Statistics show that 93% of a first impression is based on how you look.The condition of your shoes sends a loud signal about “you”! If your shoes are in prime order, it says you pay attention to details. If your shoes are scuffed, unpolished, tattered or old, it says nothing positive about you. It doesn’t pay to have on high-end shoes if you do not take good care of them. A mid-priced selection will look more expensive if it is kept in good condition. With a little knowledge and a few dollars, preventive maintenance can make those nice shoes last a lot longer and save you money in the long run!
- Store Boots Properly: I have several pairs of boots and for years did not know how to organize them inexpensively in my closet during the winter months. This was compounded by the fact that the boots “flopped” over and took up more room. The flopping position is also not recommended for keeping boots in their proper shape. Last year I found some good solutions: The Container Store offers inflatable cushion/shapers (left) for $10. Storables.com offers metal clip (center) that holds the boots together. Other no cost options are empty water and wine bottles placed inside the boot. Another solution is rolled up magazines (right). Simply roll up a couple magazines and place them down into your boots and they will stand up straight.
- Treat Suede and Leather with Water Repellent Spray: Before you wear your new pair of shoes, be sure to apply a coat or two of water repellent spray. This process should be applied again after a couple months. Be sure to wipe your shoes with a clean cloth to remove any surface dirt before your spray. On leather shoes, the moisture impacts the elasticity, so keeping moisture balanced is a must; too much moisture causes the leather to stretch, while too little moisture causes the leather to shrink. In both cases, the leather becomes ugly and loses its original fit. Your local shoe repair shop can do this for you, although it is basically the same process you can do at home for as little as $9! This process can dramatically increase the comfort and the lifespan of your leather and suede shoes.
- Polish Regularly: A lot of women think this is something only men should do, but it applies to all of us who wear leather shoes. Polishing your shoes regularly has two benefits: it covers and repairs the damage of daily wear and tear and it nourishes and moisturizes the leather, keeping it flexible and healthy.
- Use Shoe Trees: Placing cedar shoe trees in your shoes right after each wearing will extend the life of your shoes threefold! The shoe tree absorbs the moisture from your shoes and forms the shoes back to its original state. Hence, it keeps the shoes from getting those permanent creases where the foot flexes that makes your shoes look old and out of shape. Ideally, you would have a pair of shoe trees for every shoe you own, but if that is not practical, simply rotate the shoe trees each time you wear a different shoe.
- Heel and Toe Tips: Based on how most of us walk, we wear down one particular area on our toe and heel. Your local shoe repair can place a small tap or tip on these areas and extend the life of your shoe. Nothing looks more tacky than to see a pair of heels worn down to the nail heads.