Happy Monday! Last week I talked about how to care for your purses to ensure you get the maximum possible usage and enjoyment from them. Today, we’re moving right along to shoes! Below are my tried and true tips to get the best mileage from your “sole” mates…These boots were made for walkin’, after all 😉
I’ve broken my tips down based on the type of shoe, and then I have a list of general tips at the bottom that can apply to all types.
Heels: I figured I’d start with my favourites! I love my heels, and they definitely make up the largest part of my shoe wardrobe at the moment. My biggest tip for caring for heels is making sure that you keep them stuffed, especially if they mean a lot to you. When you first get your shoes, you should be careful to keep all of the stuffing and little tension rods that come with them (tension rods are the plastic bits that run length-wise along the shoe to keep the back of the heel tense. Not all shoes come with this, so don’t worry too much about it if yours doesn’t.) If your shoes didn’t come with stuffing for the toes, get some paper towel or even a small sock and place it in the front of your heels to help them keep their shape.
Ankle Booties: Ankle booties are similar to heels in the sense that you should keep them stuffed when they’re not in use. Since they are completely covering your foot, there’s a better chance that the top middle section might begin to collapse when you’re not wearing them and create ugly puckers and wrinkles. Stuffing the entire foot will help to prevent this. If you’re tight on space, this is a great place to store socks or scarves that you don’t use too much!
Riding Boots: I love riding boots in the fall. They look so elegant and perfectly cover your leggings to help give the appearance that they’re not actual leggings (no judgement – I love leggings!). My absolute best tip for keeping riding boots nice is to wrap up several magazines in an elastic and put them in the boot to help them stand up. This is demonstrated in a pair of my boots below. This is so so so important! If you let your boots flop over for 6 months a year, the material will inevitably wrinkle and begin to give way in that section. Plus, you can save money by not buying the expensive boot-holder-upper-things (the technical term, of course) you see in shoe stores and recycle your magazines/newspapers at the same time. Win/win!
Running Shoes/Sneakers: I don’t wear running shoes too often (okay, here’s your chance to not judge me now), but my biggest tip for keeping them nice is cleaning them off after being outside and getting them dirty. Don’t let dirt and mud harden on them – wash them off ASAP or else next time you’ll feel like you’ve got cement blocks on your feet. The fabric of running shoes is meant to be breathable, but that also means it’s great at sucking in moisture and dirt, and once that dries… the good news is that most running shoes these days are machine washable, so that makes it easier to keep them clean!
Flats: Flats are lovely and generally low maintenance, which I love. Most of the tips I have for flats are applicable to all the shoes and are therefore listed below, however I do have one bit of advice exclusive to flats. I’ve seen a lot of YouTube and Pinterest tutorials that recommend that you place one flat on top of the other and then stack several pairs of flats together to maximize space. Unless you’re travelling, it’s never a great idea to cram your shoes together. This is the quickest way for them to loose their shape and begin to fall apart. The weight of the other shoes on top doesn’t help much either! Let them rest side by side, and only stack them if absolutely necessary (like for travelling).
– If your shoes are leather, make sure you spray them with a leather protectant spray a few times a year. Give them 24 hours after spraying to ensure it’s fully absorbed before going outside.
– Take care of your soles. If you put money into a pair of shoes, you’re going to want to make sure that you get your use out of them. If you start to notice that the soles are rubbing away on a favourite pair, get them to a cobbler as soon as possible. This is definitely a time when being overprotective is best. It’s way easier (and much cheaper) to get a small layer added on than to create an entirely new sole. Pro tip: If you bought your shoes somewhere fancy, go back to the shoe store if they begin to wear out. They may have a cobbler they use who will do it for free or for much cheaper than you’d pay elsewhere.
– Think about what you’re doing/where you’re going when deciding on shoes. I’ve always idolized Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, and was in awe of her ability to run all over NY with 5 inch heels like nobody’s business. As a new city slicker myself, take it from me when I say that Bradshaw lied. Like, A LOT. If you don’t want to completely destroy your shoes but need to walk somewhere, bring them in a bag and swap out once you get to where you’re going (i.e.: interview, date, etc). Don’t try to walk 5k in gorgeous 5 inch heels as it won’t look nearly as graceful as Bradshaw made you imagine and will probably end up ruining your shoes after a while.
– Condition leather shoes with a special leather conditioner (available at most stores that sell shoes) on a regular basis to keep them soft and shiny.
– Keep your shoes away from sunlight when you’re not wearing them. Keep them in their boxes (or dust bags if they’re really expensive) or tucked away in a closet. It’s hard to keep them hidden away, but you’ll get a lot more use out of them this way, especially if they’re leather shoes.
– Open and close zippers every few months on shoes you don’t wear too much. This will prevent them from getting stiff and being hard to open when you do want to wear them.
Next week I’ll have our final instalment in this series which is going to be all about caring for your clothing! Thursday’s post is something I’ve been working on for a while too, so all my budget fashionistas will definitely not want to miss that! Sign up for post notifications at the bottom of this page to never miss a beat!
Thanks for stopping by!