If you know me well you know how much I love shoes. I have a few gems in my collection which is ever growing and will grow faster once I get a bigger shoe budget. My philosophy is to spend more money on a nicer quality pair of shoes that will last longer than to buy five pairs of cheep shoes that are going to fall apart in a year and make your feet stink. Fake cheap shoes make your feet stink and wont stretch to the shape of your foot. Leather is best. No one wants to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a pair of fabulous shoes only to have them wear out in a year or two. Whether they are a designer brand or simple quality leather there are three steps you should consider when taking care of the shoes you did NOT buy at Forever Young or Target.
1. Proper Storage
The shoes nice enough to be on display should be kept out of the sun and away from an air vent. The More direct sun or heat from a vent will fade the color and dry out the leather. Shoes nicer or more expensive than that should probably just stay in the box until you wear them. And shoes even nicer than that will come with shoe bags. Shoes worthy of fabric shoe bags usually come with one for each shoe. These bags protect the shoes from any dust that happens to come into the box and protects the shoes from rubbing or scratching each other.
2. Regular Cleaning
Good shoes should be cleaned regularly even if you haven't worn them in awhile. If your shoes are not stored in a box then they should be dusted regularly with a dry lint free cloth. If you happen to get a speck of mud on your shoes there are different ways to clean different materials. Patent leather can be wiped right away with any type of cloth wet or dry. Raw leather can be wiped with a slightly damp cloth. Fabric or suede cleans best when the mud has dried. DO NOT use a damp cloth on suede. Wait till the mud has dried then use a dry tooth brush to brush out the dirt. Shoe brands will also sell cleaning solutions for specific types of fabrics and materials. Be careful when cleaning pony hair, cow hair, or sequin covered shoes.
3. Polishing and Moisturizing
If you get a scrape on your patent leather shoes look for the exact color of polish or have them taken in to a place you trust to be polished. Some leather shoes should never be polished. The polish will dry out the leather. Raw leather, not patent leather, shoes should be moisturized regularly. Have you ever had a pair of leather shoes that you didn't wear all winter and come spring they are a little stiff and maybe sound crunchy the first time you put them on? It's because the dry air has dried the leather more. Think about it this way. Leather is skin. Skin needs to be moisturized. Brands will sell leather moisturizer for shoes, but to be honest I just use a little of my nice face lotion and it works like a charm.