When they are brand new, bring them in to the repair shop.
Many of the shoes you buy, and love, aren’t made in the in the best manner. Preventive care and alterations can do wonders. Check your shoes and the quality and thickness of their soles. The thinner the sole the sooner the uppers will be damaged. Thin rubber protective soles, which are available in many colors, will blend right in with your heels or flats. They will add just enough thickness to protect the upper, and can be removed and replaced with less damage to the shoes. With leather-soled shoes, not only will they prevent the leather from wearing down, but they’ll also waterproof the soles. In addition they help the shoes become anti-slip.
Water/stain proof your shoes before you wear them. Many shoes are ruined on their first outing. The same should be said for other leather items, especially if they are light in color. Smooth leather shoes should be kept shined and polish to protect the leather.
When it comes to shoe size, there is hope.
Have you ever found a great pair of shoes at a great price? However you didn’t buy them because they were a tad snug. While I don’t advise buying shoes that are plainly too small, we all have feet that are slightly different sizes. If one shoe is a bit snug, is quality and made of leather, most likely, the snug shoe can be augmented (stretched) to fit. Additionally shoes can be stretched in specific areas to accommodate bunions or toe issues. If one shoe is slightly too big, a tongue pad in the shoe on top of the instep, will take up room and allow the shoe to fit properly.
Use quality cedar shoe and boot trees.
Most of the damage done to the upper of a shoe, wrinkles, cracks and the like happen in the closet. Putting damp shoes away without giving them a structured way to dry, is a guaranteed way to cause damage. The shoes will start to curl up from the toe as they dry and staying like this time and time again causes wrinkles then crack to form. Cedar trees placed into the shoe immediately after wearing, give a firm taut structure to the shoe. The cedar then draws the moisture and bacteria out of the leather into the wood, and dries the shoe from the inside. Trees used in this manner greatly extend the life and the appearance of the shoe. There is magic in the wood.
Zippers broken don’t panic.
99.5% of all broken zippers can be repairs or replaced. Zippers in boots, bags, tents, etc are all replaceable. New zippers can be added to boots or shoes, which don’t have zippers an easier on/off experience. Take care of your shoes, because, if you care about your teeth or what you eat, you should care about your feet.
Dan has been in and around shoe repair and retail shoes for over 40years. His parent owned both a shoe repair/retail shoe store and operated a licensed vocational school teaching shoe repair. The Shulters family has been repairing shoes since 1947.