How to care for your shoes

Why Caring for Your Shoes is Important

Sargasso and Grey footwear is made using the finest quality leathers and suedes which are soft and subtle, to offer the greatest level of comfort. With care, your shoes should last a long time and we hope they will become your timeless, classic, go-to shoes. There are many factors that can affect the longevity of your shoes, and the more care you put into them, the longer wear you will get out of them. Here are a few tips to help preserve your shoes for years to come.

 wide fitting lace up occasion shoes in black suede

Before we get into shoe care we must advise on foot care, ensuring the shoes are the correct fit for your feet. We advise you to wear the shoes at home for at least an hour a day before wearing them to your desired occasion. This allows the shoe to break in softly. You should know by wearing the shoes for an hour or so whether they fit well, or not. Materials such as suede will soften quicker than leather so try wearing the shoes for an hour a day over the course of a few days. Suede and leather will give with wear, but if you find your toes are cramped or your feet are pinched we would suggest returning them for a half size bigger. Until you decide whether you are keeping the shoes, it is crucial to ensure you only wear them on a carpeted surface to prevent the leather soles from being scratched or marked. For hygiene reasons, please also wear tights or pop socks. Once you have decided you are keeping the shoes you can dance around the house in them to your heart’s content!

 picture of new shoes unboxed on coffee table

Step One: Prevent

Investing in a good quality shoe protector is one of the best preventative measures to avoid your shoes getting damaged. It is worth buying sprays specific to the material of the shoe, however there are many options which can be used on most materials, if you’d rather only purchase one. The Kiwi shoe protector is a great versatile option with easy accessibility as it can be found for 10% off (code: START10) at shoestringuk and in various grocery stores. Spray your shoes all over with a protector before use, and repeat these steps after every ten wears, or more if the shoes are regularly worn in wet weather. 

 kiwi shoe protector

Step Two: The First Wear

Try to wear your shoes on a dry day for their first venture. Most of our wide fitting shoes have premium leather soles, which are particularly vulnerable to wet weather. Extremely wet conditions can cause leather deterioration since it is a porous material, so it is best to avoid or minimise wearing your shoes in this weather when possible. They are also very slippery when new, so by wearing your shoes on dry ground (such as gravel or concrete pavements), the shoes are coated in a natural primer which adds a protective grip. Regardless, please ensure to take care when wearing the shoes on smooth surfaces and in wet conditions. Of course, it is not always possible or practical to avoid wet conditions so, if faced with the issue, it is best to let them dry naturally with some newspaper stuffed inside them. This aftercare is important because heat will damage leather and can affect the shape of the shoes, in some cases even the fit and the colour.  Many of our customers choose to take their shoes to a cobbler to apply half rubber soles before wearing them for the first time. Whilst this isn’t necessary from a wear and tear perspective, it is practical if the shoes are going to be worn regularly in wet conditions. Half rubber soles can always be applied at a later date or when the leather soles start to tire. 

 wide fit dress shoes for women pictured on model in a car

Step Three: Aftercare

After you have worn your shoes for a day, it is best to leave them to stand in a dry place. Wearing the same shoes everyday traps moisture within your shoes. This can reduce the lifespan of your shoes significantly, as moisture is responsible for causing shoes to smell. It can also inhibit the hold of the shoes causing them to lose shape. Allowing your shoes to rest between wears is important to keep them fresher for longer, and so you are able to get more wear out of them. Use the cotton shoe bag provided to house your shoes when you are not wearing them.

 wide fitting court shoes in black suede with a block heel

Wooden shoe trees are highly recommended for retaining the shape of your shoes. Great to use during the shoes’ rest period, they aid by absorbing moisture. These are great for preventing creases from forming in materials such as leather and suede also. It is not necessary to purchase some for every pair of shoes, as these can be rotated amongst your shoes and used on the shoes that were last worn. 

wooden shoe trees for maintaining the shape of quality wide fitting shoes Wooden shoe trees are the best way to maintain the shape of your shoes for longer!

Step Four: Maintenance

Maintaining your shoes by polishing and brushing them is a vital part of long-lasting footwear. Leather shoes require frequent polishing to prevent the material from becoming dry and cracked. A high quality wax polish will ensure that the leather is nourished and protected. Suede shoes require regular brushing and should be topped up with a water repellant after doing so. 

The lifespan of your shoes is greatly impacted by how often you are wearing them. It is common for shoes such as work shoes to become worn quickly as they are worn so often. On these occasions, it may be required to have the shoes mended more often or sooner by a cobbler- particularly refitting the sole of the shoes. This is the case with any pair of shoes that are crafted with premium materials like leather and suede. On the other hand, if you are purchasing a pair of shoes desired for special occasions, the shoes tend to last for a lot longer (when worn with care) as they are commonly worn for shorter lengths of time and less often. Occasion shoes are more delicate however, and require extra care and mindfulness when worn due to their fragile composition. Treat your beautiful shoes like you would a silk dress!

wide fitting sparkly mules for women 

Following this guide of tips and tricks, we hope you are able to love your shoes for longer!