Looking After Your Footwear
Once you find the perfect pair of shoes, you will want to know how to look after them so that you can enjoy wearing them for as long as possible. If you aren't careful, your new favourite shoes can quickly begin to look shabby, but regular cleaning and the right shoe polish can keep them looking their best.
Shoes are always going to get dirty, even if you mainly wear them inside, so it is important to set aside some time for regular cleaning to keep your shoes looking their best. Soapy water and a scrubbing brush will work for all but the most delicate soles, but you need to take a gentler approach with the rest of the shoe. A soft, dampened cloth can be used to wipe clean the outer parts of the shoe, although specialized cleaning products are available to help with particularly dirty or scuffed shoes. Patent leather is often the most problematic material for scuffs and stains, but they can often be removed simply with a little soapy water or a non-acetone stain remover in extreme cases. The inner shoe and lining can also benefit from regular cleaning and disinfectant spray to keep them smelling fresh.
Using the Right Shoe Polish
Once your shoes are clean, you can use shoe polish to shine them to perfection, but you need to make sure that you are using the right polish for each type of material. Leather should be shined with a wax shoe polish, but suede only requires a soft brush to restore the fuzzy texture. Synthetic materials can also be polished, but as with leather make sure you check that the shoe polish is the same colour as the shoe.
Protecting Your Shoes
An additional layer of protection can be provided by applying a protective waterproof or anti-scuff spray to your shoes before you wear them for the first time. This is particularly important for suede shoes that can otherwise easily be damaged by water. You can also protect your shoes in between wearing them by keeping them in a clean, dry place where they won't be squashed. A wooden tree shoe, or a ball of tissue paper, can provide some extra protection to help shoes keep their shape.
Looking After Your Shoes
Regular cleaning and polishing will keep your shoes looking good, but you can also look after your footwear simply by treating your shoes well. Avoid wearing delicate shoes in bad weather or over rugged terrain, and try to avoid wearing the same shoes two days running. Giving your shoes a break will ensure they have time to breathe and dry out, helping to prevent bad smells from developing. If your shoes do get very wet, you should give them extra time to dry. Stuff them with newspaper and place them in a warm, dry area, but not too close to a direct heat source, which could crack or damage them.