There are few things worse than ruined shoes. It may seem silly, but it’s hard not to get attached one you find the perfect pair of heels. From your go-to first date wedges to your basic black pumps, when you find shoes that fit your life — and your feet — it’s an investment.
Great heels are an investment you should take care of. Because when you discover that the heels you thought you could depend on, the ones you always knew would elevate your outfit to the next level or were mega-comfortable, are no longer wearable, it’s heartbreaking. But even with minimal effort, you can extend the life of your beloved shoe babies and put off the moment you’ll have to say goodbye.
Add Protective Soles
Women’s shoes can sometimes have a thinner sole. Get a protective sole put on before you wear them or get them re-soled when the original starts to wear down to make the shoes last longer. Extra bonus? New soles will give your favorite heels better traction so you can worry less about slipping.
Use Boot Trees
For heeled boots, invest in boot trees, stuff them with paper or even use pool noodles to keep your boots in the shape they’re meant to be. When wet or sweaty boots dry, they can curl, so it’s important to use items that help boots maintain their shape. You can also lay your boots down in the closet so they don’t wrinkle or sag at the ankles.
Let Them Dry
If your shoes get wet, let them air dry slowly, in an area with good airflow. Resist the temptation to put them on your old-school furnace register or heater to dry — it’ll dry out the lather and could lead to cracking.
Treat Stains Early
Just like when you spill something on your clothing, treating the stain on your shoes should be done as quickly as possible. If you’re dealing with water spots on suede, use a suede stone or brush as soon as you possibly can. And when it comes to your leather heels in the winter, wipe them with a damp cloth ASAP.
Don’t Play Favorites
When you get a new pair of shoes you’re really excited about, it’s hard not to wear them every day — especially if they go with every outfit in your closet But you can extend the life of your favorite stems by giving them a break, letting them rest, and recover their shape.
Visit the Cobbler
A good rule of thumb is this: If a shoe repair costs less than half the original price of the shoe, go ahead and get them repaired. Finding a good cobbler might not be easy, but once you do, it’ll change your entire shoe game. Replacing heel lifts or resoling your shoes will extend your shoes’ lives by years.