If you are one that has a large inventory of shoes in your closet there are some shoe accessories that can go a long way to increasing the time that your shoes last. These items include custom bags, polish, stretchers, shoe trees, and even shoe polish. I am surprised and amazed sometimes that many people will spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes and then not take the time to care for them properly. Polishing your shoes is one of the easiest things you can do to prolong the life of your shoes and make them look like new, especially for leather shoes.
Another secret of old time shoe-shine professionals is the use of mildly abrasive, non gel toothpaste to remove any scuffs that may appear on your shoes. Sometimes you may have the need for shoe stretchers to help change the shape of your shoes when you are suffering from bunions or corns. These tools can be a great tool but you have to be careful that you don't over do the stretching or you can end up tearing the shoes. Shoe trees are another often used accessory, especially by ladies. I know I can still remember when I was a kid my grandmother had a closet full of shoes and they were all on shoe trees.
By storing shoes on a shoe tree you are able to maintain the shape of the shoes and reduce the chance of them shrinking. Another very popular accessory to protect your shoes is a custom shoe bag. These are especially good for keeping your shoes safe and protected when you are traveling or if you need to change your shoes during the day, such as if you go to the gym before or after work.
This option comes in handy when you are busy and don't want to have to return home or if you are going to be more than an hour away from home. These bags are also waterproof so your shoes will be protected from damage from rain. In addition if you are the type of person who does all of their own polishing and buffing you will want to make sure that you always have a good supply of soft rags and also a safe place with shelving to store the shoes long term. If you tend to send your shoes out for care then you should have the names and numbers of the shoe care professionals you use regularly. For other shoes you have that are constructed of materials other than leather you will need to be sure that you have the proper cleaning and maintenance items for them as well.
In many cases you can simply wash them in cool water and let them line dry. Be careful about putting them in a dryer as the excessive heat can damage them.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as shoe accessories at http://www.designershoesplus.com