Great dress shoes are a significant investment. Premium quality comes at a commensurately premium price, but you do expect to make that cost back from them lasting year after year. However, footwear inevitably goes through a lot of punishment just from being worn. This results in cumulative damage that can greatly reduce their lifespan.
Like all investments, it’s important to take care of your custom dress shoes so that you can use them for longer. In the long run, doing so will cost less than constantly buying new pairs to replace the ones that have become worn out. Fortunately, all you need to do is put aside a little bit of time to keep them looking presentable. Here are a few tips:
Consider the weather
Custom dress shoes are made out of a variety of materials, and not all of them are waterproof. Even leather, despite possessing a certain degree of resistance to water, cannot be considered completely waterproof. When you choose to have your custom dress shoes crafted in fabric or suede, they won’t stay dry in the rain—and neither will your feet.
It only makes sense, therefore, to choose your shoes according to what it’s like outside. Not only will this keep you from enduring wet socks, it’ll help prevent the shoes from premature ruin. Having said that, you probably also don’t want to put your custom dress shoes through more abuse than they can stand. There’s no real sense in wearing them out to play sports or to go running in them. It would be supremely uncomfortable to do so, and you’ll wear your shoes out faster.
Waterproof your shoes
Water is your shoes’ greatest enemy, no matter what material they’re made out of. Leather has a tendency to react adversely to rain, as it allows salts to penetrate and create permanent staining. Excess moisture can also cause leather to crack and peel. Meanwhile, suede is a type of leather that is softer, thinner, and more pliable, making it even less water-repellent and durable.
All of our shoes here at Idrese are given a waterproof coating during production, whether it’s a pair of custom dress shoes or our custom sneakers. However, this coating will inevitably wear off over a couple of months of regular use. We therefore highly recommend making a habit of waterproofing your shoes to prevent water damage and maintain their appearance.
You can find plenty of waterproofing waxes and sprays for sale online, or at your local shoe purveyor. If you live somewhere that doesn’t experience much rain during the year, you can get away with waterproofing your shoes at least once a month. In places where it rains frequently, doing so weekly would be best.
Clean them up regularly
It’s generally a good idea to try and keep your shoes clean while you’re out, but that isn’t always possible. That’s why dress shoe aficionados agree that caring for your footwear should start the moment you walk in the door.
Using a horsehair brush on leather, or a suede brush on suede, you can carefully clean off your shoes when you take them off. This keeps any loose dirt and debris from settling into the materials and helps prevent staining.
Water stains and scuffs can easily be rubbed off of leather using a damp, soft cloth. For suede dress shoes, use a microfiber cloth dipped in white vinegar, and make sure to only dampen the spot, not soak it. Make sure the shoes are dry before applying a conditioning product. After that, you can apply a shoe polish for your leather dress shoes to give them that slick sheen.
Protect them from creases
Nothing ruins the appearance of a great dress shoe more than creases. You can, however, prevent them from happening with a couple of accessories.
Using a shoe horn doesn’t just help you get your stiffer pieces of footwear on more easily, they also protect your shoes’ heels and prevent creasing and bending at the back. Investing in high-quality cedar shoe trees will also help them maintain their shape and reduce creasing. Cedar is the superlative choice when it comes to shoe trees, as they naturally absorb moisture and odors. They’re naturally insect repellent, too.
Store them well
Doing your level best to clean, condition, and protect your custom dress shoes is meaningless if you don’t store them properly. Leaving them out in the open allows dust to accumulate on the surface, which can permeate into the materials over time.
Prevent dust stains and degradation by storing your precious leather dress shoes in a fabric dust bag when you aren’t wearing them. This allows them to breathe while remaining covered from dust and sunlight. For suede dress shoes, keep them in the open air, but away from sunlight.
These tips should go a long way towards protecting your dress shoe investment. To design your own custom dress shoes, visit our online portal now.