It is no secret that shoes are not only an essential part of your wardrobe, but they have a way of refining your image. No look is ever complete without being the right pair of shoes, which is why you need a shoe collection that complements your style.
Still, it is not enough to invest in shoes if you are not going to take the best care of each pair. The truth is that while most shoes are designed to be hardy, they will only last if they are properly maintained. As such, beyond worrying about the quality of your shoes, it is critical to find a way of keeping them in shape.
For most people, the problem with shoes begins when they start peeling and lose their aesthetic appeal. This leads to the question of how do you prevent your shoes from peeling?
But, before you become invested in taking better care of your shoes, it is vital to understand that not all shoes are equal. The characteristics and durability of the material used in their production is a critical factor in determining their longevity. This means you first have to know what kind of leather your shoes are made of before purchasing them.
The primary categories of leather used for shoe production
There are three primary categories of leather used to make shoes. These are:
- Real leather/animal skin
This is the best quality of leather as it is produced from animal skin. It can last for decades as it ages beautifully given its tough texture. Generally, shoes made using real leather tend to be expensive as it takes a lot to treat animal skin and stitch it to make a pair of shoes.
Real leather shoes are popular as they provide extra comfort and protection to the wearer. This is because of their breathability, water resistance, and slip resistance. However, while these shoes are generally superior, they tend to dry out without the right care and can eventually crack or start peeling.
- Bonded leather
This type of leather is made from the scraps of recycled leather that are stuck together using strong adhesives. They are then attached to a polyurethane covering and used to make shoes. Because of the structure of bonded leather, it is not stretchy and will start peeling once the material weakens.
Unlike real leather shoes, bonded leather peels faster and will age more quickly. These shoes tend to be visually appealing as they tend to have a glossy finish and can easily be dyed in a range of colors. They, therefore, require closer attention as a little neglect will see them quickly lose their value.
- Faux leather
This is the cheapest type of leather used to produce shoes. Faux leather shoes have become more prevalent in the market as they offer clients a resemblance of leather shoes at low prices. Still, some companies produce a higher quality of faux leather that can last for up to 3 years.
Since faux leather is synthetic, it easily tears away and peels at stress points. As such, owning this pair of shoes means having to avoid activities that will make it bend or stretch. They are also not strong enough for everyday use and require daily care when worn.
Ways of preventing your shoes from peeling
While each type of shoes requires special attention, there are general tips for ensuring you get the most value from each pair. To avoid the last-minute rush and frustration of trying to fix peeling shoes, you can prevent this from happening by:
- Invest in shoe trees and use them.
If you need to store shoes, do not just throw them in one big pile at the bottom of the closet. Instead, purchase a shoe tree and use it to ensure your shoes retain a nice solid form. This helps in keeping the shoe surface safe and avoids the problems of stretching or shrinking that lead to cracks and peeling.
Also Read: How To Remove Paint From Shoes
- Keep your shoes away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Most people make the mistake of leaving their shoes under direct sunlight or near heat sources. This is a terrible mistake as your shoes will absorb the heat and start stretching. It will then only be a matter of time before they start peeling as the material structure will loosen. As a rule, always ensure your shoes are in a cool and dry place away from direct heat when you are not wearing them.
- Keep your shoes clean and regularly polish them.
It is the simple things that pay off, and when it comes to caring for your shoes, always ensure they are clean. This does not mean scrubbing your shoes every evening, but gently cleaning them after use and airing them. Accumulated dirt and mud will make your shoes break down as they damage the surface of the shoe.
You will also need to polish your shoes regularly, and the best way to do this is by investing in the right products. The must-have items include; horsehair brushes, cloth rag, wax polish, cream polish, leather conditioner, and leather cleaner. Regularly using these products will lengthen the life of your shoes and ensure they maintain the original look and appeal for as long as possible.
- Avoid using harsh substances on your shoes.
There are lots of products in the market that contain harsh chemicals that you might be tempted to use. A rule of thumb is to stay clear of such products as all they will do is damage your shoes. Some of the aggressive substances to avoid include; turpentine, spirit, nail polish removers, and other abrasive liquids.
- Let your shoes dry naturally before storing them.
It can be tempting to blow-dry your shoes, especially when you notice its interior is not completely dry. This is not a solution as the heat produced by a hairdryer forces the shoe material to stretch and start peeling. To prevent this always remove your shoelaces before airing your shoes in an open space away from direct sunlight.
Shoes are an investment that must be well-protected. The last thing you need is spending a lot on creating a collection of shoes only for them to start peeling. All that is required to stop this is a little care and attention to the slightest details (such as cracks, scratches, and fading color) that foretell the possibilities of damages.