Posted by:
Susan Johnston

Susan Johnston

December 22, 2014

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How to Care for Your Shoes

Whether you wear professional-looking pumps or pretty ballet flats, shoes account for a major portion of your fashion budget. And unfortunately, the level of couture often seems directly correlated to a lack of comfort. Those adorable strappy sandals or pointy-toed boots that looked so enticing from the store window can do a number on your feet (not to mention your bank account).

Oh, the things we women do in the name of fashion!

Whatever your taste in footwear, WORKS has some tips help you improve the comfort and prolong the life of your favorite shoes.

Keep them in rotation. If you wear those sexy slingbacks on Monday, try to wait until Thursday or Friday to wear them again. Giving your shoes a few days between wearings will allow them to maintain their shape and air out. Plus, it gives you an excuse to show off the rest of your collection.

Stop unsavory smells. One option for sandals is to use Summer Soles. These self-adhesive removable sandal liners absorb odors. The Fragrant Footings from Summer Soles even release sweet-smelling essential oils like mint or jasmine. In between wearings, you can use a cedar-scented shoe tree to absorb moisture and retain the shape, or stuff your shoes with dryer sheets to counteract smells. This is especially important if you live in a humid climate, because you don’t want moisture to turn into mold.

Use proper storage. The best way to store your shoes is on a shoe tree or in their original box. The box gives them a dry (but not airtight) environment. That little crystal packet that comes in the shoe box will absorb moisture between wearings. You can use folded up magazines or a shoe shaper to help knee boots retain their shape. And use a shoe bag or box when you’re packing shoes for a trip.

Make adjustments. Uncomfortable shoes are no fun, but they can also wear out sooner if you’re dragging your feet on the ground or otherwise compensating for a poor fit. You can convert backless shoes with a stylish little strap called a muleo, which makes your shoes more versatile and easier to walk in. And if you’re in love with a pair of leopard-print pumps, but the only pair left is a size too small, buy them and then take them to a shoe-repair shop and have them stretched (the added comfort is worth the extra cost). Shoe-repair shops can also resole favorite shoes for longer wear, which, in our book, is definitely a reason to splurge!