Shoes get a lot of wear and tear. You wear them on your feet (gross), all day, and through all kind of weather. Needless to say your shoes get a lot of action in a real way. It’s so easy for your shoes to wear our fast and look old, dingy, or start to smell. Ew. But if you take just a bit more care of these beautiful things that get you from Point A to Point B, they will look like new and last you years.
What you’ll need to keep your shoes fresh. First off you will need a few items to keep your shoes clean and protected. These are my recommendations but there are plenty of great equivalents to these.
Insoles. The insoles are probably the grossest part of your shoes. Your feet are in them all day and they trap in every bit of dirt, sweat, etc. The solution? Easy, just invest in some insole cleaner/deodorizer. I use this kind, but there are lots of options. Just spray a little on the insole, wipe with cloth, and viola! Clean and smell free (or less smelly) shoes!
Waterproof. Preparing your shoes for the elements is crucial since the whole point of shoes is to protect your feet from the elements. “You mean they’re not here to make my outfit complete?” I mean yeah they do that, but that’s not their sole purpose. See what I did there? Too funny? Ok fine.
Invest in a good waterproof spray to keep your shoes (and feet) safe from all kind of weather and gross gunk. All you need to do is spray directly on your shoes and you’re good. For most shoes a light spray directly on your shoe is fine. Test an area of shoe before spraying to ensure it won’t ruin or discolor the shoe. For patent leather I suggest spraying a little on a cloth or towel and gently rubbing on shoe.
Leather care. Taking proper care of your leather shoes is arguably the most important step in shoe care maintenance. The way you protect and clean your leather will affect the look, shape, feel, and durability of leather shoes. I suggest a leather cleaner/waterproof solution. I use this kind, and spray a bit on a flannel cloth (directly spraying can make the leather spotty), rub down shoes thoroughly, and let sit for 24 hours. Leather needs to breathe too so don’t store them in boxes of any kind once clean.
*For spots and stains, use a leather cleaner. Spray a little on a cloth or towel, and gently rub in circular motion on affected area. Polish is also an option, but you need to find the right color for every shoe.
For suede, a spot cleaner is best. Spray a bit on dirty spots, rub with brush or cloth in circular motion, and remove excess with cloth. Once your suede is clean, waterproof them to prevent future spots and stains.
Weather wear shoes. For all weather shoes the key is to keep them clean. My rain and snow boots get dirty because I wear them in the harshest conditions. My rain boots get covered in mud and my winter boots get dingy from snow and salt. Clean them as soon as possible. I’m not good about this, but clean them after you get them muddy. If you have a hose great do it outside, but in the bathtub can work too. Use an old rag and toothbrush to get dirt out of crevices and hard to reach spots.
Have any wives’ tale remedies or fail proof tricks for shoe cleaning? I’d love to hear!