Shoes can last for many decades if you pay attention. However, it can be difficult to get your shoes back on its feet if they are neglected.
It is not easy to find good shoes. It is often difficult to find the perfect balance between style, comfort, and durability. This is due to changing factors. What is the likelihood of it raining? What distance do we need to walk? Is there any dancing?
We want a shoe to last as long as possible when it fits one of these parameters. Experts share their tips on how to do that.
Give them the best chance
Jenny Velakoulis of Evans Leather Repair, Melbourne’s Royal Arcade says shoes must be protected before they can be worn. This two-part process is called “protecting your shoes.”
Step one is to have your shoe repairer apply a protective sole, also known as “Topy”. These soles are made from rubber and increase the shoe’s life by adding tread. This helps to keep the shoe in its original shape. Velakoulis states that shoes wear quickly. You should get a protective sole immediately to avoid damaging the shoe.
The second step is to apply a waterproofing agent. Velakoulis recommends at least three coats on leather. Suede may require more. This process should be repeated after six months.
Breeze Powell, one of the founders of Post Sole Studio, a shoemaking business in Melbourne, recommends Tarrago’s Nano Protector spray for shoes.
Sneakers are also more durable if they have been waterproofed before. Sneaker Laundry is a Melbourne-based maintenance service that Eugene Cheng founded. He says it makes sneakers easier to clean. “The spray acts as a barrier between your shoes and whatever you might drop on them.”
Rejuvenation and rest
For leather shoes with heavy rotation, it is essential to polish them regularly. Velakoulis suggests doing this at least once per week. Velakoulis says that leather needs nourishment. Leather shoes in heavy rotation need to be nourished. By applying polish regularly, leather is kept conditioned, pigments are restored, and waxy coating prevents further damage.
Powell offers similar advice. She recommends applying a leather care balm using a soft, lint free cloth to the leather and letting it penetrate for 10 to 15 mins before buffing it with a soft brush.
Powell recommends that you always undo the buckles and shoelaces when taking off shoes. This will prevent excessive strain on fastenings. Also, Powell suggests using a shoehorn to ensure the shoe doesn’t get damaged.
Powell advises against wearing the same shoes twice in one day. Your shoes will last longer if they dry naturally between wears.
Regularly clean sneakers to keep them looking new. Cheng suggests using a stain remover to clean dirt off sneakers as soon as you notice it. They shouldn’t be left for more than a few months. “The better your shoes will hold up, the more you clean them,” he advises.
How to save your soaked shoes
Make sure your shoes are clean if they have become saturated. You can use a specific shampoo for leather, suede, or sneakers depending on which type of shoe you have to clean. This will prevent dirt from drying out.
Powell suggests that leather shoes can be cleaned with a soft, lint-free cloth, mild soapy water, and mild soapy water.
For leather shoes drying, location is important. Choose somewhere that is dry and away from heat sources. Apply a balm to the leather.
Take out the insoles and laces from your sneakers to dry them. Cheng says that shoes can become mouldy if they are left unattended in a closet or in an indoor environment.
Shoes are always in direct contact with moisture so it is a good idea to keep them dry by storing them on a wooden shoe tree. It is best to find shoes with the same shape as yours, this will allow them to retain their structure.
Velakoulis states that sole and heel maintenance should be performed at least once per year, or every six months. Any parts of the shoe that are in need of repair, such as stitching or zippers, can be done by a shoe repairer.
Shoes with narrow heels like stilettos require special attention. Velakoulis warns that if your stiletto is worn down, it can cause injury.
She points out that ladies’ shoes are generally more difficult to maintain due to the thinner leathers and harder colours to preserve with polish.
Vegan leather is also difficult to repair. She says that it will deteriorate over time and that we cannot repair it if it does.
Velakoulis states that leather can be repaired, touched up and remoulded, as well as smoothed.
“I love the idea that things are passed down through the generations. There are three to four generations of customers. I have seen many shoes that have been handed down. It’s stunning.”