How to Take Care of Shoes
A Guide to Making Shoes Last Longer
Are you tired of buying new shoes frequently because your old shoes keep falling apart? With a little effort and some proper care you can extend the life of your shoes and save yourself money. Dress shoes can be expensive and without proper care they may not look good for very long. It is possible to keep your shoes looking good for a long time if you just follow some simple steps.
1. Buy a good pair of cedar shoe trees. Shoe trees are form fitting inserts that go inside your shoes when you are not wearing them. They maintain the shape of the shoe which will eliminate creases from forming in the leather. Preventing creases will keep the leather looking good and keep it from cracking or developing a hole. Shoe trees will also help keep the soles flat so the sole will wear more evenly. Shoe trees are made in both plastic and cedar. The cedar shoe trees are better because the wood absorbs moisture and perspiration from the inside of your shoe. After a long day of wearing your shoes, the inside of your shoes can become damp. This moisture, if left inside the shoe, will eventually eat away at the lining of your shoes and cause them to smell. Cedar shoe trees will absorb this moisture, keeping the lining dry and your shoes smelling fresh. It is important to insert shoe trees into your shoes anytime you are not wearing them, but especially after you have just worn them.
2. Buy a good horsehair shoe brush. A shoe brush will help to brush off dust, dirt, and debris that has found its way onto your shoes. Horsehair is the best material to get because it is durable yet gentle, so it will effectively brush your shoes without scratching the leather. If you buy a lesser quality shoe brush, the bristles may be too coarse and it could scratch your shoes and ruin the leather. Lightly brushing your shoes with a side to side motion will help keep your shoes dirt free.
3. Buy good shoe polish and shine your shoes regularly. It is important to buy a good shoe polish that is right for your pair of shoes. Since all shoes are different and there are different forms of leather, it is a good idea to ask the salesperson what shoe polish is best at the time you purchase your shoes. You may not think there is a big difference between shoe polishes, but some shoe polishes can actually harm your shoes. A leather creme polish that matches your shoe color will generally help keep the leather properly conditioned so it does not dry out. Some less expensive products that advertise a "quick shine" actually do more harm than good. They may give your shoes a quick shine, but the alcohol and other chemicals will eventually dry out the leather prematurely. Again, it is important to check with your salesperson to see which product is right for your particular pair of shoes. A good process is to wipe your shoes with a clean cotton cloth, apply and rub in some polish, and then shine with the horsehair shoe brush.
4. Treat suede and nubuck differently than regular leather shoes. You do not want to use polish or leather creme on suede shoes. Using these products will ruin the material by matting it down. Generally, simply brushing these shoes gently should keep them dirt free. It is important to get a special suede brush and to be very gentle because the material is more delicate than leather. You can also spray them with a water proofing spray to keep them from getting ruined in the rain. Suede shoes are more difficult to care for than regular leather shoes, so check with your shoe salesman to make sure you get the right products for it.
5. Keep leather and suede shoes dry. Wearing your shoes in the rain or in the snow will ruin the material. If you live in a city or a climate where it frequently rains or snows, it may be a good idea to purchase a pair of rubber galoshes to slip over your shoes. They are easy to put on, by simply stretching them over your shoes, and will help make your shoes last longer. If your shoes do get wet, it is a good idea to dry them as soon as possible by wiping the surface with a soft, dry, cotton cloth.
6. If you take proper care of your shoes, the soles should wear out before the leather uppers do. If this happens, you may not need to replace the shoes. If the leather uppers still look good, it may be worth it to have your shoes resoled. By replacing the soles on your shoes, you may extend the life of your shoes by another two to three years. It all depends on the condition of the leather upper and the cost of resoling versus purchasing a new pair. If the price is too high to resole your shoes, it may be worth it to invest in a new pair. Leather shoe soles will wear out quickly if worn on concrete and asphalt. These hard surfaces will actually chew away at the leather soles. If you live in a city and walk daily on concrete, it is a good idea to buy shoes that have either rubber soles or soles with a rubber heel and a rubber strip underneath the ball of your foot. This will greatly extend the life of the sole. A cobbler can also add this rubber strip when resoling your shoes.
With proper care, you can get your shoes to look better for a longer period of time. You will save money by shining your shoes yourself and not having to buy new shoes every year. These simple maintenance tips will keep your shoes comfortable and your feet happy.
Sandal Basics What to Look for in a Good Fitting Sandal
Perhaps one of the oldest forms of footwear is the sandal. From some of the oldest civilizations to the current world, sandals have adorned the feet of everything from kings to commoners. While they still maintain a prominent place in the world of footwear, not everyone is completely familiar with the proper fitting of a sandal. With tennis shoes and even casual or dress shoes, it is much easier to understand the fit because there is cover over the foot and there is a toe to the shoe. With sandals, though, it can be much more difficult to understand. The fit of a sandal, though, is no less important than that of other shoes, and so it is best to understand the proper fit of a sandal.
Like most other types of shoes, sandals vary greatly in look, in purpose, and in comfort. Some shoes are for use on the beach, casual attire, and even for certain sports like beach volleyball or hiking. With each type of sandal, comes a variety in look and feel. The fit of sandals, though, is actually consistent. You should, like with all of your footwear, find a pair that fits you best and will take the best possible care of your feet. So what is it exactly you should look for? Let's find out.
First and foremost, a sandal should always support you properly. When it comes to health as well as comfort, the arch of your foot needs to be cared for as much as possible. The arch of the foot is what helps you maintain posture as well as the ability to walk efficiently. To find a sandal that fits properly you want something that will support that arch. Some shoes will do that through the use of actual arch support built in from the start. Others, on the other hand, have cork soles and will mold to your foot over time. No matter which way it is done, any shoe you put on, and especially a sandal, should have good arch support to prevent fatigue as you wear them.
Secondly, a sandal should have a sole slightly larger than you foot. That may seem obvious at first, but it is easy to end up with a sandal that your toes dangle over or the sides of your foot push against. For a sandal, that in many cases has a sole that will form to your foot, you need plenty of room so that it can form properly. If the sandal has a harder sole, then it would hurt your feet if you do not have plenty of room. Everything about a sandal should be for the comfort and health of your feet and the size of the sole is no exception.
Another thing about the sole is that it should be thick. The only thing separating your feet from the ground is the sole. The sole needs to be thick enough to protect you from that wear. To keep your feet healthy, you need to keep them away from the ground and a thick sole is exactly what you need. When shoe shopping, you look for a fairly thick sole with other shoes, so why would you not do the same with your sandals? Always check the sole.
Fourth, the straps should hold your sandal on you securely. The sole needs to stay against your foot and the only way that is going to happen is if the straps keep it there. When you are shopping for sandals, try to find one with adjustable straps. Though elastic may be cheaper, you need to be able to adjust the straps as the sole wears or the straps stretch out.
When shopping for sandals there are several things you should keep in mind. Always make sure you have proper arch support so that your feet stay free of fatigue and healthy. In addition, you should find a sole that is big enough for your feet, and in addition to that it should be thick enough to protect you from the ground. Lastly, look for adjustable straps that will be able to help them fit to your feet securely. To ensure that you have all of these things, you need to make sure you try on any sandal you are thinking of buying. That is the only way you will know that it is truly the right sandal for you.