Think of your shoes like you do yourself after one too many Cosmos. Satin, silk, suede and leather respond badly to heat, sunlight and damp over time, so store them somewhere cool and dry. Don’t let your Balenciaga Knife mules languish anywhere near a window. It could lead to color fade – a fate worse than a broken heel. Instead, store them in a dry closet, ideally on a shoe rack that’s separate from your everyday shoes. Alternatively, recycle and store them in the original box, or use cloth dust bags to protect delicate metalwork and embellishments. To preserve the shape of your shoes, invest in shoe trees, or stuff the toes with acid-free paper.
Prevention is better than cure. If possible, we always try to have our shoes re-heeled and resoled long before they’re worn through. But, even if they look as though they’re on their last legs, the beauty of luxury and handmade shoes is that they’re designed to last. Many of the best shoemakers will offer an aftercare service. If they don’t, take your shoes to a local cobbler for professional cleaning and repairs. There’s life in the old girl yet.
If it’s raining, you might need to reconsider wearing your Manolo Lurums. The wet is anathema to satin. We’d recommend having your shoes treated by a professional with gentle and environmentally friendly water and stain protectors. If you do get caught in the rain, soak up any excess water with a colorfast cloth and treat your shoes to a blow-dry with your hairdryer on its lowest setting.
Wear your shoes in gradually around the house for a few hours at a time to preserve the structure of the shoe, and make sure your hands are clean before handling your most delicate shoes. If you’ve applied makeup for the night, a stray smudge of lipstick or residual hand cream could do lasting damage. Finally – heel stoppers might not look particularly elegant, but if you’re planning to wear heels to an outdoor event, they’ll pay dividends in terms of shoe longevity. Glamorous, we know.