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Simple At-Home Care for Shoes and Boots

A shoe repair expert – or cobbler – can revive almost any shoe you bring in. However, much like brushing and flossing your teeth in between dental visits, there are many things you can do to care for your shoes and boots in between visits to the shoe repair shop.

What Makes a High-Quality Shoe Better Than Average?

High quality shoes are all about the materials. Leather is more durable than man-made materials such as pleather and fabrics and provides a good fit that is supportive and comfortable, breathability that optimizes foot health, and will get “broken in” over time and create a perfect fit for your unique feet, which when cared for properly, can last you a lifetime.

How Do You Make Shoes and Boots Last a Lifetime?

There are several things you can do to help extend the life of your shoes. Here are some tips on keeping your shoes in good shape:

  • Store them in properly sized cedar shoe and/or boot trees to keep their original shape and beauty. Cedar shoe/boot trees absorb the moisture and sweat out of the leather and will keep your shoes crease free. Moisture is the only element that can deteriorate leather and using cedar shoe/not trees keeps your leather shoes moisture free and as fresh as the day you purchased them.

  • Clean and polish your shoes on a regular basis.

  • Waterproof your shoes before heading out into wet weather conditions.

  • If your shoes tie or use straps, undo them slowly and properly before taking them off.

  • If your shoes get wet, let them dry out completely before wearing them again.

  • Store your shoes neatly and in an area that gets fresh air to ensure they dry properly.

  • Replace the soles when they wear out, preferably before a hole forms in the sole so you don’t wear into the insole, which can mean a more complicated repair or the inability to repair the shoe at all if it’s too far gone.

  • Replace heel-caps as needed. This is a simple job but will keep your shoes shipshape.

  • Brush your shoes, removing dirt, mud any other debris. Don’t put them in washer and dryer!

  • Sprinkle baking soda inside your shoes to absorb moisture and odor.

  • If you can, rotate using several pairs of shoes so one doesn’t get worn out too quickly.

  • Have an expert shoe repair service install rubber sole protectors to increase the lifetime of the sole.

Helpful Products for Home-Based Shoe Maintenance

In order to care for your shoes properly, we suggest having a few important shoe care products on hand. Here are a few of our recommendations:

  • Invest in some foot lotion and powder. Bacteria from your feet can make for a yucky odor that can end your shoe’s wearability. With this in mind, a cobbler can de-odorize your shoes with a deep clean and installation of new liners to give you a fresh start (pun intended!).

  • Baking soda (which you can find in your kitchen) sprinkled inside shoes neutralizes odor.

  • Spray-on protectors help prevent water stains and damage from dirt as you wear your shoes out into the elements. A cobbler can recommend some great protectors depending on your shoe materials.

  • Bristle brushes for removing dried dirt.

  • Shoe polish.

The take home message is that your shoes and boots need to be maintained in order to have the long life they deserve. And much like your yearly visits to the doctor, be sure to take your beloved footwear to see an expert cobbler periodically to ensure they stay in great health.

Have shoes or boots that need some TLC? Bring them to Austin Shoe Hospital and we’ll get them fixed up and back on your feet in no time!

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