Summer shoe style that will cost less than a pedicureNovember 07, 2016
A change of season means packing unused winter garments away and shaking out a wardrobe that's not seen the light of day for months. It ...
A change of season means packing unused winter garments away and shaking out a wardrobe that's not seen the light of day for months. It can also means dragging out mouldy, smelly shoes that have sat unused for the better part of six months.
While clothing can be hung or folded away and made fresh again with a cycle through the washing machine and a good airing on your clothesline, leather shoes and sandals need a little more care both in the storing of them and readying them for wear.
BRUSH DOWNFor boots, use a soft brush, something like a regular bannister brush (the one that comes with a pan for scooping stuff off the floor), and brush the upper part of the boot and the sole. Try and get rid of any mud, stones or other bits of goop stuck in the sole's tread - if your boots have a tread.
CONDITIONOnce your boots are clear of muck, using a soft cloth (I use an old odd sock) rub over a leather conditioner with a mould retardant. This will help keep your boots supple and stop nasty mould spores spreading over boots that will be languishing at the bottom of your cupboard while you enjoy bare feet, hot sand and the occasional bindi-eye.
KEEP THE SHAPEScrunch up balls of newspaper and gently, and loosely, use them to fill your boots. Don't pack the newspaper in. It can be loose but firm enough to hold your boots in shape. Padding your boots out like this helps them stand up straight in your cupboard rather than folding over themselves. The paper will also help your boots remain aired and dry.
STAY DRYFinally, and especially if you live in places that enjoy a humid summer, add a tub of moisture-absorbing beads or flakes. It'll be a gunky, wet mess by the end of summer, but your precious boots will be mould-free and dry.
It's much the same when you retrieve your summer shoes and sandals to wear them. A little bit of attention at the start of the season can go a long way.
CHECK THE HEELTake a moment to check over the heels and take any that have begun to flake away or split to a shoe repairer. Plastic heels, especially stiletto heels, wear and become brittle very quickly.
SPIT AND POLISHLike your winter boots or lace-ups, summer shoes can do with a polish before you start wearing them again. Shoe polish helps protect shoes from the elements and softens them for comfort.
STRETCH IT OUTIf you find your shoes have become a little snug without wear, run a damp cloth over the inside, and out, and use tightly packed, scrunched up newspaper to stretch them out. Leave them packed overnight, check their fit and repeat adding a little more packed newspaper. Leather conditioner and wear will also help. Rub in leather conditioner and walk them in a bit. They'll soften and adjust to your foot in no time.
A little time and effort will pay off, trust me. I've restored plenty of shoes found in op shops using these methods, and have kept shoes, boots and sandals looking as-new for years.