Find a Cobbler
No, cobblers are not lost to the past, they still exist and there’s likely one (or more!) near you. Finding a cobbler you like and trust to care for your shoes is the number one way to keep them in mint condition. Cobblers can help with preventative care like sole protection or toe reinforcement as well as repairs like heel replacements or buffing out scuffs.
Protect Your Soles
If you don’t have a chance to make a trip to the Cobbler (or don’t want to invest the money), make sure to protect your shoes at home! This can be done with a stick on sole protector. Waterproof Them
Grab a waterproof spray and protect your shoes as soon as you get them. You would hate to put it off and get stuck in a freak rain storm, right? Replace the Heels
This is a quick fix that can really freshen up a pair of heels. The easiest way to have your heels replaced is to just drop them off with the cobbler you’ve hopefully gotten to know, however, this is also a fairly easy DIY. Just pop the heel tip off with a pair of pliers, insert the new heel and hammer it in. The key is to make sure you’re choosing the correct size and shape for your new heel tip.
Conditioner isn’t just for your hair! Investing in a good shoe cream/ conditioner for your leather shoes can work wonders. Most shoe creams not only condition and restore the leather, but also add an additional layer of waterproofing and polish.
Dry Them (correctly) This seems self explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people toss a damp pair of shoes right back into the closet! If your shoes have gotten a bit wet (or even sweaty) make sure to allow them adequate time to air dry before putting them away. Don’t try to rush the process by leaving them in the sun, under a heater, or even using a hairdryer—heat can shrink the shoes.
Invest in Boot/Shoe Trees
Wooden trees will help your leather shoes and boots maintain their original shape (a world without shoe creases or shrinking!), allow the leather to breathe, and help to absorb any moisture. Worried trees for all of your shoes will bankrupt you? You can also stuff the shoe with paper to get a similar result. The main takeaway here is that storage method matters.