How To Care For Your Precious Shoes

Picking the right pair is half the battle. Make the most of your footwear with these tips for keeping them looking as good as new.

Life is a journey as they say, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to look great while we hurdle its ups and downs. Aside from a great pair of knickers, a fabulous pair of shoes is every Cosmo gal’s weapon of choice.

However, just like your pet and, well, yourself, shoes need some good TLC. Whether you have shoes that come in real or faux leather, suede, or even canvas, allow us to share some nifty tricks:


STORAGE:

  1. Save the world, one shoe at a time by stuffing your shoes with old newspaper. This helps absorb excess moisture from sweat or rain and helps retain their shape. Should your shoes get wet in the rain, stay away from the blow dryer unless you want your shoes to shrink. The heat may also weaken the glue and other materials used to reinforce the shoe.

  2. Most shoe purchases have silica gel packs inside the box. DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY! These little babies, just like newspapers, absorb excess moisture, which prevent mold from eating away your beloved shoes! For best results, try to have at least four packs per pair and try to replace them every three months, especially if they’re kept with shoes you use often.

  3. Store shoes in boxes. Although boxes take up space, they also protect and prolong the life of your shoes.

  4. Regardless of storage space concerns, keep leather, patent, and canvas shoes AWAY FROM EACH OTHER! Even more so when there’s too much humidity, as this causes paint/color transfer.

SHINE:

  1. Control the urge to wear your new shoes without spraying on a water protector. This helps ensure that rain or any liquid won’t be able to seep into the shoes. Refresh your shoes by spraying them every three months, but if your shoes got wet, spray them again to give a new coat once they’ve dried at room temperature (refer to #1 ) in storage.

  2. Just like our body, shoes can only take so much sodium, which has damaging effects. When our sweat, which contains salt, dries up, this causes the leather to dry. So treat leather shoes as you would your skin: Polish leather with a leather conditioner to keep leather soft and supple.

  3. You can use several household items as shoe cleaners:

    1. Apply vinegar on a rag or cloth to shine patent material on bags and shoes.

    2. Rub in petroleum jelly on patent and leather shoes. Allow it to be absorbed before wiping off the excess with a dry, clean cloth. This will not only keep them shiny but can also prevent them from cracking.

    3. Even a dab of moisturizing hand cream (not oil-free) can serve as a make-shift shoe polish. Apply a small amount on leather shoes (not suede) and buff with a clean, soft cloth.

    4. No shoe polish stashed in your travel bag? In your hotel when you travel, ask housekeeping to lend you some trusty furniture polish to keep your shoes in tip-top shiny shape! Buff away as usual.

    5. Use a light coating of spray starch on new fabric tennis shoes before wearing them—dirt can't become embedded in the canvas, and the shoes will always be easy to clean.

    6. Rely on hairspray to give your shoes a nice sheen by spraying on a coat, which also seals in the polish.

    7. Didn’t we tell you fruits were good for your body and sole? Keep those damn banana peels off the floor by using the inner lining of the peel as a shoe polish and cloth. Work at buffing the shoe as you would with a normal cloth.


MAINTENANCE:

  1. Just like in a relationship, we all need a chance to take a breather and have some space from our significant other. So do our shoes (they do come in pairs, don’t they?)--they need time to rest to recover and retain their shape. As much as possible, don’t wear the same pair daily. At most, wear that same pair twice weekly to make them last much longer.

  2. 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.

  3. Although wearing panty hose isn't as popular as it was years back and tights are usually worn as a trend (especially in tropical countries like the Philippines), wearing stockings or sock liners act as a protective barrier between your feet and sweat. The salt in our feet’s sweat weaken the insoles of our precious shoes.

    TIP: To give you more reasons to wear stockings, wearing control hose actually helps prevent varicose veins caused by wearing high heels, standing too long, and repeatedly crossing one's legs when seated.

  4. On the other hand, although salt from our sweat can cause shoe damage, a sprinkling of some table salt and letting it sit overnight can help control moisture and, ultimately, bad odor from your feet!

  5. As you would with your refrigerators, ward off the funky smell from your feet by putting a dash of baking soda into shoes.

QUICK FIXES:

  1. Hate those nasty zippers that get stuck? Here’s a trick: run a lead pencil down the zipper. This’ll help the zip run back and forth smoothly.

  2. Frayed laces can be such a drag when trying to put it through holes! Tip: Dip it in clear nail polish and leave to dry or burn the ends with a lighter or candle to melt the fibers together.

  3. If you need to give your shoes a revamp, simply replace the laces with new ones! Even better, try different colors and/or prints for the feel of a new pair of shoes!

More importantly, as much as you gals are such shoe-a-holics, at the end of the day, priority must be given to your feet. No matter how pretty your strappy stilettos are, they'd only draw attention to your fugly feet, if it's not taken care of.

You’ve got to let your feet walk the talk: if your feet are suffering, then it'd be best to reconsider the long-term results of your shoe choices.

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