Are you one of those people who cares about your shoes? In our experience, that’s not a universal thing. Some people just throw their shoes on until they fall to pieces, then buy another pair.
That sounds barbaric to you, of course. You want to know all about shoe care and have ample questions that we’re here to answer.
Here are the basics:
- Waterproof your shoes.
- Reinforce the soles.
- Spread out your use.
- Wear socks.
- Use a wooden shoe tree.
- Shine leather shoes weekly.
- When cleaning, avoid the washing machine except for canvas.
What Is the Proper Way to Take Care of Shoes?
This will depend on the shoe. For example, those sweaty sneakers need airing and washing more than your lavish loafers. Your loafers need shining, though, where your sneakers don’t.
Luckily there are a few universal tips to employ.
Not all shoes are sturdy, waterproof hiking boots. Spraying every new pair of shoes you get with a waterproof protector will make sure the surface remains unchanged by rain and other moisture.
Have your shoes reinforced by adding rubber half-soles and taps. Any cobbler or expert will enhance your shoes this way for a reasonable price. This will add durability to your footwear.
Try to avoid wearing the same shoes every day. This gives your shoes a break to dry out and rest between uses.
If you can, don’t store away shoes for 24 hours. Your shoes will hold sweat and moisture from the outside. They need to dry away from the confines of the closet.
Don’t Go Barefoot
In some shoes, it’s unavoidable, but try to wear socks. This will protect your shoes against sole-eroding perspiration that permeates shoes with odor, too.
Use Shoe Trees
Older shoes often give up and lose their shape. Shoe trees will help your shoes hold up in the long run.
Buy a wooden one. Wood can absorb moisture from your shoes, which will only help.
How Often Should I Shine My Shoes?
The salt in sweat can make your leather or suede shoes dry out, so regularly polishing them is necessary.
This part of shoe care is one of the simple pleasures and improves the appearance of your shoes, too. Plus, black shoe polish will darken any lost color in black shoes.
How often you should shine them will depend on how much you wear them. If it’s a lot, try it once a week. For occasional use, use shoe polish twice a month.
Of course, there’s no need to follow these shoe care tips religiously. You can always polish them less if you haven’t worn them, or they seem to be holding up.
And did you know, you can also shine shoes without polish?
What Is the Proper Procedure When Cleaning Shoes?
Again, shoe care of this type will vary. Leather shoe cleaning will be drastically different from cleaning a pair of canvas shoes, stilettos or sneakers.
Let us do you a service and give you tips on how to clean a few popular types of shoes. If any of this seems like too much work, you could also hire a cleaning service for a top quality experience.
How to Clean Shoe Leather
1. Remove Debris
- Remove your shoe laces, so they’re not in the way.
- Remove any obvious dirt or debris from the shoes with a cloth or brush.
- Use a toothbrush for soles with deep tread patterns.
- Wipe down your shoes with warm water and soap, but don’t be rough.
- Target any stains with baby wipes for gentle cleaning.
- If you have any tough salt stains, target those with the more potent mix of water and vinegar.
- Buff out grease stains using talcum powder.
3. Protect and Polish
- Polish up those shoes for shiny results.
- Apply a waterproofing spray designed for leather shoe protection.
How to Clean Suede
1. Remove Debris
- For soft, suede shoes, use a brush to remove debris. You can find this brush in a shoe store or online.
2. Remove Stains and Marks
- Use a pencil eraser to buff out and remove any scuffs or smudges.
- Use cornstarch to remove grease spots, letting it sit for 2–3 hours before using a suede brush.
- Use a waterproofing spray.
How to Clean Sneakers
Not just sneakers, this advice applies to all athletic shoes, keeping them in peak condition.
- Use a brush to remove debris.
- Baking soda and vinegar works for stains—leave for 15 minutes, then scrub.
For Synthetic Leather
- Use a cloth with water and laundry detergent on the outsides.
- Buff out stains with a brush.
- Use a toothbrush and a spray made of baking soda and warm water.
- You can put canvas shoes on a gentle washing machine cycle if needed.
- Soak a brush in laundry detergent and warm water.
- Scrub the shoes until clean and foul-odor free.
- Remove the insoles to wash separately, if possible.
The Shiniest Shoe
There you have it, a handful of shoe care tips and tricks, stolen right from the experts. The ingredients are simple ones, the methods so simple even a beginner could follow them.
If your footwear is in worse than average condition, you may need a professional shoe cleaner to step in and help. But for the ordinary stain or problem, these tips should work just fine.