Shoes protect and shield our feet whenever we are on our feet in the outdoors. We wear our shoes when we go out for walks, strolls, hiking or running. However, in most cases, we do not take the effort to put in the little effort it takes to care for our shoes. A little effort in doing so can help extend the working life of our shoes a long way. The following are a couple of steps that you can take to care for your shoes.
One sure way of caring for your shoes is to keep them clean. Whenever your shoes get dirty (e.g. you get caught in the rain or you've just finished a good round of golf), the dirt will eat into the protective layer of your shoes. This causes coloration and hastens the wear and tear in your shoes. As such, after each use, if your shoes are dirty, give it a good clean before you store it away. Also, in most cases, cleaning it right after use takes much less effort that cleaning a pair of shoes that has already got dirt set on it for a long time.
Besides cleaning your shoes regularly, you can also take preventive maintenance. For example, you can apply a good layer of water resistant protective 'cream' and stain remover before first use. This normally extends the life span of the factory applied protective layer of your shoes. For leather shoes, apply protective material like polish and saddle soap regularly to nourish the leather and keep its shine. This also helps to keep the color consistent. Another method of preventive maintenance is to use foot spray deodorants in your shoes. Foot sprays protect your shoes from bad odour.
You should also wear socks whenever possible while you are wearing your shoes. This is especially so if your feet sweat easily. Socks help to absorb the sweat and prevent sweat salt layers from form in your shoes. However, try not to wear the socks for too longer periods without washing. Ideally you should send your socks to laundry after every use.
The next thing to do is to take notice of the wear at the tips and soles of your shoes. If you actively use your shoes and wear is fast, you should consider applying reinforcements (e.g. changing the bottom layer of the sole) before the wear eats into the main body of sole. Also, if you drive regularly and find that the wear in your shoes are constantly made worse by the friction applied on your shoes while driving, you can consider keeping a cheap 'for driving only' pair of shoes in your car.
Finally, you also need to take steps to protect your shoes when you are not using them while you are at home. As most people have multiple pairs of shoes, most of their shoes are kept in the shoe rack waiting the shoes' next use. These shoes should be kept in boxes to prevent dust collection and prevent them from ending up being chewed your pets. The boxes also protect the shoes from getting crushed if you have limited space at home and keep all of your shoes lumped together in a closet.
Also, before putting your shoes into boxes, you should also use shoe trees to protect the form of you shoes. Shoe trees maintain the original shape of your shoes and prevent them from being crushed. You can easily get this accessory from shoe stores nowadays. In fact, some shoes come with trees right from the factory.
As you can see, the above suggestions are very easy to follow and you may even find that you are already doing so. Remember that a little effort goes a long way in protecting the life span of your shoes.