7 Ways To Make Your Favorite Shoes Last Longer

by Miki Hayes

As exciting as it is to step out in a new pair of shoes, it's always equally scary too. Because once you walk out that door, your shoes will never look as fresh and clean again. But what if they could? Turns out there are actually a number of ways to protect your shoes from just about anything: Rain, snow, having to take a detour through some grass in a pair of heels, and even regular signs of wear and odor. So if you've been regularly recycling worn-out shoes, or not rocking those booties you splurged on as often as you'd like, you may want to re-evaluate how you protect and care for your shoes.

Because even though it can seem annoying to add a step or two between busting your new babies out of their box and slapping them straight on your feet, it'll be totally worth it when they still look new even after multiple wears. And nope, it doesn't matter what type of shoes you hoard. There's a clever way to protect everything from stilettos to slides, from mules to moccasins. So no matter your heel height or shoe material, here are seven ways to make sure your favorite pairs stay completely protected:

1. Use A Protectant Spray

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Try: Kiwi Protect-All, $7, Target

One of the best things you can do for a new pair of shoes is to spray them with a water and stain repellant. Especially for leather or suede shoes, a protectant is a must for keeping them clean and free from water damage.

2. Try Heel Guards

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Try: Just For Kiix Invisible Heel Protectors, $10, Amazon

If your stilettos tend to get scuffed or scraped, try a protector that wraps around the heel to block any damage that may come its way. Make sure to match a matte or shiny finish with your shoe for totally invisible protection.

3. Add Heel Caps

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Try: gogoheel Stoppers, $10, Amazon

If you know you'll be strutting outside, prevent your heels from sinking into grass and becoming covered in dirt or scratched up from gravel with heel caps that give a wider base. If the regular caps that come on your heels wear down too much, be sure to get those replaced as well — you can pop on some new caps yourself, or have it professionally done at any cobbler.

4. Opt For Sole Guards

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Try: Sticky Bottoms Removable Sole Protectors, $14, Amazon

Especially if you have colored or leather soles that you'd rather not wear away, be sure to slap some sole guards on your shoes before taking them for a spin. Stick-on ones work great in a pinch, but if you want a longer-term solution, take your shoes to a cobbler or shoe-repair store to have protective, rubber soles added to your shoes. These can even be matched to the color of your soles so they blend in perfectly.

5. Condition Leather Ones

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Try: Frye Leather Conditioning Cream, $16, Frye

Excessive exposure to the sun, heat, and moisture can lead to a shorter lifespan for leather. To keep your leather shoes supple and prevent the color from fading or darkening, remember to condition them with a leather-specific cream.

6. Stuff Them With Charcoal Pouches

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Try: Moso Natural Mini Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags, $10, Amazon

If you live in a humid environment, all of that wet air could cause unpleasant odors to linger in your shoes. To help absorb moisture and odor between wears, place charcoal pouches inside of your shoes. This will keep them fresh and feeling newer, longer.

7. Store Them In A Cool, Dark Place

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When storing your shoes, it's important to keep them out of sunlit and humid areas so that they maintain their color and shape, and don't take on any mildewy smell. If you can, store your shoes with shoe trees in their boxes or dust bags. Or, at least, keep them lined up in a cool, dark closet so each pair has room to breathe.

Because your shoes deserve a long and happy life too.