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How to Properly Care for Your Shoes

Taking good care of your shoes is imperative if you want them to last for more than one season and always look brand new. You won’t look professional or stylish if you walk around in dirty shoes, so keeping them clean is just one of the important steps in good shoe care. In addition, you should also know which fabric requires which type of care to always have a good-looking pair of shoes. For all that and much more, keep reading.

Keep your shoes clean

Once you’ve come home and taken your shoes off, make sure you check if they’re dirty or not. Before you place shoes into their proper storage containers, you should buff the dirt off, or use a damp cloth to remove the stains depending on the fabric. Aside from keeping the outside of the shoe spotless, you should also clean the insides. This is especially important if the odour is a problem. Use alcohol or a drop of tea tree oil, both antifungal agents, to swab them. If your shoes are made of leather, be careful not to splash alcohol or oil on them to avoid staining the fabric.

Store them away properly

Don’t let your shoes lay around in the hallway, but store them on shelves to keep them clean. If you walk around constantly kicking the shoes away from your path will only add to the wear and tear and potentially cause other family members to trip over them, too. Avoid having an unsightly home and dingy shoes by keeping them in their original box or custom-built cubbies. You can also hang a shoe bag with many pockets on the back of a door for quicker access.

Invest in shoe trees

After making sure the shoes are clean and ready to be worn again, offer them even better shoe care with shoe trees. These wooden items will offer top-class shoe care to your heels, Oxfords, or any other type of footwear thanks to their fully contoured heel and high vamps for optimal functionality and fit. You’ll want your shoes to always be comfortable as if you’ve broken them in ages ago, and shoe trees will offer precisely that by gently stretching your shoes flat. This will also prevent bowing after you wear them. More often than not, you’ll notice wrinkles on your shoes, but only if you don’t give them the proper shoe care they need. With shoe trees, you’ll reduce wrinkles across vamp and your shoes will return to their natural shape.

Maintaining leather

Every fabric requires a different type of care and when it comes to leather, the first step is to work shoe cream into the surface. The shoes must be clean and dry before you apply the cream. The colour of the cream must match the colour of the shoe, to avoid discolouration of the leather. Apply the cream with a soft cloth or an applicator brush. After applying the cream with a brush, allow it to soak into the surface overnight to help condition the leather. A wax polish will add an extra sheen to your shoes after you let it air dry. Keep leather shoes away from the radiator or other heat sources to avoid warping. The wax will also add extra protection to the shoes aside from making them shine.

Take care of patent leather

Patent leather’s high-gloss finish can easily crack, so you’ll need to take special care of your patent footwear. Clean the shoes with a soft cloth and a solution of vinegar and water to prevent cracking. If you notice cracks, use a wooden shoe tree or cushion-type shoe shaper, to smooth the cracks and prevent the new ones. Use a leather conditioner to soften the leather.

Suede requires special care too

When it comes to suede, the only worry that you’ll have regarding the colour is that they don’t fade out too quickly. To avoid getting your suede shoes dusty-looking in spots, and a shiny nap after a long time of wearing them, sponge lightly and gently with a suede-appropriate shampoo. Only wear your suede shoes on dry days because suede is porous material. Use a rubber, nylon, or brass-wire brush to brush and remove dirt and mud.

Proper canvas care

If you have canvas sneakers, you’ll only have to wash them by hand. We wouldn’t recommend machine-washing because it can weaken the support structures in the sole. You can use soap, laundry detergent, or a specialty cleanser. If you notice stubborn spots, a nail brush will remove them nicely. With a whitener, such as oxygen bleach, you’ll make your shoes spotless and bright again. Wash rubber-soled shoes only on the outside and don’t soak them in water. Air-dry the sneakers naturally and keep them away from the harsh, direct sunlight because it can cause the colour to fade out.

Good shoe care is imperative if you want your shoes to last for a few seasons instead of falling apart within a couple of months. Clean them well, store them away, and learn which care suits certain materials to preserve your shoes for many years.

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