Finding the right pair of shoes can be a challenging prospect. They have to fit right for the perfect comfort, they have to look good, and they have to suit your own personal style.
When you do find the perfect pair it’s important to ensure they last as long as they can. Maximizing the lifespan of your shoes not only means you’ll save money in the long term, but also help to reduce your environmental foot print by consuming fewer goods.
So, what can you do to ensure your shoes have a healthy, sustainable life? Here are 5 tips for treating your shoes right.
Keep ‘Em Clean
Cleaning is important, it not only keeps your footwear looking sharp. It’ll help to protect the materials from harsh chemicals, road salts, and other things that will slowly cause your shoes to deteriorate.
Fortunately, canvas-like shoes like Grounded People are pretty easy to care for, they can be placed in the wash with a load of towels and cleaned with your regular detergent. If they’re stained, you can even use an appropriate stain remover.
If you want to take a gentler approach or you don’t need to clean the whole shoe you can also hand wash them. Just use a gentle detergent and a soft bristle brush. You can wash the whole shoe in a bucket, or just spot clean as needed.
When it comes to cleaning the soles, you can use a mix of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to make a paste, or even a non-gel toothpaste if you’re in a pinch. Just apply it with a toothbrush and gently scrub.
When it comes to drying, never put your shoes in the dryer. Let them air dry away from direct sunlight and they’ll last as long as possible.
Have More Than One Pair
One of the worst offenders for the deterioration of footwear is everyday use, but not for the reasons you might think.
Shoes wear out. Walking on them slowly erodes the soles, and your movement will eventually break the stitching, but the bacteria in sweat will help speed that process along. So, if you wear your shoes everyday for work, or other activities, it can be beneficial to invest in a second pair.
Giving your shoes even 24 hours to air out can help improve the overall lifespan and save you money in the long run.
The harmful effects of bacteria and chemicals to footwear is pretty obvious, but they also need to breathe.
When they’re not in use, or you’re letting them dry out it’s important not to store them in a sealed bag, or where there isn’t good airflow. Keeping them in a well-ventilated place will help them to dry out properly and prevent any buildup of molds or fungi which can make cleaning difficult, or even completely ruin your shoes.
No one wants that.
Sunlight is also bad for your shoes. The ultraviolet light will not only discolour fabrics, but it will also break down the cotton and the natural rubbers used to make your shoes. When you’re not wearing your shoes, they should be kept away from direct sunlight, in a closet or in a dark corner.
The effect of sunlight is amplified when they have absorbed perspiration. So, if you’ve been for a hike, bike ride, or run it’s doubly important to get them out of the sun and let them dry out.
The only time your shoes should encounter direct sunlight is when you’re wearing them!
This isn’t a necessary step, but it can help give you an edge when it comes to making sure your shoes last.
There are many products on the market that can help your shoes with water and dust protection. Ultimately, it’ll help them from becoming stained, make them easier to clean overall, and help them looking fresh for as long as possible.
Most of these sprays are a chemical base, but if you’re looking for more environmentally friendly products, there are several available that are just as good.
Additionally, many of these products can break down over time, or with washing so keep some on-hand for when you finish cleaning them. Especially if you machine wash them.
Protection For Long Life
These are just some general tips and suggestions to help maximize the life of your footwear. There is a whole rabbit whole of storage, cleaning, and sanitizing products on the market that can help keep your shoes healthy and happy. There are also a lot of DIY solutions that are just as good as anything you’ll find in the store or online, plus they’ll help keep your carbon footprint in check.
It’s important to protect your shoes. After all they work hard to protect you and your feet every day.
Check out cleaning instructions specifically for grounded people shoes: Clean & Care