No matter what you do, shoes will only last so long, but taking care of your shoes will help them to last longer than they would otherwise. A good pair of shoes can look and wear well for years if they are properly maintained and repaired. In fact, you may get tired of their style before they ever wear out.
Shoes of high quality do not come cheap, and it is necessary to handle them with care when you take them off. When you come home with dirt or dust on your shoes, wiping them off with a soft cloth is the minimum treatment they should be given. If the dirt is ingrained, or the texture of the shoes requires it, a brush might work better.
Special care should be taken after a walk in the rain. If your shoes get wet, you will need to take precautions to make sure they retain their shape and size. First, do your best with a dry cloth to get the moisture off of and out of the shoes. Then, put newspapers or rust-proof shoe forms in the toes of the shoes to preserve their shape.
Polishing your shoes and removing scuff marks as soon as they happen will help your shoes last longer, too. A special leather cream is available for leather shoes. You simply rub it on and wipe off what remains. It will not only make your leather shoes last longer; it will make them look great too. Scuff marks can be removed using toothpaste. You just put the paste over the blackened scuffed areas of your leather, canvas, or vinyl shoes and rub it on to remove the scuff. When you wipe it off, your shoes should look clean again.
For someone who walks constantly on their job, the upper part of the shoes may still be in great condition while the sole is showing wear. Shoes like this can be taken to a repair shop for resoling. If the heel is worn down, the repairperson will probably offer to put on full soles. These cover both the heel and the main part of the sole. If the heel is still in good condition, you might consider having half soles put on. This repair involves putting a new sole only on the main part of the sole.
If you want to avoid having to have your shoes wear down in the first place, you might think of the advantages of rubber heels and soles. Shoes often come with heel caps that are made of plastic. These heels can be uncomfortable, cause slips, and break easily. By taking your shoes to a shoe repair shop, you can avoid all the problems of plastic heel caps by having rubber ones put on. You may even want to get rubber soles to replace the soles on your leather shoes. This is a matter of preference, as many people will always prefer the leather sole. However, the rubber sole will last longer.
Add weatherproofing, and you will prolong the life of your shoes even further. Weatherproofing may not protect your shoes if you are constantly drenched in precipitation, but for the occasional walk in the rain it should make a big difference. If you do all these things to take care of your shoes, they will be with you for a long time to come.