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..