Everyone has two sections of their closet: fast fashion pieces and investment pieces. Investment pieces are those special, timeless pieces that you are going to wear again and again for years to come, and they’re of good quality so that they will serve you well for a long time. Shoes are a great example of investment pieces, as they are usually on the more expensive side of your budget and you expect to wear them for many seasons. Yes, you can also get low quality, fast-fashion shoes, but why on Earth would you do that? So, once you have your perfect pair of shoes, you have to learn to care for them – here’s how:
Choose the right shoe
Technically, shoe care starts before you buy it. And where you might think that we’re talking about material and manufacturing quality, it’s actually about the fit of the shoe. If you have a wide foot, and you buy a narrow shoe, it doesn’t matter if it fits or not, you will be misshaping and destroying it with literally every step you take. Make sure that the shoe is actually tailored to your foot if you want it to last, and if you can’t find one off the shelf (which is a lot more common than you think!), you can take it to a cobbler to get it fitted.
For good quality shoes, especially leather ones, regular maintenance is key. If you just wear them and leave them, they will get scuffed and lose their value much faster than if you took your time to care for them. All you need to do is every time when you wear them (or a few times per week, if you wear them daily), clean them up with a damp cloth to remove any accumulated dust and dirt, and then apply a thin layer of the appropriate shoe care product. It can be a lotion, cream, wax or other forms of care, just make sure you’re following the instructions on the product and any recommendations from your cobbler.
Get a wooden shoe tree
If you have a fine pair of shoes, you don’t want them losing their shape and fit. Just like you wouldn’t hang a cashmere jumper on a hook to stretch it out and potentially get a hole in it. But if your shoes just sit in your closet for a long time with no support, that’s exactly what’s going to happen to them. A shoe tree is literally a wooden foot that you put inside of the shoes while you’re not wearing them to ensure they don’t lose their shape.
Use a shoe horn
Another important point about shoe shape is using a horn to put them on and off. If you use your hand to yank the shoe off your foot or much worse – step on the back of the shoe with your other foot – you’re gravely damaging the shape of the shoe by stretching it, squashing it and all-round misshaping it. This will only lead to you having to replace your shoes sooner, and there’s literally no reason why you would do that. And hopefully, this goes without mention but: untie your laces and buckles before taking the shoes off, don’t just destroy them because you’re too lazy to bend down and unlace!
Taking good care of your shoes isn’t a matter of being vain, elitist or anything of the sorts – it’s about making the most of your investment. The more care you put into your shoes, the longer they will last, so do some research, get the right equipment and give your shoes the care they need.