The weather out there is frightful…

By:  Dorian Howard – Shoe Aficionado

Contributor’s website:  Milk and Honey Shoes

While we don’t have to deal with snow and ice and slush like our east coast counterparts, the winter months are still rough on your shoes. We’re so used to “70 and sunny” that a bit of rain or mud can cause chaos – not just on the 405 but also to your footwear.

Well made shoes can last for years as long as you take good care of them. And nothing ruins a pair of shoes faster than moisture. Here are some suggestions, to ensure your shoes stay great over the next few months.

1) Keep them clean — When you get inside your house, take a moist paper towel and blot away any mud or dirt to avoid staining. You can just use plain water, but some mild dish soap works well also.

2) Keep them dry — If you’ve splashed through a puddle, or – the horror! – waited too long at the valet line, you are going to need to dry off your shoes. No need to break out the hairdryer, just stuff your shoes with dry paper towels to absorb any water. Be sure not to put your shoes near a furnace or heater to dry – the intense heat will shrink the leather and will cause cracking in the bonding material.

3) Don’t squish them — While you can mash your running shoes in the bottom of your suitcase, your fine shoes need to be treated a bit more delicately to maintain their shape and increase their longevity. Put a pair of socks in the toe to keep their integrity and slip your shoes into a dustbag. At the very least, wrap them in a sweatshirt.

4) Resole! – Nothing will do more damage to a shoe than dragging them consistently across cement/ pavement. You can learn a lot about your body mechanics by studying the wear and tear on the heels of your shoes. By getting your shoes resoled you protect the shoe from irreparable damage (I’ve been known to walk through my soles and begin to wear away at the leather) as well as maintain better posture by keeping the bottom of your shoes in tip top shape. If you’re a serious foot-dragger, then definitely investigate getting taps put on the bottom of your shoes.

And if all else fails, take your shoes to the cobbler for a tune-up. They will shine, waterproof, reshape and resole. There are great cobblers all over Los Angeles, but the best, without a doubt, is Andre’s #1 Shoe Design (7914 W. Sunset Blvd). Their cobblers are skilled, their prices fair and their work is unparalleled.

The better care you take of your shoes, the better care your shoes will take care of you (and your wallet!).

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Contributor’s website:  Milk and Honey Shoes

Image Credits:  1-UCLA staff photographer, 2-watersplogsandals.com, 3-prettyfearless.com, 4-helloblackbird.com

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