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How to Care for Your Shoes

You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes. Make sure yours are sending the right message.


  • Step 1: Buy good shoes Invest in well-made leather shoes. You’ll pay more, but they’ll last longer than shoes fashioned out of manmade materials.
  • Step 2: Guard new shoes Extend the life of the soles – the first part of the shoe to wear out – by having a cobbler put on rubber sole guards.
  • Step 3: Waterproof them Waterproof leather and suede shoes and boots before wearing them, and then repeat monthly. Look for a silicone spray; it offers superior protection.
  • Step 4: Wear inserts Wear shoe inserts; they’ll absorb the odor and moisture that would otherwise settle into your shoes. They last several months.
  • Step 5: Use a shoe horn Use a shoe horn to put on shoes; it reduces wear and tear on the back of the shoe. Always remove shoes with your hands; Don’t kick them off or press one foot down on the back of the other shoe.
  • Step 6: Give them a rest Never wear leather shoes two days in a row; it’s important to let foot perspiration dry so that the moisture doesn’t ruin the leather.
  • Step 7: Keep them in good shape To maintain the shape of your shoes, use cedar shoe trees for men’s dress shoes, toe shapers for women’s dress shoes, especially those with pointy toes; and boot shapers.
  • TIP: Stuffing shoes with newspaper between wearing is an inexpensive way to absorb moisture and help them retain their shape.
  • Step 8: Store them properly Store shoes in flannel or canvas shoe bags. Cardboard boxes trap moisture and plastic containers prevent air from circulating around the shoes, both of which can lead to mold.
  • Step 9: Keep driving shoes in car Driving can wear down the backs of shoes, so keep an inexpensive pair in your car to slip on when you get behind the wheel.
  • FACT: The average American woman owns 19 pairs of shoes, but only wears four pairs regularly.

You Will Need

  • High-quality leather or suede shoes
  • Sole guards
  • A silicone waterproofing spray
  • Inserts
  • A shoe horn
  • Cedar shoe trees
  • Toe shapers
  • Boot shapers
  • Shoe storage bags
  • Shoe polish
  • A clean cotton or flannel cloth
  • A suede or nail brush
  • Newspaper
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Shoes for driving

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