5 Tips on Taking Care of Shoes

amazing shoes, shoe repair, fashion tips, fashion lists, shoe care

Shoes like to be storeed in boxes or on shelves.

One of the things I miss most about London (seriously, and I know this is a bit sad) is my shoe repair. Classic Shoe Repair was run by a Cypriot family and they were the best shoe repair in London. How do I know this? Aside from the fact that they always did an amazing job on my shoes, many high end shoe stores in London (Jimmy Choo, Gina, and nearly every single designer brand) trusted them to do their repairs (each time I walked in there I had a shoe heart attack just staring at the huge piles of designer shoe boxes they were working on.) These guys were amazing, and I miss them like crazy. The shoe repair I found in Vancouver (Quick Cobbler) is WAY more expensive than Classic Shoe Repair in London, way slower, and they have screwed up a few of my repairs. On top of that, they always try to put rubber soles on everything I have. That drives me CRAZY!!!! So here are a few tips on taking care of shoes.

amazing shoes, shoe repair, fashion tips, fashion lists, shoe care

Shoes don't like being in big piles.

1. Store your shoes properly. I mean in a box with a shoe tree (particularly with pointy shoes) or in a shelving unit and not in a giant pile next to your front door. I take good care of my shoes, and they last me 20 years (want to see the shoes I bought for grad? They are still in perfect condition.) This is particularly important for your expensive shoes. I’m quite happy to leave my Converse in a pile at my back door, but my expensive shoes deserve to be well taken care of so they last longer.

2. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This is a tip I got from Salvatore Ferragamo (not personally, I wish) and it makes sense. The leather needs to rest between wears. (Note. This does not apply to rubber boots and Converse.)

3. Don’t stick rubber soles onto everything. Everytime I go for a repair in Vancouver, they try and put a rubber Topy sole onto my shoes. I will not deny that these rubber soles are useful for shoes you wear every day (ex. leather boots.) But for very special shoes, even if you do wear them frequently, rubber soles may not work. A good pair of shoes is delicately balanced in a specific way so that it fits properly and supports your foot. What would happen if you decided to add an extra shoulder pad into one of your favourite jackets? A disaster. Same thing happens if you add 3mm of rubber onto the sole of your beautiful shoes. Rubber soles are only good for shoes that you know are going to be worn very, very frequently. And don’t worry, your leather soles will survive if they get wet, just let them dry naturally and don’t wear them two days in a row.

amazing shoes, shoe repair, fashion tips, fashion lists, shoe care

Don't let your heel tips get to this state.

4. Don’t let your heels wear down. My pet peeve! If your heel tip is wearing down, replace it! If not, the whole heel gets ruined! And THAT is a travesty.

5. Protective sprays are usually pointless. I never use them on my shoes. The best protection is not to walk in the mud with your pink silk satin shoes, and not to wear your leather-soled Manolos in lieu of rubber boots. I honestly think those sprays are the equivalent of those extended warranties stores try to sell you: a waste of money.

Image credits: shelved shoes, pile of shoes, heel tip.

  • jessica taft langdon

    love this.

    i hate rubber soles on dress shoes! and in addition to your heels getting ruined once your toplifts wear down, you will make a terrific racket clacking around on the exposed screw (my personal HUGEST pet peeve).

    however, i will disagree with the idea of wearing converses or rubber boots too many days in a row. the shoes will be fine, obviously, but it’s much better for your feet not to wear the exact same thing every day- especially converses, as they have no support! rubber boots aren’t much better, since they don’t breathe…..

    this is why it is important to have at least 2-3 pair of well-made leather shoes, in order to rotate them!

    great post :)

  • Jasper

    are any of those shoes yours? if so.. nice cheetah alexander wangs shoes!! and uggs 😉

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Nope! None of those are mine. Especially not the Uggs.

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  • Heidi

    I am jealous of the shoe renew shop in London!  Thanks for the tips – have a couple of questions.
    When you get new shoes (with leather soles) you don’t get a new sole put on when they are new?  I always thought it helped to keep the shoe in better condition.   So you only replace the soles with similar material to the original material when they are getting worn down?   Thanks!

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

     Yes, I only replace soles with similar material once they have worn down, unless (and that is a BIG unless) they are going to be every day shoes, in which case I’ll put on a rubber sole after I’ve worn them a few times.

  • Jasper

    i thought the sprays were pointless at first too, but i can testify to that now. they saved my suede boots from unexpected snow one day

  • Erinnnnn

    Do you recommend Quick Cobbler? I’ve actually just moved into Vancouver myself and I am hesitant to bring my shoes to anyone who hasn’t been recommended to me. I need some heels replaced on some leather-soled oxfords, but I’m incredibly paranoid.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Yes and no. They aren’t crap, but out of four repairs I have taken there, they screwed up badly on one. And I mean BADLY. Plus, there was no real apology or compensation. They are also overpriced and take way too long to do repairs. But they aren’t all bad. The shoe people at Holts suggest a place at Bentall centre, I haven’t been there yet, but I’d try it first. Try calling a really fancy shoe store and asking them where they send their clients?

  • KPC

    Hi Alexandra, thank you so much for this post! I was actually wondering whether I should bring my Ferragamo shoes to the shop itself for repair, but now I will go to the Classic Shoe Repairs myself! :-)

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Classic is the best!!