Tips for Men on Better Shoe Care
Do you find that you’re replacing mens lace up shoes far more frequently than you’d like? Do you buy new shoes and find them completely muddied up, scuffed or otherwise damaged within a week or two? If this sounds like you, then it seems as though you could do with some smart tips on how to better take care of your various shoes.
The good news is that looking after shoes is actually quite a simple task. With a few easy steps, you can make sure that your shoes are kept in good order, and you’ll always be able to put your best foot forward.
Tip #1: Buy More Shoes
One classic mistake men tend to make is not buying enough shoes. We’re not saying you need to be like Imelda Marcos and purchase whole rooms full of footwear, but having enough pairs so that you can properly rotate your shoes is still a good idea. If you only have one pair of casual shoes, for instance, then you’ll be wearing them all the time, and thus wearing them out much faster.
Get at least 2-3 pairs of casual shoes, and the same number of more formal shoes. You only need to buy more functional footwear — wellington boots, hiking boots, athletic shoes, etc. — as your personal lifestyle and local environment dictate.
Tip #2: Wear Fresh Cotton Socks and Keep Feet Dry
If there’s one thing that shoes really don’t like or appreciate, it’s being sweated into day-in, day-out. To prevent this, as well as stopping your shoes from stinking out your place you should be sure to wear a fresh pair of cotton socks each day to help wick sweat. You should also get into good habits such as powdering your feet after you wash them to help soak up the excess moisture.
Tip #3: Leather Shoes Need Polishing
It’s quite likely that you’ll own at least one pair of decent leather shoes, either for work or for use at formal occasions. These shoes need polishing in a similar way that cars need waxing and paint protection. If you want to keep these leather shoes looking their best, invest in good shoe polish products. Those that contain shea butter and high-quality oils are best, and will make the shoe look brand-new every time you do a cleaning.
Tip #4: Waterproof Suede Shoes
Those who don’t appreciate the stiffness of leather shoes might compromise with suede shoes. These soft-touch shoes often occupy the middle ground between smart and casual, but they are highly vulnerable to water and moisture damage. If you get caught in the rain, walk through a puddle, or traipse them through snow, you’ll find they don’t like it. That is, unless you waterproof them first.
Use water-resistant sprays on your suede shoes to protect them from the elements. If you get another stain on there, treat it as soon as you can with a sueded erase, followed by gentle treatment with a suede brush. It’s arguably the best material you can make shoes from, but it’s delicate and demands proper care.
Tip #5: Clean Sneakers Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
The best policy when it comes to sneakers is to apply the same water-resistant coverings that you do to other shoes to make them easier to keep clean. However, if you’ve failed to take that step initially and you’re left with weeks-old sneakers that are already looking much worse for wear than they should, there are simple cleaning hacks you can use.
The most common is to take about a tablespoon of baking soda and double the amount of white vinegar mixed together in water, and then dip a toothbrush in the solution to use as a cleaning agent for your shoes. The solution is safe to use on both leather and canvas and will restore those sneakers to near-new condition.