How To Make Your Shoes Last

If it seems like you're constantly replacing one pair of shoes with another, here are some tips to make them last.

Buying new shoes can be time-consuming and expensive. In our disposable-oriented society, we tend to throw things away at the first sign of wear and rush out to buy a replacement.

If you want to hold on to your shoes and make them last, here are some care guidelines to help preserve their life and wear.

1. Shop for quality footwear. Rather than buy any old shoes at the discount store, get your feet measured accurately at a shoe department or shoe store. Try on several pair until the fit feels right. Pay the price it takes to keep your feet well-shod and healthy. Wearing poor quality footwear over long periods of time means that they will likely wear out quickly and require frequent replacement. Instead, select a good pair of shoes that will last a decent amount of time.


2. Wear them for the right occasion. Don't wear athletic shoes to church and dress shoes to a sports competition. While this may sound like an obvious conclusion, kids who are goofing off or older folks who get in a hurry may carelessly slip into the wrong shoes for the wrong occasion. The result is that your footwear will encounter situations such as wearing conditions, environment, and usage for which it was not intended. Keep your shoes separated into areas of your closet or home where you can quickly find the right pair for your destination that day.

3. Make sure they fit properly. Don't buy shoes that are too big or too small, or they will feel uncomfortable and probably lead you to buy a new pair too quickly. Don't turn your shoes on the side as you stand or walk, or the heels will become run down and sloppy, resulting in the need to make another purchase. Buy shoes that will fit with your intended leg coverings, from stockings to knit socks, to avoid blisters or rubbing that may result in the need to go shoe shopping again soon.

4. Treat your shoes well. Avoid kicking them into concrete walkways, scuffing as you walk, twisting the toe area under while you sit, or slipping them on and off your foot while waiting for something. Any of these actions may damage your shoes and force you to head to the store once more in pursuit of the elusive right fit. Don't throw them in a heap, toss them against the wall, or leave them out in the rain. Avoid cleaning them in the washer or using harsh chemicals until you know what is acceptable for the material from which they're made.

5. Store them properly. Clean and oil your boots at the end of winter, then place them in an open-air environment, perhaps stuffed with newspaper to hold their shape. Clean and polish your dress shoes, and keep them in a dust-free storage area until you need them. Wash shoe laces or replace them as needed. Dress shoes, especially those made of satin or lace, may need to be stored in airtight containers.

Like anything else in your wardrobe, shoes need to be selected, cleaned, worn, and stored properly. Avoid careless treatment of your footwear, and it should last a long time to ensure you get your money's worth and avoid damage to your feet.

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