I find myself thinking the same thing every time the seasons change from summer to fall: should I buy new shoes? Do I need them, or can I wear what I had last year? Of course, I typically prefer to buy a new pair (or two). I love the shiny, polished look, specifically of a new pair of boots. However, it isn’t always the most feasible option. Because of this, I’ve found myself taking better care of the shoes I do have, so I can save myself money.
It’s simple, really. To keep your boots (I’m specifically referring to dressy/casual boots, likely with a heel) clean and cold-weather ready, all you need are a few tools.
I’m a big fan of Steve Madden boots, with a high heel that are nice enough to wear to work, but comfortable enough to wear with a nice pair of jeans on the weekend. In order to keep these nice and shiny, I use two different products: Kiwi Select Polished Leather Express Shine Sponge (clear), and either black or brown Kiwi shoe polish. The Kiwi Shine Sponge keeps your boots shiny and clean, and is best used once every few weeks, or whenever you desire a quick shine. It takes little effort, and costs less than $5.
If you notice the color of your boots changing, then it’s time to use the polish. All you need is an old cloth and the polish (which typically runs from $3-$5), and you’re ready to shine! I apply a small amount to the cloth, and then rub the cloth in a circular motion all over the boot. Eventually, you will see the color blend in, and your boot will begin developing a nice, shiny exterior. It’s only necessary to do this once per month or so, unless you wear your boots daily. It’s best to make sure you wipe off your boots with a damp cloth first, to remove the dirt and ensure that you get the best result. Note: do not use the polish or the sponge on suede or fabric boots.
I’ve also learned that your boots can keep their shape when stored during the warmer months, by using a simple trick: put a wine or pop bottle in each boot in order to avoid creases during storage, especially if you have boots that come to the mid-calf or knee. Make sure you aren’t stretching your boot with the bottle you select, as that will cause your boot to crack or crease, and won’t make it ready-to- wear when the time comes.
By using these easy tips, your boots should keep both their shine and their shape enough to last you a few seasons. It’s best to buy a boot that is comfortable and of good quality, so that you can use your shoes as long as possible. Styles come and go, but a nice pair of black or brown boots that keep their shape and shiny exterior are never a bad choice, especially if you can save money. After all, you might need it when you find yourself eying a new pair of high heels!