1. Shoe trees
What are shoe trees, you ask? If you have that question in mind, clearly you’ve been neglecting the necessary maintenance care for your dress shoes. So, do them a favour and go to any reputable shoe store today and get this piece of nifty device available at a price of $20. This device works impeccably with all sizes, thanks to the coiled metal spring stem. But, most importantly, it fills out the shoe thus helping the supple leather keep its form. Try not to skimp on the quality of shoe trees and opt for ones made from hard wood, preferably cedar which helps eliminate detrimental moisture and that offensive odour especially after a long day of walking in your dress shoes.
2. Water repellent
Most dress shoes at the store come readily with a layer of water repellent, or so they claim. But for quality ones that come with a hefty price tag that is usually the case. But, as suspected that layer of protection tends to deplete with each wear. So, be sure to habitually reapply a coat of water repellent to the leather on a regular basis but it all boils down to the frequency of usage. This way those fashion statement on your feet can take a beating from elements such as rain and snow.
3. Clean, Condition, Polish
Here comes the most laborious part of dress shoe care and that too is in fact three simple steps. First, remove the grime off the top of your shoes with leather cleaner. A good one will effectively eliminate all traces of dirt, stains and most importantly, residual built-up polish. Secondly, an equally important step of shoe care is conditioning to replace the leather’s natural oils, keeping it soft. It is crucial to note that this should be done right after a good cleaning, when the leather is still slightly moist. Lastly, proceed on to buffing your shoes. You can use either wax, cream or paste polish but avoid liquids at all cost.
4. Protective soles
For that amount of money you’re shelving out for a good, high quality pair of leather shoes, chances are you’re also paying through your nose for leather soles. For me, personally, it is a pain to see the most vulnerable part –the soles of my favourite pair wear through the elements and with leather soles that pain turns into agony. So, why not add a rubber sole protector to lessen the impact of constant abuse? Stylishly thin, these rubber soles cost about $1 each, truly putting them at the front line of defence for your dress shoes.
5. Avoid heat
It is a huge mistake to dry out leather shoes with direct heat, a sin equivalent to murdering that exquisitely hand crafted piece of leather artistry. Yet, most men have committed such crime. Leather should always dry under natural circumstances. Never, I repeat never, overheat it by placing them near an open fire or stove. This will literally cook the leather, robbing it so intensely of moisture that it turns brittle.
Give your men dress shoe a little pampering once in a while to keep it even more durable and lasting.