Protect your shoes – I always recommend that you protect a new pair of shoes before wearing them, especially if you’re planning on wearing them in wet weather. For leather and suede shoes, there are many very good brands of protective “rain and stain” treatments specific to those materials. For non-leather and fabric shoes, there are fabric-specific spray treatments that offer excellent protection against water and staining. Suede, especially, needs to be treated so that water will not discolor it.
Clean your shoes – I never recommend machine washing shoes. Sure, it might get them clean, but the spin cycle and the dryer can damage the shoe and shorten its life. Instead, there are lots of great products designed to clean and reinvigorate shoes. Leather and suede shoes and boots get a leather or suede cleaning treatment, and fabric or non leather shoes can be cleaned with mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth.
Treat your shoes - Sometimes people complain that their shoes wear out quickly, but most of the time you can keep your shoes healthy by giving them a treatment every so often. For leather shoes, I suggest using a leather lotion or mink oil to keep the leather supple. Suede shoes also should be treated and brushed to ensure the finish is always looking its best. It’s always a good idea to rotate wearing your shoes so that you aren’t wearing the same pair every day, week in and week out, as that also shortens the life.
Give your shoes a home – Not surprisingly, one of the best places to keep your shoes is their box. Keeping your shoes in their box is a good way to keep them clean and safe between wearings. If you’re going to store your shoes for a while (like keeping your warm boots for the summer) it’s a good idea to put the shaping forms back into them to keep them looking their best.
Written By Timothy Lakin, SKECHERS USA