I know of people who love a pair of shoes so much they’ll buy two or three versions of the same pair for future use. While I can’t argue with that logic, sometimes shoes are rare or expensive enough that shelling out money for more than one pair can be pretty crazy (I’m assuming you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, like me!).
As I grow my shoe collection, I’ve learnt a couple of tips along the way to help keep my shoes beautiful for longer. Some of them might seem like common sense, but it’s something we don’t think about until you’ve got worn out soles or a broken heel. I’m going to share with you how you can mitigate structural damage to your footgear to extend their lifespan. I mean, why pay more than a thousand bucks on shoes when you’re not going to treat them with care?
1) S.O.S: Slap on soles
The first thing I like to do once I get a new pair of shoes is to take them to the cobbler and get some protective soles. Ok, I lied. The first thing I really do is to put them on and parade around the house like I’m in a marching band.
All jokes aside, getting your cobbler to put on protective soles not only prevents wear and tear. It also helps you keep your feet firmly planted on the ground in wet weather. Check out the picture below for the different soles I’ve gotten so far. My cobbler uses Vibram soles. You’ll have to excuse all the dirt, soles are meant to get dirty no?
2) Stuff & Store
My current place is pretty ‘wet’, so when a couple of my bags started showing signs of mould, I got pretty paranoid about all of my leather items. No matter how tempted you are to just dump your shoes on the shelf or leave them on the floor after a long day, don’t. I replace the stuffing, wrap them in paper, put them in the mini dust bags (these usually accompany a pair of shoes), and finally back into their boxes.
Stuffing your shoes keeps their shape better, trust me. You can also use cutoff pool noodles
to stuff knee-high boots, they’ll fit perfectly. Storing them in paper and dust bags just means you’ll prevent accidents like scratches or scuffs on the leather. If your shoe has studs or metal hardware, I strongly recommend you do this!
3) Clean & Polish
Without trying to sound like your dentist reminding you to come back six months later… I really want to emphasize how important this tip is to keep your shoes shiny. Again—because Singapore is so damn humid—mould is your greatest nemesis. I suggest gently wiping your shoes down after a couple of wears with an alcohol-free wet wipe, you can find these at your local pharmacy. This will prevent mould spores from lodging themselves in miniscule cracks and growing. A layer of mould on your shoes is not a pretty look.
Polish just helps keep them looking nice and shiny, while conditioning the leather. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “a true gentleman doesn’t feel properly dressed unless his shoes are freshly shined every morning”. Honestly, who has the time for that?! Polish every week if you wear them often, a month will do at a stretch. Alternatively, you could just take your shoes to the cobbler for a thorough cleaning every three months.
4) Break em’ in!
I’m guilty of liking a pair of shoes so much, I buy it even if it’s half a size smaller and pinches my toes. 10 minutes in and multiple blisters later, I’m swearing like a pirate and considering taking off my shoes to walk barefoot. Save yourself a world of pain by breaking them in first. I like to slip on some thick socks, and walk around the house, occasionally blasting my feet with a hair dryer. Works wonders. On a virgin trip out, make sure your armed with your trusty weapon, FootGlide
(though body moisturizer will do in a pinch). Apply before you put your shoes on, and reapply as needed throughout the day.
5) Walk properly
Last but not least, please learn how to walk properly. A ballerina since young, I sometimes walk with my feet slightly turned out. This has resulted in plenty of scuffs on my shoes, especially the shiny, patent ones, near the heels. I have to make a constant effort to put my feet down in straight lines. Imagining you’re strutting your stuff down the catwalk should help. Just don’t trip…
Please also never walk in your shoes especially when the heel has worn down to a spike. You’re ruining your shoes! I’ve done this to my favorite Calvin Klein ankle booties with much regret. Please don’t follow in my footsteps (no pun intended!).
I hope this post has been helpful. Happy to answer any questions you might have. Also, would anyone be interested in reading a post about how I take care of my luxury bags? Let me know in the comments below.