Monday, August 12, 2013

Shoe Maintenance 101

Church's Long Wing Brogue
When it comes to having great style there are few things more important than maintaining the condition of your shoes. A quality pair of shoes should last you an entire life-time (Crockett & Jones, Alden, Church's); however, the key to keeping them in pristine condition is taking care of them appropriately. In the past, I have shared with you the attributes and qualities of a quality crafted pair of shoes: exquisitely tanned leather (vegetable dyes preferred), bench-made and Goodyear welted. 
Owning shoes with these attributes give you a significant advantage in the style game, but to ensure that you maintain your advantage over time you need to employee these eight conditioning tips. (1) Invest in your foot's comfort by buying shoes that feel great and feel even greater over time. A good quality pair of shoes will always feel better as they conform to the contours of your feet the more you wear them. That is why its important that the leather be of a high-quality and the sole filler provides support and comfort to the soles of your feet.
Crockett & Jones Long Wing Brogue
(2) Its also important to invest in shoes made of quality leathers that have a history of endurance such as cordovan. Most people think that cordovan refers to a color (burgundy) of a shoe; however, cordovan is actually a leather that comes from the hind part of a horse. It a tough leather that requires a lot of tooling; however, it results in one of the most enduring leather known to shoemakers and wearers alike. Alden is one of the best brands making cordovans shoes, they have been making them for more than a hundred years.

(3) Make sure your shoes fit properly by selecting the right shoe size and width. High-quality shoes come in an array of different lengths and widths from 7 AAA (really small and narrow) to 13+ EEE (really big and wide). Before buying your shoes have the salesperson measure your feet separately, and whatever you do don't think you can compensate for a tight fit by going up in size, the length of a shoe has nothing to do with its width. (4) Try to have more  than one pair of shoes so that you can rotate them to give them appropriate time to breath and air out. If you don't have a wide selection of shoes, I suggest that you have at least the basic three colors in your rotation black, tan and burgundy.

Alden Half Brogue
 (5) After a day's wear of your shoes you should always place cider shoe trees in them to soak up the moisture and aerate the interior, however, make sure to use the wooden ones because the plastic kind doesn't aid the long-term care of your shoes. (6) When considering the maintenance of your shoe leather avoid using polishes, instead use waxes but use them sparingly, actually you're better off leaving it to the professionals to shine your shoes because they understand the importance of a gentle touch. (7) When putting your shoes on apply the use of a shoe horn just at the back of the hill, this prevents excessive wear and tear on the back rim of the shoes. (8) Have your shoes refurbished by the manufacture when it is needed, the whole benefit of buying shoes of this quality is not to have to do so over and over again. At most you should get two life-cycles out of the shoes.

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