I was polishing my husbands shoes this morning (well, I was polishing a bunch to resell on eBay and figured I’d do his at the same time) and realized how important shoe care is for a frugal-minded family like ours. The truth is, if you take care of your shoes, they will look better and last longer.
The Shoe Service Institute of America (SSIA) “is committed to furthering the shoe repair industry by educating consumers about the physical, economic and environmental benefits of purchasing and maintaining quality footwear” (source). It was on the SSIA site that I learned about the four step process to properly care for shoes – cleaning, conditioning, polishing and weatherproofing. Who knew? Mine have NEVER seen that kind of treatment and I don’t think they ever will. I also don’t spend more than $50 on a pair of shoes.
There are some simple ways to keep your shoes in shape that won’t break the bank or require a ton on time. Real Simple has a great post about caring for your shoes. I have included a few of the tips here.
- Alternate pairs. You want your shoes to have time to breathe between wearings. I need to work on this with my husband. He walks through his work shoes every 6-8 months because he wears one pair most days of the week.
- Clean the insides. This is especially important if odor is a problem. Swab them with alcohol or a drop of tea tree oil, an antifungal agent. Take care not to splash to avoid staining the leather.
You can find the rest of the tips on the Real Simple site.
I also found a great list of shoe care suggestions over at TLC Home in an article titled “Caring for Your Clothes.” I’ve listed the ones that I’m going to be using on my families shoes, you can find the rest at the above link.
- Neaten up the frayed ends of shoelaces (and make it easier to lace them) by dipping them in clear nail polish. Great idea! I hate when the ends of my shoelaces fray. New shoe laces aren’t expensive but this is definitely a cheaper alternative or a temporary solution until you can get to the store.
- Clean the salt residue common on winter boots with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vinegar. This will work on leather and vinyl. This is a great tip for those of us who live in the Northeast and other snowy areas (can’t count this year though!)
- Keep smelly feet at bay by sprinkling baking soda into shoes to control odor and moisture. Maybe I should do this with my husbands gym shoes…
We all have those grungy sneakers that have plenty off life left but don’t look like it. Good Housekeeping says to bring life back to your otherwise worn (non-leather) sneakers, pretreat stains, remove the laces and throw them in the washer on the cold cycle. Then let them air dry. That sounds simple enough to me! I think I have a pair or two that will be headed to the wash when I do laundry this weekend.
There are many different kinds of shoes and ways to keep them in shape. I learned a lot about how to keep my family’s shoes in better condition. I hope you did too! Do you have any tricks to help your family’s shoes looking their best?