Unlike most other garments, which primarily serve to keep you warm and looking good, your shoes will offer protection and support also. When footwear is often the most expensive element of your outfit, it’s crucial to take care of them so your shoes can, in turn, take care of you. To help you prolong the life of your shoes, we’ve put together this helpful guide offering up the best tips.
It goes without saying that a £10 pair of shoes probably won’t out-live a pair of £60 shoes. Typically, although not in all cases, the pricier the shoes, the best quality materials are used. With improved craftsmanship and durable materials, your shoes should hold up well if they’re taken care of properly. Although more affordable shoes can be more tempting and far more gentle on the purse-strings, you may find yourself purchasing two or three pairs during the life of what a more expensive pair would last.
Suede and leather shoes are incredibly vulnerable when wet, which is why using waterproof and weather treatment is a must. Shoe protection helps ensure the material, colour and shape of the shoe doesn’t lose their integrity earlier than you would like. There are many sprays on the market that will help prolong the life of your shoes, so shop around to find one that best suits the material and colour of your footwear.
If you’ve treated yourself to a rather lovely pair of shoes, there’s a good chance they’ll come with a drawstring dust bag. These are really useful for storing shoes in because they can be hung up, which means your shoes aren’t crumpled in a pile somewhere, and they help keep dust, bugs and UV rays at bay. If you don’t have dust bags for your shoes, pillowcases work a treat!
You don’t see many wooden shoe trees around these days, but they’re actually very handy. The wood helps to draw moisture out from your shoes while keeping the shoe in its natural shape. This reduces the chances of creases and cracking to occur, especially in leather shoes and boots. If you don’t want to invest in a shoe tree, but still want to dry out your shoes, then stuff your shoes with wads of newspaper. This will work in a similar way to the wood and help draw out moisture from your shoes.
When we’re in a rush or if we’re feeling particularly lazy, it’s all too easy to crush, wiggle and squeeze your foot into your shoes without undoing the laces or fasteners. Ultimately, this will damage the backs of your shoes, put a strain on your laces or fasteners and weaken the support and structure of the overall shoe. You can avoid all this by using a shoehorn for putting on and taking off your shoes.
Soles and accessories
Another great way to prolong the life of your shoes is to fit some accessories. Adding an anti-slip sole to your shoe will add extra durability, while heel and toe caps will help add protection for your foot as well as help to maintain the shape of the shoe.
Don’t crush and crumple your shoes by cramming them into a cupboard or throwing them onto the shoe pile. Make sure you store your shoes in a dry space that’s cool. Moisture-prone areas are a big no-no, so avoid damp places like under the stairs or in the garage.
Your feet can get hot and sweaty in your shoes, which can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It’s important to let your shoes breathe at home. This means, not forgetting about them in your gym bag!
If your shoes are looking a little lack-lustre, or they’re worn and need some repair work, then book them in with a professional who can add miles onto the life of your shoes.
Hide shoes from hungry mouths
Dogs, children and other beasties who may fancy the taste of your shoes need to be kept away. One great way to keep your shoes out of reach from prying mouths is by hanging your shoes with a pair of Zpurs. Not only do they help maintain the original shape of the shoe, but they also help them to air out while being carefully gripped and held in place.