1. Rested shoes last longer
Always let your shoes rest at least 24 hours before using them again. Leather that stays moist will dry out and crack more easily. Moist fabric will become fragile and won’t resist the wear and tear your shoes are put through.
Try to use shoetrees that fit your shoes (or crinkled up newspaper), and put them in as soon as you’re not wearing the shoes. This will help maintain the shape of the shoe. If not allowed to dry after use, the shape of the shoe will deteriorate over time.
2. Get that water away from your shoes!
Protect your shoes by treating them with a moisture repellent spray, wax, leather grease or shoe cream. This keeps water and dirt away from your shoes.
Please note that natural, untreated leathers will darken if treated. You simply have to make your mind up whether you want a fair but easily smudged shoe or a darker shoe that will be easy to clean. Smudged shoes can be beautiful too.
If your shoes get wet, fill them with balls of newspaper and leave them to dry in room temperature. Change the paper every now and then to get the shoes dry quicker. If you use inserts, don’t forget to take them out.
3. Treat your shoes BEFORE they’re dirty and wet
Better safe than sorry. Always treat your shoes before putting them on. If your shoes are already dirty – here are some tips on how to get them back into shape.
Canvas – Wipe dust off with clean, damp cloth. Let big chunks of dirt or mud dry before brushing off with a shoe brush. Some stains can be dabbed away with a damp cloth and some detergent. Allow to dry and spray with nano moisture repellent spray.
Leather – A damp cloth takes that dirt right off. Water marks are removed with a 50/50 water-vinegar solution dabbed or gently rubbed on with a dry, clean cloth. Allow to dry and smear with shoe cream or leather grease and polish with brush or dry cloth.
Suede/Nubuck – Let big chunks of dirt or mud dry before brushing off with a suede/nubuck brush (there are special suede/nubuck brushes and sand paper files to buy at your shoemaker’s). Water marks are removed with the same brush. Spray with nano moisture repellent.
4. Treat your shoes with care
Always use a shoehorn when putting on your shoes. If the heel cap gets injured, the outer material of the shoe can break or the cap can hurt your foot.
Tie your shoes properly to remove stress from the heel cap.
If your shoes break – let a shoemaker fix it immediately. The longer you use a broken shoe, the worse the problem will get.