Shoes have the hardest job of any apparel. They travel between your weight and the ground. Get the most out of your new pair of shoes or extend the life of old ones by taking good care of them. Here are some tips on Long term care for shoes..
Shoe trees are crucial. They allow your recently worn shoes to contract and dry out to their ideal shape — but only if you choose the less decorative unvarnished ones. Varnished trees look posh, but they don’t properly draw moisture — i.e., sweat — out of the leather. Top marks go to unfinished cedar models with a split toe and a fully shaped heel: These ensure the closest possible fit between shoe and tree. Also, there’s no need to own a pair of trees for each pair of shoes. The vital time for using them is the hour or two after you have removed the shoes from your feet. After that, the shoes will have returned to their natural architecture and the trees can be removed.
Invest as much care in choosing a cobbler to re-sole or re-heel your shoes as you did in repurchasing them. And to prevent permanent damage (or, at least, the outrageous repair costs), have all work done before it’s absolutely necessary.
Suede shoes are in a category of their own, since you cannot polish away any scuff marks. Use a suede eraser (basically a brick of crumbly rubber) to rub away small blemishes. Then use a suede brush to restore the nap, or fuzz, of the leather.
Stuff soaking-wet shoes with newspaper and dry them away from direct heat. Direct heat can dry the leather too fast, causing it to crack — and once that happens, nothing can save your shoes.
The traditional remedy for road-salt stains is a little vinegar and water, applied sparingly .