chopped up pool noodles (yes, seriously) as a cheap alternative, and tuck them away until next season.
Protect Your Shoes:
Whatever the fabric, there’s generally a method to clean and protect your shoes’ outer material to keep it in “like new” condition. For suede you can use a spray protectant, for leather invest in a great conditioner. For shoes that need polishing, Saphir is a wonderful brand.
Get Heel Liners:
Heel liners are LIFESAVERS. They always help make shoes instantly more comfortable and are great for preventing blisters and slipping. I swear by these. You can order them online but if you’re up for an in person search, I usually buy them from the Dollar Tree! I’ve tried a million different kinds, but these rubber ones work the BEST to prevent slipping. (Fun bonus tip: if you find a pair of shoes you LOVE while shopping but the only size left is a little big, buy them anyway and pop some heel liners in! Voila... Perfect fit!)
Preserve those Red Bottoms (or other designer shoes):
If you’re going to invest in a luxury pair of shoes, take care of them! I came across this tip, good for men’s and women’s shoes, a long time ago and I absolutely swear by it. I bought a cell-phone screen protector, cut it to size, and put on the bottoms of my Christian Louboutins. They’ve since created a shoe-specific product to do this now, but my original screen protectors have worked so well that they are still on my Loubs! I’m sure this other product works well also, I just can’t give you a personal testimony on it. Let me know how you like it if you try either method!
Another tip for comfort, or minimizing discomfort, is to get a good insole. I love using different types of insoles in my shoes. For high heels I like insoles with gel in the ball-of-foot area, and for flats or sneakers I like these insoles. The more you can do to make your shoes comfortable from the moment you put them on, the less likely they are to become unbearable throughout the day.
Don’t Sink, Shred, or Snap Your Stilettos:
Stiletto guards are an absolutely genius invention that is perfect for preventing you from sinking into grass or getting a spike stuck in a grated sidewalk. These help a TON if wearing stilettos on softer surfaces or sidewalks with grates. Additionally, these clear heel protectors are perfect for protecting the fabric of the heel from shredding and other normal wear and tear.
Keep Things Dry:
Cedar shoe trees “are an integral part in maintaining shoes” according to Brent Kraus, owner of Ella Bing Haberdashery, where you can order bespoke men’s shoes. The shoe trees help maintain shape and keep moisture out. Additionally, I love using small potpourri or charcoal bags in my shoes to help remove smell and moisture. Moisture in shoes is a silent killer and breaks down the material more quickly so this is an important step in helping your shoes to last and stay in great condition over time. Lastly, no one wants stinky feet or stinky shoes so be sure to do what you can to prevent or remove foot odors from your shoes for a more pleasant experience for you and, let’s be honest, everyone around you
No Socks, No Problem:
Foot powder is an excellent way to prevent moisture in shoes while keeping your feet dry and comfortable when the occasion calls for going sock free. Duke Cannon makes a great foot powder for men’s shoes and I personally just use baby powder in mine. It’s a cheap and convenient way to keep shoes smelling fresh when not wearing socks.
I hope these tips provide you with some new and improved ways to get the most out of your favorite shoes. If you have any tips that I didn’t mention, please feel free to leave them in the comments or even tag us on Instagram with a photo of your favorite shoes. I’d love to see how you style your top picks! As always, make sure you’re hanging out with us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for new and exciting content. Don’t forget to subscribe here for emails so that you get all of our first-to-know updates on sales, launches, events, and more!