How to look after your expensive shoes so they last longer

Stop torturing your shoes! Find out what you shouldn’t be doing to your shoes to ensure that they hold up for as long as possible

Image: Showbit

We spend so much money on shoes so it puzzles me why so few women take any measures to protect them. Don’t you get upset when you have to throw out a pair of shoes because they are no longer wearable, especially if they are your favourites? 

Proper shoe care ensures that you get the maximum mileage out of your shoes. All you need is a few extra seconds. Take a look at this list of don’ts and see if you are guilty! 

1. Wearing them without a sole protector 
Prevention is better than cure. The moment you put your foot down on that gravel floor, your shoes are subjected to all the harsh road conditions. These sole reinforcements will add many years to the life of your shoes. 

2. Exposing them to rain without water repellent spray 
To be honest, most shoes can take a bit of rain damage with the exception of suede shoes, which almost never go back to their original condition after being damaged by rain. Our weather here in Singapore is very erratic, so it’s best to waterproof beforehand. 

3. Not cleaning and conditioning the leather regularly 
Like skin, leather needs to be moisturised and conditioned on a regular basis. The added moisture from the leather lotion will keep the leather supple and prevent cracks. At the same time, you also get to remove all the dirt and grime from your shoes that might harden and stain your shoes. 

 4. Forgetting to air them out 
Many of us (I am guilty as charged) buy more shoes than our feet can handle, so a lot of our shoes never get to see the light of day. However, it’s important to note that shoes have pores and they need to breathe. Keeping them cooped up in boxes could cause them to end up mouldy or discoloured. Try to wear all your shoes regularly!  Or, take them out of their boxes once in awhile to air them. 

5. Wearing your shoes when your feet or shoes are still wet 
Perspiration, water and other types of moisture breeds mould, odour and can lead to bacteria growth. It’s bad for both your feet and shoes. Always dry your feet before slipping into your shoes. If you wore your shoes on a rainy day or they just happened to get wet, give them some time to dry before wearing them again. 

6. Storing them haphazardly
Yes, apart from all the oiling and conditioning, where you keep your shoes matters. Never throw your shoes into the closet haphazardly. You are increasing the risks of scratching, discolouring and other serious damage. If you don’t have enough space for shoe boxes, use linen dustbags and line them up in pairs on your closet’s floor or on a shelf with enough breathing space in between each pair.