These are some top tips for choosing and caring for your shoes:
1. The Style
Make sure the shape and fit of the shoe is correct for your feet. Choose a branded shoe that you are comfortable with.
2. The Fit
Ever been told 'Your shoe's will stretch', if they are too tight when you try them on, or alternatively 'Try an insole to make them smaller'? Don't buy them. The fit is not correct and will never be comfortable for you. A good pair of shoes should fit and feel like slippers from the moment you step into them.
3. Shoe Trees
One pair of wooden shoe trees will be enough to absorb the perspiration from leather shoes with one day's use. You can then swap these over for plastic or metal shoe trees to help the shoes retain their shape.
To keep leather supple ideally you should use a beeswax polish. It penetrates deep into the leather and if you put it on and leave overnight and polish up in the morning with a cloth or brush the results will speak for themselves.
5. Wear new shoes at home first
How many times have you worn new shoes to a function and suffered at the end of the night? Look after your feet, be gentle, break in a new pair of shoes or boots by wearing around the house for a few hours over the weekend. This will soften up the construction, and you will benefit from a more comfortable fit.
6. Grit your shoes
Do your shoes have leather soles? Make them last longer by wearing on a dry day to allow a layer of grit to build up. This will protect your leather and stop it from rain damage and make your soles last longer. .
7. Rotation of Shoes
You must own more than one pair of shoes. Change them daily, just like your underwear, and allow them to breath and dry out. Best moto, wear on day 1, dry out with wooden shoe trees on day 2, leave to rest on day 3, and then they will be ready to go again.
8. Wet weather
Never be tempted to put your shoes in the airing cupboard on on a radiator to dry out. This will cause the leather to crack. Stuff with paper and allow them to dry out naturally. Remember if they are caked in mud, remove as much as possible to allow them to dry quicker, brush the residue off when dry and then polish with beeswax.
9. Are they leather?
Many modern shoes are made of manmade materials that look like leather but are plastic. Check the symbols on your shoes closely as they are very similar. Remember a good quality leather shoe will allow your feet to breath, manmade materials will not (unless of course supplied with air holes!).