When you buy a pair of shoes, especially high-end models you’ll want to keep them as long as possible. High end shoes are works of art that must be maintained properly with the utmost care.
We will focus in this guide mainly on shoe soles and leather uppers, those that are more expensive and need maintenance. Synthetic models, in my opinion, do not require much care, but this is a personal opinion.
First rule: Shoe trees.
Shoe trees are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of shoes. Many say they are useless, but this is absolutely false. Their role is to help shoes keep their original shape and not deform especially when they are wet.
Choose unvarnished wooden shoe trees rather than those made of synthetic materials or varnish which does not absorb moisture. There are quality stretchers for different types of shoes, but they are usually quite expensive. The budget can quickly climb if you buy one for each type of shoes you have. It would be wiser to fall back on models with two parts that allow them to adapt to all shapes and sizes.
You should never wear the same pair of shoes twice. It would be better to let moisture dry completely and let them resume their original shape. Although it may seem expensive to follow this rule, in the end you will always win because your shoes will last longer. So you should have two or three pairs to switch.
For leather to stay beautiful and and in perfect condition, it is necessary to use proper care. We often talk about waxing but there are also creams. These two products are complementary. Before going further, I want to say that if you use liquid polish, I’ll give you two minutes to go put it in the trash. This type of product waterproofs the leather and prevents it from breathing.
In order to shine a pair of shoes, do not be in a hurry to get the job done right. I advise you not to shine your shoes 2 minutes before getting dressed.
For waxing, you must first clean the shoes which is very important. Then apply polish with a clean cloth over the entire shoe. Do not overload the polish on the leather. Rub the leather so that the polish penetrates inside. You can use a toothbrush (not the one you use, it will be dedicated to a polishing brush) for hard to reach contours.
Then let dry 15 to 20 minutes and proceed to brushing. After a vigorous brushing, the shoes will begin to shine. You can use the polishing cloth, which is the phase where you definitely get the best shine.
Maintenance of the sole
A few weeks after the purchase of your new shoes, I advise you to place rubber pads under the soles to increase the life of the soles, especially if you wear them often.
For my part I place “taps” in the end, but not at the heels. Taps placed under the heels, in my opinion tend to make noise and can be very slippery especially on rainy days. I also put rubber pads that allow the shoe to bend properly while walking.
- When the shoes are wet, do not dry them with a heat source. We must let them dry in the open air in stretchers.
- Do not put newspaper inside shoes to absorb moisture
- Do not spit on your shoes before waxing thank you!
- Do not expose your shoes to excessive sunlight.