Shoes are a huge part of your look, and you want to be sure to care for them properly. But first, a word about picking a good pair. A great suit can be defamed quickly by bad shoes. I've written before about color and shape choices. Those considerations aside, and speaking in general terms, you want to invest in your shoes. Cheap ones not only look cheap, they don't last. Why not spend what's necessary to get a good looking and good quality pair? You'll look a lot better (enough justification by itself), and overall they'll probably end up being less costly because you're not paying to replace them like you would with a cheap pair. Price isn't the only indication of quality, but on the whole, you have to pay more for good quality shoes. It's worth it. It pays dividends on the style side and in the service they'll render. Watch for sale prices and specials at places that have good shoes and you can get the best of both worlds.
Shoe care is essential to making sure they look good and give you the performance and longevity they're capable of providing. Here are a few tips:
- When putting your shoes on, use a shoe horn, especially if you have a bit of difficultly maneuvering your foot into the shoe completely. This will save the heal from wear and from losing it's shape.
- After a day of use, give them a breather. Your dogs need a day or two of recovery. This will allow them to air out completely before you put them back on. You should have at least 2 pairs to rotate if you're wearing them every day.
- Clean, condition, and polish them often. More on this next time...
- Use shoe cream as needed to cover scratches, to moisturize, and to renew color. With brown leathers, you should pick a cream that is slightly lighter than the shade of the leather. It can be helpful if you can find a cream that is made by the company that made your shoes. Allow it to dry, then buff using a horsehair brush.
- Use cedar shoe trees. They absorb the moisture left in the shoe when you take them off, and without them your shoes will lose shape.
- When traveling, use shoe bags or wrap them in a soft cloth so they don't get scratched.
- Use rubber oversoles to protect your shoes in bad weather, especially with leather soled shoes. Wet leather wears out much more quickly than dry leather, so keep 'em dry.
- For bigger problems in the sole or elsewhere, take them to a shoe repair shop. Once your soles have worn out, you should be able to resole them relatively inexpensively. If you've cared for the leather and with the addition of new soles, your shoes will give you years more service.