Given that we wear them 10-12 hours a day, shoes endure the most out of any article of clothing we own. This is why it is worthwhile to invest in a pair of high quality leather shoes. Getting the most out of your investment depends on how well you take care of them. With proper rotation and some maintenance by a professional shoe repairman, you should get at least a few years of wear out of each pair. The following 6 tips can help you prolong your shoes' lifespan, enjoy everyday comfort and maintain a stylish appearance.
1. Find the Right Fit
Your shoes' fit is directly related to your level of daily comfort. So, fit is something you should never compromise on. Be wary of promotions on poorly-made and ill-fitting footwear. The shoes' width should snugly cradle your feet. If they are too big or too wide, there's going to be excess movement within the shoes. This leads to too much breakage, causing them to lose their shape and wear out sooner. Their leather might also crack prematurely.
2. Keep Their Shape
When you are not wearing your shoes, fit them with cedar shoe trees. They will ensure your shoes keep their shape. They will also prevent the tip of the shoes from turning upwards; a common issue with frequent use. The cedar aroma will keep your shoes smelling fresh by absorbing the humidity and odours created by your feet. A well-made solid shoe tree should last a long time, so it is worthwhile to purchase a quality pair. Avoid one-size-fits-all trees and choose your own size to ensure a consistent shape.
3. Protect Them
Moisturize, shine and waterproof your shoes. Take care to use the right shoe care products for your shoes' material. Gentle waxes and creams made from natural oils from animals and plants produce the best results. Apply these products regularly and correctly using the care instructions given to you by your sales associate, your shoe repairman, or consult the website and labels of the products used. Waterproof sprays are of the upmost importance, given the unpredictable nature of our climate's weather.
4. Wear Overshoes
Wear rubber overshoes during rainy or wet days. They are essential in snow and salt especially, which can be very damaging to your shoes. Rubber overshoes are also the superior choice if you're on the move, seeing clients or attending board meetings. They will maintain your professional, dressy appearance. Another option, while less discrete, is to wear boots during the winter's snowy days and change into your shoes at the office.
5. Repair Them
Find a talented, reputable local shoe repairman and stay with him. Historically, people relied on cobblers to re-sole their shoes and fix other signs of wear. Today, they are still just as relevant in our move away from disposable clothing back to high quality, long-lasting goods. Importantly, do not wait for your heel base to get damaged before getting it replaced. The same rule applies to your soles. Leather shoe soles can easily be replaced in most cases. Cosmetic damage, like scuffs, can also be fixed.
6. Choose Quality
Invest in quality, not just brands. Make sure your shoes are fully made of quality leather. Look for goodyear welted shoes, clean stitching and quality threads. Look inside too - for smooth, clean lining. All these are the telltale signs of attention to detail. It's also useful to do a bit of research before spending your hard-earned money on a pair of expensive shoes. Again, a brand name is not always synonymous with quality.