How to take care of your shoes

Cover photo from The Coveteur

I  like to think of shoes as an investment; A piece of versatile clothing that can be worn for different occasions, year after year. Nonetheless, like every other investment, proper care is essential.   However, after years of experience within the industry, I know for a fact that this is frequently neglected; If it’s due to laziness or lack of knowledge is beyond me. Aiming at the latter, here is a few tips and tricks that will help you to have your shoes on point(e); 

  • One shoe, does not fit all; find the style that is perfect for you and your feet. Finding the right shoe takes time, testing, and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask a store associate for help, we are more than happy to assist.
  • Buy proper shoecare. Remember, not all shoes are created equal; you can’t treat a canvas sneaker the same way you would a leather boot. At a minimum, you should have a protector and a cleanser at your disposal.
  • Spray/set new shoes with waterproof protector to protect against weather, dirt and grease stains. A rule of thumb is to spray 3 layers within 10 minute intervals, but this will depend on your product of choice – read the instructions.
  • Alternate pairs;Let your shoes rest. Wearing the same shoes day in, and day out, is bad for both your shoes, and your feet. When you take of your shoes for the day, let them sit for 24 hours and air out. (If you have to use them, I recommend spraying them with a shoe deodorant first. This will freshen up the sole and remove any unwanted bacteria


  • If you soak them, let them dry. Stuff them with newspaper (or a shoetree) and dry them away from direct heat. Direct heat will dry the leather too fast, causing it to crack — and once that happens, nothing can save your shoes.
  • Clean and rinse on a regualar basis. However, whatever you do, stay away from soap and water; Buy a cleanser that is specified for the material you are cleaning. It’s also possible to find multi cleaners that works on an array of materials. Yes, even ones that removes the wine stain from last nights festivities.
  • When dealing with leather: polish and moisturize. Depending on the finish of the leather you’re dealing with, use a leather cream/balm (rinse first!). I prefer the ones with color; they make your shoes look brand new. Finish of with a polish cloth and protector.
  • For suede and nubuck, the rules are diffrent. Use a suede brush and/or bar to remove stains. Remember to be gentle, and finish of with a protector.
  • For syntethic you want to avoid any kind of spray that is used on leather. Use a foam/spray specified for synthetic materials. If you use the wrong protector or cleaner, you can end up with a shoe full of spots – not the flattering kind.
  • Lastly, when you’ve done all there is to do, repeatedly, avoid taking the rash decision of throwing them away; if it’s a high quality shoe, get them repaired. A good pair of shoes never goes out of style..

Advise from Rachel Zoe

You know an article is captivating when you save a pdf file of it. I found the article below on LinkedIn, and thought it was too good not to share; partly beacuse I’m a huge fan of Rachel Zoe, and partly due to the simplicity of it. (Reposted from Rachel Zoe’s LinkedIn profile, original article can be found here). 

“Before I Became a Stylist, I Sold Shoes at the Mall. Here’s What I Learned “


My first job was as a sales associate at the Nine West store in Short Hills Mall in New Jersey. I applied because I wanted a little financial freedom from my parents and wanted to work at a job where I could interact and meet new people. At the time I didn’t know I wanted to be a stylist (I was only 16 and thought I’d one day be a psychiatrist), but I loved the satisfaction of showing customers options they didn’t even know they wanted and having them walk away excited about their new purchase.

I was a competitive seller, and I enjoyed being good at my job. That passion for working hard has continued to help me over the course of my career. While working at Nine West, I also quickly learned the value of people skills. The most helpful piece of advice I received was that the customer is always right and that you’re providing a service, so be nice! Catering to people’s needs, understanding their insecurities and adapting my services accordingly came pretty easily to me. Mastering the art of interpersonal interaction made me the top seller in the store — repeatedly — and that skill has remained important throughout my career as a stylist, editor, and designer.

On the contrary, I also learned about my weaknesses: Selling was easy for me, but processing customers at checkout was always disastrous. After that job, it became quite clear I did not have a future in finance.

Now that I’m running my own company, we’re always looking for people to join our design, editorial and styling divisions. Enthusiasm, a good work ethic, and a desire to learn make candidates stand out, even if they don’t have a lot of experience. Our best interns and employees are willing to go the extra mile, be proactive, and do everything with a smile.

My biggest piece of advice for anyone starting his or her first job would be to make sure to never act entitled. It’s important that no matter what your situation is, you work like you have only $5 in the bank. (End…)

It’s always interesting to see how people you look up to got where they are; how they built their empire with the same starting point as everyone else. However, what I found really interesting about this article is her statement of how positive qualities exceeds experience – proving that passion can take to great lengths.

Psst: If you haven’t checked it out already “The Rachel Zoe Project ” is a great show to watch if you have an intrest in the industry.