Photo by Hanna B
A good pair of leather shoes can be expensive, so you want to make sure you save money in the long run by keeping your shoes well-maintained. Wondering how you can maintain your shoes on a regular basis? Here’s what you need to know:
Clean Your Shoes Regularly
Cleaning your shoes on a regular basis can keep the leather from wearing down, cracking, and losing its shape. The more often you wear a pair of shoes, the more often you should clean them. Yes, it takes some time to clean your shoes, but it’s well worth your while if you end up keeping them in good condition for longer.
You should definitely own a leather brush for each color of leather shoes you own, and it’s a good idea to brush your shoes off regularly – especially in the wintertime when you’re walking around in wet conditions and corrosive salts. Brushing your shoes off daily takes just a few seconds, and then you can take more time to actually clean and polish your shoes every month or so.
To clean your leather shoes, you’ll need to use saddle soap and a conditioner made for leather shoes. Make sure you don’t leave any soap on your shoes after cleaning them, since it can dry out the leather and cause cracking, and you should only ever use saddle soap specifically created to clean leather.
Use Cedar Shoe Trees
Storing your shoes every evening on cedar shoe trees can help them maintain their shape, and it can also keep the leather from cracking and wrinkling. Untreated cedar naturally draws moisture from your sweaty feet out of the leather of your shoes, which keeps the leather soft and supple. It also helps replace the scent of less than pleasant feet with the aroma of fresh cedar.
When you’re looking for cedar shoe trees for your shoes, make sure you find ones that have a shape similar to your foot; so that the trees will help your shoes maintain their structural memory. Also, invest in cedar shoe trees that will fit most type of shoes that are on the market, so you can continue to use them for years, no matter what type of shoes you buy.
Rotate Your Shoes Regularly
It’s easy to get into a shoe rut and to wear the same pair of shoes every day, but doing so will just cause your shoes to wear down faster. Obviously, wearing your shoes every day will cause the soles to wear out faster, but this can also cause your shoe to lose its structural memory and can wear out the leather uppers more quickly.
Having at least two pairs of shoes so that you don’t wear the same pair for more than two days in a row can help your shoes last more than twice as long by giving them time to recover in between wears. You don’t have to put your shoes on any sort of rotation schedule, but try to switch to a new pair at least every couple of days so that every pair of shoes has a chance to recover.
Apply Protectant for Your Specific Shoes
Even if you regularly clean your leather shoes, they’ll wear out quickly if you fail to protect them with the proper protectant. Make sure you get the protectant that’s designed for the exact type of leather your shoes are made from, and apply the protectant after each thorough cleaning. It’s especially important to make sure your shoes are properly protected in the winter and in wet conditions, which can wear down shoes more quickly than anything else.
Maintaining your high quality shoes isn’t rocket science, and it can really save you a lot of money. If you buy higher quality shoes, you’re probably already aiming to save money on your shoes in the long run, since you know these shoes will last much longer than faux leather or poorly constructed shoes. Now, stretch your fashion dollars even further by maintaining your shoes with these four tips.
Ashyia Hill is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey.com. Ashyia helps savvy families learn how to use credit on her blog.