Buying a well-constructed pair of dress shoes is usually a great way to choose footwear that will stand the test of time. However, you will only get the full benefit of the additional quality if you maintain your shoes appropriately, and this involves using both the right techniques and the right products. You need to know how to care for your shoes based on the material that they are made from as well as what the problem is.
To aid you in looking after your dress shoes, we have compiled a series of helpful tips that will prolong the life of your shoes as well as leave them looking consistently sharp and stylish. Employ some of the following tips to get more from your dress shoes.
Shoe trees – use them
For maintaining the shape of dress shoes and preventing them from smelling, shoe trees are essential. Not only will these little tools pad out your shoe and preserve the robust construction of a high-quality shoe, but the absorbent qualities of wood will also extract moisture from your shoe — whether caused by stepping in a puddle, washing by hand, or even sweaty feet. It is important to use unvarnished shoe trees, however, as those with a shiny varnish coating will no longer be absorbent. These cedar shoe trees from Amazon are a great solution to many shoe care problems, and can be easily inserted and removed at will when storing your shoes or retrieving a pair to wear.
Top tip — if you have been caught in torrential rain and your shoes are soaked through, stuff them with newspaper to ensure that the water is absorbed before it permanently damages your footwear.
Change your insoles
While your insole doesn’t necessarily effect the overall construction of the shoe, it is certainly still an important part of it— for comfort and hygiene reasons if no other. It is also important to change them if your shoes feel generally damp, as the insole may be retaining moisture, which could eventually damage the shoe. You can purchase replacement insoles fairly inexpensively, but you tend to get what you pay for. The shoecare range at Charles Clinkard contains a selection of high-quality latex and leather insoles if you would prefer to replace them yourself. Otherwise, we would recommend visiting a cobbler, who will do a great job of replacing the insole permanently.
Polish your shoes
Polishing your shoes is a great way to restore colour vibrancy, as well as retain that new-shoe shine. You should start by cleaning your shoes with a damp cloth. This will remove traces of dirt, grease, and debris from the soon-to-be cleaned shoes. Be sure to use the correct polish for the material your shoe is made from, usually leather, and to apply it the correct way. Failing to do so could actually be detrimental to your shoes, so be sure to exercise good technique. This shoe polishing guide from the Shoe Snob Blog provides some very useful information. You may also use a polishing brush for giving your shoes that finishing gleam — a little extra labour can go a long way.
Following these basic shoe care tips will both extend the life of your shoes as well as ensure they look far more attractive on a day-to-day basis.