Don’t you just wish that the best things in life would last longer? Things like an occupied quiet toddler, a bottle of champagne, a bunch of sneezes, or that scene in ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ when Ryan Gosling has his shirt off?
While many things in life come to an abrupt finish, it doesn’t have to be that way with shoes. Look after those babies, and you’ll be able to have your way with them for many multiple moons to come.
While in his homeland of Denmark, I was able to chat with Niki Taestensen, the head designer for women’s shoes at ECCO and he shared his 9 top tips for a long and fulfilling relationship with your shoes.
1. Waterproof your shoes as soon as you get them home. Ensure the waterproofing spray is not silicone based, as that will clog the pores of the leather – just like the pores of your skin, your shoes need to breathe too!
2. Dust lightly or use a soft shoe brush after each wear. It’s ok to use a damp cloth to remove dirt, but never submerge your leather shoes in water – they’ll suck in the moisture and may not go back into shape once dry.
3. Moisturise. A quality shoe cream will absorb into the leather, nourish your shoes, and keep them fresh. Avoid shoe creams that sit on top of the leather – they provide a temporary solution only, and will rub off on the hem of your pants. Not cool.
4. Store away from direct sunlight as this can make the leather more brittle over time, and will fade their colour.
5. Organising your shoes in storage boxes or shoe racks will ensure they stay in great condition as it will force you to stop throwing them all in a jumble on top of one another. Do that and they’ll end up out of shape and dirty – things no one wants in a long-term partner.
6. Leather soles will wear faster, so are better suited for indoor use. Get them resoled if you want them to last longer.
7. Use a shoe-tree. They might seem really old-fashioned but for shoes that are not worn often they are the ideal way to ensure they keep their shape (especially good for those investment shoes that are not likely to get worn to the playground and grocery shopping!) Shoe trees should be made of wood (like cedar) because they keep moisture out of the shoe and ensure they smell fresh.
8. Rotate insoles. If your shoes have a removable insole it’s a good idea to rotate them with a new pair to keep the inside of the shoes fresh. To clean insoles, gently wipe with a diluted tea tree solution which acts as a natural antibacterial and smells great.
9. It’s always a good idea to purchase a second pair of laces for shoes, especially if they are coloured. This way, you’ll always have a back-up in case your kids decide to make ‘shoe-lace soup’. True story.
How do you treat your shoes? Do you have special places to store them? Or are they littered around the floor like lost pieces of Lego (ouch! ) And what’s the longest you’ve kept a pair of shoes for?