Most of us know what it's like to have a favorite pair of shoes. Sometimes, this means tucking them away in the back of the closet and only bringing them out for special occasions – all in the hopes that we can preserve their condition and be able to wear them for years to come.
Well, what if I told you that you can have your cake and eat it too? And by that, I mean being able to wear your favorite shoes and keep them looking spiffy ... all year round.
Here are some of the most common suggestions and tips that will help you keep your favorite pair of shoes looking just like they did on the first day that you bought them.
Some of us may recall a time, during childhood, when our mom (or dad) tossed a dirty pair of sneakers into the washer. Well, in this case, moms don't always know best. One way to increase the lifespan of any pair of shoes is to avoid using the washing machine to clean them. Instead, scrub the shoes by hand, and try to do it as soon as they become soiled so that the dirt does not have a chance to settle in. You may also purchase a shoe cleaning kit from many retailers as these are also a popular option.
The safest way to clean your shoe is to do it by hand. The method and items used can depend on the material of the shoe, such as leather or suede. Be sure to research the best method for the type of shoe you are cleaning. Generally, for shoes made of fabric, a washcloth and some dish soap diluted with water will do the trick. If the insoles are removable, try taking them out during this time so that they can breathe and air out any odor that might be there.
One of the first things to wear out on a well-worn shoe is the sole. Luckily, there are products out there designed to protect the soles of shoes. Making this is one of the easiest ways to make your shoes last longer. A quick, easy search online will deliver a plethora of results that will be sure to leave you satisfied, and your shoes lasting longer! Along the same lines, depending on the shoe, you may try investing in some toe taps which help to prevent the tip of the sole on a pointy shoe from wearing out too quickly.
Another simple trick that helps to maintain the quality of your shoes is by spraying them with a water protectant. It is highly recommended to spray your shoes with some type of water repellent solution before wearing them. These can be found at any place that sells shoes, just be sure to check the label for instructions on how to properly apply to your shoe based off of the material they are made out of. This is especially important during the winter months, as weather is often harsher. In addition, be sure to knock off any salt that may have gotten on your shoes from places like the sidewalk.
Another easy hack that will surely benefit your shoes, especially in the long run, is by stuffing the insides with newspaper. This simple trick even has more than one benefit; not only does it help prevent any lingering odor, but it helps to dry them out if they happen to get wet, which helps to prevent dry rot, and it also helps to keep their shape. Another great thing about using newspapers for the inside of your shoes is that they are extremely easy to come by, and they are often very affordable. If you do happen to feel like springing a bit more for the care of your shoes, consider investing in a shoe horn. These are designed to help hold the shape of the shoe while wicking out any moisture.
Another important to consider is what your shoes are doing when they are not being worn on your feet. Having a proper place to store them is another easy way to keep your shoes lasting longer. This means keeping your shoes out of direct sunlight as this can cause them to fade, among other things. This also means not just throwing them in the closet, as this can cause them to become scratched or to lose their shape. Neatly line them in a dark, dry place. You may also want to consider storing your shoes in cloth shoe bags to help protect against things like dust.
If even against all odds you happen to find yourself with a worn out pair of shoes, try replacing the sole first before going out to buy a new pair. This is often an overlooked solution as many people are not aware that they have the option. Taking a pair of shoes into your local cobbler and having them replace the sole is an easy, cost-effective way to keep them around longer. The same goes for a host of other reasons, say the leather gets scuffed or the heel of your favorite stilettos snaps off, take them to your local cobbler to see if they first can't be mended.
We hope that you found these tips to be useful and we hope that we were able to help you keep that pair of shoes lasting longer. These, of course, are not the only tips you can try, but they will definitely get you off to a great start! Another great way to keep a good pair of shoes in great condition is by having a shoe rotation. Try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row if you can. As always, the care of shoes can depend on the type of material that is used, so be sure to keep that in mind when trying any tip or trick out.
According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Americans throw away at least 300 million pairs of shoes each year. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take up to 30 to 40 years to decompose. If the environment matters to you, so should clothing and accessories that last.