Caring for Your Investment Footwear

This past winter I decided to treat myself to a long-standing item on my Wardrobe Bucket List, a classic pair of Gucci horse-bit loafers.  When our Northeast Ohio snow finally melted I was eager…perhaps too eager…to start wearing them.  Worn twice, this is what they now look like:

Top View – Fine
Soles – Yikes!

My thoughts turned to proper protection for investment footwear.  Clearly I needed a refresher course.  Luckily it is not to late to get these beauties protected!

  • Waterproofing.  Living in NE Ohio where we get an abundant supply of wet weather, this is the first step I take with any new pair of shoes.  Cover the entire shoe (soles included and with special attention on the seams) twice prior to first wear.  Refresh at the start of each wearing season for as long as you keep the shoe and apply a mid-season coat if it has been particularly wet or slushy.  Periodic application of a leather conditioner is also a good idea.
  • Protection.  A good shoe repair company will be able to add color-matched rubber soles and heel/toe caps that will extend the life of your investment.  Do your homework and find someone reputable.  Yelp often has useful reviews.
  • Wear.  With closed-toe shoes it’s a good idea to wear some sort of ped or footie.  In wet climates, get a nice pair of Hunter wellies and wear them while in transit, slipping on your good shoes once at your event.  When traveling, pack and store them in their dust bag.
  • Storage.  Make sure shoes are completely dry before you store them. Rolled up brown paper inside the shoe while they dry will help retain the shape.  Before storing wipe the exterior with a soft cloth to remove dust.  Keep on top of any scuffs or damaged heels by taking them to your local shoe repair before they get too bad.  Use shoe trees or keep them lightly stuffed while not being worn so they will hold their shape.  Much like furniture or artwork, UV light is not a friend to fine footwear so keep them in your closet where they won’t be exposed to light.  If your shoes came with a dust bag, use it! 

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