We recently posted a journal entry on how best to increase the life expectancy of your tailored clothes. But what about your shoes - the literal foundation of your look? Let’s face it, shoes have the power to make or break your look and set the stage for that all important first impression. Unfortunately, these days the art of shoe care is becoming more and more a thing of the past, often overlooked and perceived as daunting, difficult or complicated.
But proper shoe care doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated! And lucky for you, we're here to help break it all down and share a few of our favorite tips and tricks for extending the life and look of your favorite shoes!
Invest In Quality Shoe Trees
Consider investing in quality shoe trees. Shoe trees are important because they not only help absorb any moisture left behind from the day’s wear, but also help maintain the form of your shoes. Moisture will not only stiffen your leather but will also slowly deteriorate the integrity of your shoe. Furthermore, using shoe trees helps to keep creases from setting into your leather and can also help fight odor (cedar shoe trees are obviously helpful here).
Always Use A Shoehorn
We know it can seem like overkill, but we recommend always using a shoehorn when putting on your shoes to help avoid damaging the structural integrity of the shoe. Not to mention it’s just plain easier to slip your shoes on!
Keep your shoes in rotation
Keeping your shoes in rotation is the best way to prolong the life of a shoe. If you are wearing the same shoe every day, it never has time to recover in between wears. Swapping between 2 or 3 pairs will certainly help in maintaining your shoes as well as extending the life span.
Keep Them Dry
When you get caught out in that pop-up rain shower and your shoes get considerably wet, you will want to make sure your shoes dry out completely as soon as possible. One way to soak up excess moisture is to stuff (not cram) your shoes with newspaper. Once the excess moisture is soaked up, be sure and use your shoe trees to help with any remaining moisture and help your shoe return to its proper shape.
Use Loafer Liners
Loafer liners can be your best friend! When wearing a loafer, driver or moccasin consider wearing a loafer liner. These are no-show socks you can’t even tell you are wearing underneath; however, they play such an important role in absorbing moisture (and odor) during wear. It’s definitely a game changer in comfort too instead of going sans socks. We recommend Xaydee loafer liners (staff favorites for sure!)
Stay on top of maintenance and repair.
Lastly you'll want to make sure to always stay on top of the maintenance and repair needs of your shoes. Be sure to monitor the sole and heel of your shoes. When they start to wear thin, it’s time to consider getting the sole replaced (another important reason to have multiple shoes in your line up). You also want to polish and condition your shoes on a regular basis. Polishing is nice for aesthetics, but more important than polishing is conditioning. Conditioning is important for the health of the leather. Condition your leather shoes every few months to keep the leather moisturized.
Not sure the best polishing techniques or how to take care of those cool suede loafers in the closet? Stay tuned for an upcoming post dedicated to shoe maintenance!