Buying designer shoes is an investment to your wardrobe that is more than just having the perfect accent to any outfit. It is also a property investment that in the future could have high resale value. That is, if you are smart about protecting and preserving your investment through some simple steps. There is a difference between trying to refurbish your designer shoes that may have signs of wear, and then protecting your new shoes to keep them in mint condition. If you have just taken the leap into the wonderful world of luxury designer shoes and want to preserve those beauties in all of their glory, follow these tips to ensure that your shoes stay clean and new.
1. It All Starts With Storage
The moment you make that adrenaline-rushing purchase of your first pair of Valentino’s or Steve Maddens don’t get too excited and wear them right out of the store, skipping the box and the bag and throwing your old shoes in the garbage. Most high-end designer shoes come packaged beautifully in a dust bag and sturdy box, both of which will be handy to you in the long term. Storing your shoes in their original box or a subsequent box that the shoes fit into comfortably, and where the lid fits on properly with no potential for them to get misshapen. A proper storage process will keep the shoes in their most pristine condition, away from dust, mites, dirt or any other factors that may affect their appearance.
2. Invest In A Shoe Protectant, Cleaning And Conditioning Kit
Your gorgeous new shoes will often be made from genuine leather or suede or other materials that are precious and need to be treated with love and kindness in order to keep them looking shiny and new. Depending on the type of material your shoe is made of, you can start by using a protectant leather polish, and a weather-proofing spray that will safeguard the material from being affected by the elements. This is especially important for any suede shoes, whose appearance can become severely altered with rain and is highly susceptible to stains. Leather conditioners are essential to keep your leather from drying out, and just a dab of petroleum jelly is all you need to keep your patent leather heels shining bright.
3. Clean After Every Use
It may sound a little extra, but cleaning your shoes after every wear is the key to making certain the shoes maintain their longevity. But cleaning your shoes after every wear does not have to be a long and arduous process. Purchase some baby wipes as a quick and handy way to wipe your shoes clean when you get home, before putting them away in their proper boxes. Be sure that the wipes you use are chlorine and alcohol free, so not to damage the materials or the dye. Quickly pass a wipe along the whole inside and outside, concentrating on any area where there is dirt build-up and then finish by wiping the soles. The more often you clean your shoes, the less likely the chance of discoloration occurring, which can be very difficult to remove. If the wipes leave excess moisture, remove with a paper towel before putting away. Remember, suede is a very particular fabric and may require special cleaning products.
4. Install Rubber Soles
How heartbreaking would it feel to put on your brand new Louboutins, strut around town like the rockstar that you are and then come home only to discover that those gorgeous red soles have been scuffed by a rock, and you lost some of that velvety smooth red color. Avoid all of this nightmare by first and foremost taking your new heels to the cobbler and having rubber sole protectors installed on the bottom of your shoes. Not only will you preserve the beautiful colors of your new luxury heels, but you will add a bit more grip to your shoe giving it some extra walkability and durability.
5. Protect The Shape By Stuffing Your Shoes
Over time, shoes will begin to lose their shape and structure with wear. Find some soft yet sturdy material to mold and stuff into your shoes when you put them away for storage. By forcing the shoes to hold their shape, even not when in use, the material stays tight, and will prevent wrinkling of the fabric, discoloration or any warping effect that can occur when a shoe is being stored for a long period of time. This is especially important with any sort of boot, be it leather, suede or patent material. A high-end designer boot can cost a small fortune and the last thing you want is a dark and discolored crease in the fabric from not properly storing or stuffing your boots.
6. Travel With Protection
You may have an organized and proper storage and cleaning system at home, but don’t let travel trip you up when you go on vacation with your designer shoes. That handy little dust bag that they give you upon purchase is a great travel companion when you can’t bring a box to keep your shoes in. A dust bag will help keep them clean and out of harm’s way while you are lugging your suitcase around hotels and airports. Remember to bring a pack of those handy wipes to give your shoes a little cleaning after wearing and you will be good to go!
7. Find A Good Cobbler
If your car starts to look dirty and dingy, you take it to a car wash and have a professional wash and polish the outside, vacuum and detail the inside and you get it back looking extra sharp. The same should be done for your shoes. A cobbler is a professional in the shoe mending and making business. They understand how to take care and repair your shoes to ensure their longevity. Bringing a gorgeous pair of authentic leather designer shoes to a cobbler is putting your investment into the hands of someone who really understands its worth. Find a highly recommended cobbler in your area and invest in giving your shoes a deep cleaning once a season. Like a little pick me up, they can help with any scuffs, stains or issues that might have occurred and truly are the real stars in helping you maintain the clean and “like new” appearance of your designer shoe investment.