Looking for ways to keep your shoes like just out of the box for you and your other half? Today is your lucky days because you are going to find out all there is to it! Happy reading!
Invest in a shoe tree
Shoe trees allow your brand new shoes to dry out to their ideal shape. However, the secret is to use the less decorative shoe trees because the varnished ones available in the market look smart and stylish but are ineffective in drawing moisture out of leather (i.e. sweat).
So, ideally, get yourself an unfinished cedar model with a sully shaped heel and split toe to make sure you will have the closest fit between the tree and the shoe possible.
No, you don’t have to have a pair of trees of every pair of shoes you have. Just a couple of hours sitting on the trees after you have taken them off will do. After that, you are free to remove the trees because the shoes will have taken their original shape.
Do any repair work before it’s absolutely necessary
This is another investment worth making. Choose a cobbler to reheel your shoes or have them resoled. Of course, it’s much better to have this type of work done before it’s close to disaster time as it will save you the painful repair costs and prevent any permanent damage.
Suede, Wet, or Stained?
Suede shoes are impossible to treat and repair if they have scuff marks already. What you can do, though, is use a suede eraser and gently remove any small marks. You can complete the repair by using a suede brush to give the leather its fuzz or nap back.
Wet shoes are best to be immediately stuffed with newspapers so they can dry the soonest possible. Note that the drying should be done away from direct heat as it may cause our leather shoes to crack, which is irreversible damage. Now, if you were caught out when it was raining cats and dogs act fast and follow the same process, only make sure you insert cedar shoe trees just before they are completely dry, to ensure they will maintain their shape and dry out evenly.
As for salt stains, use the old-fashioned remedy: water and a little vinegar! Be careful not to soak the shoes with the solution rather than apply sparingly.
More on leather shoe care, here!
As with everything else, prevention is best. So, wash your feet and shoes more often and have, at least, three pairs of shoes that you can interchange, so you don’t wear the same pair of shoes every single day. Also, the moment you take them off, insert them into unvarnished cedar shoe trees to help deodorize them, absorb perspiration and give them their natural architecture after a long day at the office or out and about.
Besides prevention, it’s also best to have your insoles replaced, or if you can’t afford that, you can just change them.
How to polish a shoe like a pro
You will need:
- Shoe polish – You may find it easier to use a cream polish but know that it won’t give you the same shine as with wax-based polish (i.e. Kiwi). Also, there is no point having every single color. Black, dark brown and chestnut, as well as something neutral for your lighter colored shoes, are the staples you need.
- Wet brush – It is shaped like a toothbrush and will help you remove dust and dirt from the welt and the seams of the shoes. In case of an emergency, you can also use a toothbrush instead.
- Polishing cloth & brush – Better be a linen or lint-free one. Regardless of the color of choice, better use the same cloth for buffing and putting on the polish. And, know this: the more you use the same cloth, the more it will get drenched with dyes and rich oils. Finally, use a polishing brush (horsehair is much preferred) after waxing the shoes to remove the extra shine out of them.
- Sole dressing – An edge dressing will help you give your shoes their great look back after scuffing the edge of the soles from sidewalks and doorjambs.
1. Use a damp cloth to wipe your shoes down and get rid of any superficial stains and dirt.
2. Scrub the welt strip with the wet brush (make sure it’s wet) and, if necessary, carefully apply the sole-edge dressing, making sure it doesn’t get on the uppers as it will cause permanent stains.
3. When the edge dressing is dry, apply the polish. With circular movements, rub your shoes and let them dry. Know that the more you rub them, the shinier they’ll get. This should be a 5-minute thing overall.
4. Buff the shoes with the polishing brush. If you want more shine, focus more on the toe and rub it with the rubbing cloth as vigorously as you can.
Tips to whiten your Leather Sneakers or Canvas Shoes
For leather with scuff marks, use a nail-polish remover and swab them. Then, wipe them clean. If you notice that the shoe starts darkening or even yellowing, spray with water combined with lemon juice (50/50) and allow them to dry out in the sun all day long.
The same mixture will also work beautifully on canvas shoes. Now, if you need something even more powerful and drastic, mix baking soda (a tablespoon will do) with a touch of water. This will make a sticky paste. Rub it onto the seriously stained areas and wipe dry. Or you could just use a whitening polish.
Why NOT buy cheap shoes
Your shoes are an investment you make and the “you get what you pay for” is so true in this case. Don’t consider cheap shoes a bargain as it isn’t. You see, all you’ll get is low-grade leather and shoes made of rubber and glue. They often bear scars from barbed wire, trees, and shrubs.
Reputable shoemakers just won’t accept you ever make such low-quality shoes that prefer to use premium quality leather and give life to a gem-shoe. Besides, cheap shoes are usually not anatomically correct, which means you also strain your feet and body wearing them all day or for long hours. So, choose to put a little effort and time looking after a quality pair (or two or three!) and they will surely reward you in the years to come!
Now that you’ve made sure your shoes will stay in mind condition for as long as possible, here are some shoe wearing tips that you should definitely need to know of! Also, you may want to take a peak at the best shoes forpencil skirts and, of course, your fav skinny jeans!