We’re all guilty of it: We have that one pair of shoes we love so much that we wear them down within just weeks of buying them.
While loving a pair of shoes is by no means a bad thing, taking proper care of your footwear will help them last for years. Not only will you be able to enjoy them longer, you’ll also get more out of your investment and avoid having to buy a new pair right away. To that end, take a look at these care tips to keep in mind after purchasing new footwear:
1. Choose the right size
The first part of caring for shoes properly is buying the right pair in the first place. Choosing quality materials and construction over low prices is a good first step, but you should always make sure you’re purchasing the right size for your feet. When wearing footwear that’s too small, both your feet and the shoes will take a beating. You’ll notice cramps and blisters, and the toe box and heels of your shoes will wear out much faster.
2. Take preventative measures
There are also a number of preventative measures that can help you keep them in tip-top shape before you even begin wearing your shoes. As soon as you purchase a new pair of shoes, break out a weatherproofing spray and treat them before you wear them. If it’s a set of shoes you think you’ll wear often, you may also want to reinforce them with rubber soles and heels to keep them from wearing out quickly. For leather shoes, you should also condition them regularly – even when you aren’t wearing them – to keep them from drying out or cracking.
3. Give them a break
There’s a fine line between broken in and worn out. For that reason, it’s a good idea to give your often-worn shoes a break every few days. Not only will you extend their lifespan, but a break will give them a chance to air out odors. Aim for having at least two pairs of shoes each season that you can alternate every couple of days. That way, each pair will get a rest between wears.
4. Make replacements as needed
Part of ensuring your footwear continues to look like new is keeping an eye out for any specific parts that are looking worn down, and making adjustments and replacements as needed. A new pair of shoelaces on boots or sneakers, for instance, can give the shoes an entirely updated look. You can also easily replace insoles and soles, as well as heel caps on your favorite high heels.
5. Store them properly
Storage really does make a difference, especially for shoes that are made from real leather or suede and boots that need to keep their shape. Store shoes in a single layer (no piles or stacking) in a cool, dry and dark environment – your closet should be fine. To keep boots in good shape, use boot shapers or crumpled newspaper.