We LOVE shoes. Our favorite heels and flats have a huge footprint in our closets and, unfortunately, the planet too. Not only do shoes take a considerable amount of resources to produce, materials such as rubber soles, plastic trimmings, and woven fabrics take ages to biodegrade in landfill. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your shoes and extend their lifespan, for you or the next person that gets them.
No matter where you’re at with your shoe game, here’s how to make your shoes last longer. Read on for useful shoe care tips that will start you off on the right foot!
1. Spray on a Protector
Hindsight is 20/20, when it comes to making sure your favorite pair of heels stay fresh it’s all about being preemptive! Spray on a non-toxic fabric, leather, or suede protector to ward away scuffs or water stains. A cheap alternative? Apply beeswax to for a barely-visible waterproof layer.
2. Strengthen Your Sole
Your shoes take a beating every day, but don’t take it in stride! Protect your soles and you’ll get a lot more mileage out of them. Get the soles reinforced as soon as you can with stick-on pads or go to a cobbler. There are even some anti-slip options which are great with buffed leather soles. It’s a lot harder to fix a worn heel or scuffed out sole once the damage is done, so do it early. And if you really, really love your shoes, take them in for regular maintenance. For heels that are looking a bit more worse for wear, you can buy seen-through reinforcement wraps that will make even the thinnest stiletto stronger.
3. Let Them Breathe: Get a Shoe Tree
The upper (that’s the visible fabric of the shoe) and outer soles get a lot of attention, but we can’t forget about the insoles. Moisture and oils (such as from sweat) can create nasty odors and age the inside of your shoe. Ever seen the imprint of your foot in a heavily-loved sandal? That’s sweat (blech)! Invest in some odor absorbing insoles for shoes that you wear often (like your favorite pair of sneaks or flats).
For your expensive leather shoes, get a wooden shoe tree. This handy accessory lets the leather breathe and absorbs any moisture. If you don’t want to drop cash on a shoe tree (they’re expensive, we got you), reuse newspapers instead. And for non-leather shoes like sneakers, you can use deodorizing accessories like Sneaker Balls.
4. Cycle Through Your shoes
We know you love your Converses to bits, but do them a favor and give them a break now and then! Continuously wearing your favorite pair of shoes will ensure that they won’t last. Wrinkles will set in and your soles will start to break down. Cycling through a variety of shoes gives time for each pair to recover. Plus, it’ll keep your outfits exciting and fresh. Everybody needs a break!