Caring for your shoes is just as important as caring for your clothes. We all know that a good pair of shoes are worth their weight in gold and can really make an outfit. Good shoes can transform an outfit from casual to show stopping, and equally, the right pair can be a lifesaver when you know you are about to spend an entire day on your feet.
Shoes are also not exactly cheap to buy and we all know shoes that are comfortable, long lasting and stylish don’t come cheap – no one can well afford not to look after them and have them fall apart after only a few times out of the box. Shoe care does very slightly depending of the material of your shoes so make sure you have the right product so you don’t ruin your shoes and you’ll be able to keep them looking better for longer.
Before you wear your shoes for the first time
Good shoe care should start from the minute you bring your new treasures home from the shop. Shoes in Britain are certainly put through a lot with our incredibly unpredictable weather and it is important that you prepare your shoes for the onslaught of rain, mud and snow they are likely to come across. Pre-treating certain shoe material can protect them from water damage and also prevent dirt from sticking to your new shoes. For example, suede notoriously stains when wet but you can pre-treat suede shoes with a product that will form a protective layer over the material prevent water stains and damage. Other materials can be pre-treated in a similar way in an attempt to prevent the shoe getting stained when worn in Britain’s famously poor weather.
Storing your shoes
Your shoes don’t only face damage when being worn, but will also become tired and ruined with careless storage. While it is tempting to simply kick your shoes off on to the floor as soon as you walk in, and your family are probably more than fond of leaving the hallway like an assault course of shoes to dodge, in order to keep your shoes always looking like they’ve just come out of the box you need to store them properly. There are specifically designed shoe springs available which help keep the shape of your shoes, especially at the toes, while you are not wearing them. You can also get these for long boots to keep the tops of your boots upright and prevent creases where the material may fold over if simply left alone. In addition to this, you can even hang your shoes in the wardrobe on special shoe hangers to save them getting crushed if you’re short of space at the bottom of the wardrobe.
If you own any light coloured patent leather shoes then it is vital that your store them separately from any dark coloured leather or plastics. This goes for purses too for the light patent leather will actually absorb the colours surrounding it and become discoloured and permanently stained. If you are really limited on storage space then wrap light shoes in tissue paper to prevent this colour transfer.
Keep a close eye on your shoes’ health and check them regularly. If the soles of your shoes are beginning to become tired or worn, getting them replaced quickly can save the life of the rest of your shoe. Things to look out for include a nail poking out of the heel or scratched or worn soles. Many dress shoes are particularly thin soled so keep an extra close eye on these. You can also take preventative steps and add a layer of rubber to the soles of your shoes to give them extra durability and strength.
Additionally, if you have shoes that you only wear on the odd occasion, it is important to bear in mind that leather and rubber dry out over time and will crack and split when worn. Exercise your shoes by wearing them around the house occasionally to give the rubber and leather chance to flex and move or soften them up with conditioner every so often.
Keep out the reach of pets…and children
Pets love shoes; and it seems the more expensive they are – the more tasty they look! No one knows why, but you can guarantee that Rex is going to love the taste of your Louboutins much more than hubby’s gym trainers so keep them stored behind closed doors to keep them away from teething dogs or scratchy cats. It is also a good idea to keep you most loved shoes away from the kids, especially those who are fond of drawing on anything that doesn’t move or playing dress up.
Good shoes should treat you as well as you treat them. Take care of them and they will last you for years whilst still looking like you only just brought them home from the shop.