From the looks of it, how old would you say the shoes in the picture are above? 2 years? 5 years? Well, how about 22! It’s true, the shoes in this picture are 20+ years old and still look just as good as the first time that they were worn.
How can you capitalize on your investment and make a good pair of shoes look great and last for over 20 years?
Here are some tips from our industry insiders for you on how to make your shoes last:
Tip 1: Buy a quality, well-made shoe to start with.
A good quality dress shoe will have a 360-degree good year welt construction without a steel shank in the sole. The good year welt is what sews the upper, footbed, and sole together. This type of construction is typically found on higher-priced shoes, but overall it is superior to a glued construction.
As long as you take care of the leather uppers on your shoes, this will allow you to re-sole the shoes many times as needed and promote the longevity of your pair.
When buying a new pair of shoes, look for the omission of a steel shank. The omission of the steel shank is what will provide flexibility and comfort for you. Some examples of well-made shoes with a Goodyear Welt construction would be Scarpe DiBianco (sold at Jaxson Maximus), Allen Edmonds, Churches, or Santoni.
Tip 2: Go from drab to fab by conditioning and polishing your shoes regularly
We recommend conditioning your shoes at least three times a year, followed by polishing after the conditioner. In addition to a full-on polish, we recommend lightly polishing your shoes after a minimum of three wearings.
Shoe polish is mostly made from carnauba wax, which keeps the leather of your shoes soft and supple. Conditioning three times a year and regularly polishing after three wearings nourishes the leather of your shoes, so they stand the test of time.
See video on a step by step guide to polishing and conditioning your shoes: https://youtu.be/lnfFM_rPb4s
Tip 3: Edge your dress shoes with black or brown dye.
This will keep the edges of the soles looking showroom new and fresh.
Tip 4: Buy a pair of full cedar shoe trees to keep in your shoes while not in use.
Cedarwood naturally draws moisture away from the shoe, helps prevent foot odor, and keeps the shoes original shape.
Tip 5: Maintain a proper rotation of shoes in your wardrobe.
By rotating out which shoes you wear on a daily basis, this will allow your shoes to rest and bounce back into shape between wearings. If you are wearing tailored clothing regularly, we recommend at least six pairs of dress shoes.
A solid rotation would consist of a black, dark brown and medium lace-up dress shoe for suits and the same colors in a loafer for sport coats and dress pants.
This rotation will provide many years of use and allow you to capitalize on your footwear investment.