Mary W. Omondi sent us great tips on the role you play as a shoe owner, on Facebook. This is what she had to say:
Shoe maintenance is all about me/ the wearer. Do you wear those Bata sandals when fetching firewood? Do you wear canvas or your school Toughees to the river? Do you wear your pumps while walking long distances or during field work or soak the canvas shoes in Jik water/ or water used to clean clothes? That is how they only last a month or less…
How to take care of your shoes
The first, easiest and most important thing you can do for your shoes is putting them on shoe trees when you are not wearing them. This helps the shoes expel moisture (sweat, rain water, etc.) and fend off creasing by holding the shoes’ shape.
Shoe horns help preserve the shape of the counter and quarter (the parts that often go around your heel) and can be acquired at affordable prices.
Another simple and easy thing you can do is wipe your shoes down after every use with a towel or brush. It will help keep them free of dust and dirt and can help take out minor stains and scuffs. Additionally, on leather shoes this can help maintain the shine of the leather.
If your shoes are made of leather they will, from time to time, need more than just a simple wipe down. Leather needs to be conditioned, moisturized and polished to help prolong its life. You can do this yourself, or you can have someone do it for you. Patent leather and suede do not need to be polished.
Suede cannot be polished or wiped down. Instead, brush it off using a stiff bristled brush. Suede can also be protected and cleaned more thoroughly using certain solutions when needed.
Do no drive in your heels! Simple. The stress that driving in high heels puts on the heel is terrible for your shoes. I also cannot imagine that it is comfortable in the least.
That closet floor looks so good with all of your shoes strewn about. But it looks so much better when they are organized. A simple shoe rack will help keep your shoes more organized and protect them from unnecessary abuse. Alternatively, you could store them in shoe bags or shoe boxes.
Shoe care should not just focus on the upper of a shoe. The sole is also important. If your heels (or other shoes) are leather soled, affixing a thin rubber sole can help extend their lifespan as well as give them more traction in inclement weather and slippery bar floors.
Water, snow, and especially road salt are all bad for shoes. Do what you can to limit your exposure to these hazards.
Those little rubber tips on the end of your heels are God’s gift to hardwood floors. Without them the metal of the heel digs into even the hardest of hardwoods. Keep those tips on if at all possible, and replace them when worn — they can also affect the comfort of your heels.
This point focuses more on saving your feet rather than your shoes. But all shoes take time to break in; sometimes it helps to wear them around the house for a few hours before wearing them to work for a full day or out for a night. Your feet will thank you in the morning.
The logic is rather simple. Spend a few hundred shillings on a pair of shoes, why not take care of them? It will only take a few extra seconds when putting your shoes on and taking them off; which in the long run could extend the life of your shoes by months, if not years. Which will, over time, save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.