On average, a quality pair of shoes will last around 8 – 12 months before they wear out and don’t provide the same support anymore – assuming they see constant use.
That’s not a very long time, especially for high-end shoes that cost hundreds of dollars.
It’s always a huge bummer when it comes time to retire a coveted high-end pair of running or dress shoes or everyday sneakers, but it’s the best option for your foot health.
The good news?
There are plenty of ways that you can extend the life of your favorite pair of shoes so that you can continue to enjoy them well into the future. With proper care, you can double or even triple the lifespan of your shoes – all while keeping them in pristine shape.
To help you learn how to make shoes last longer, we’ve put together 9 simple yet effective ways to keep them looking brand-new.
1. Clean Your Shoes & Shoelaces
First, it’s essential to clean your shoes AND shoelaces at regular intervals to extend their life. If your shoes have fabric, you can clean them with dish soap, warm water, and a washcloth. For other types of shoes, there are plenty of cleaning sprays available online designed specifically for shoes.
If you can remove your insoles, air them out and clean them too. That will take care of any lingering odor/dirt inside the shoe.
While there are plenty of acceptable shoe cleaning methods, you should always avoid using the washer/dryer.
These machines are too harsh on shoes and will wear them out twice as fast, so avoid them at all costs. Always wash your shoes and shoelaces by hand.
Speaking of shoelaces, it’s crucial to clean them, too.
Nothing will ruin the look of a coveted pair of sneakers like discolored shoelaces, especially if they’re white. Check out these articles for some candid cleaning techniques for shoelaces and white shoelaces. As with sneakers, it’s best to wash shoelaces by hand – such as with a toothbrush and warm water.
2. Buy New Shoelaces
If your shoelaces are beyond repair/cleaning, buying a new pair is your best option, and it will save you from having to replace the entire set of shoes.
Sometimes, all an aging pair of shoes needs is a luxury pair of shoelaces to make them look brand-new again.
We only use premium materials, which is why our shoelaces are guaranteed to last 3x longer than other brands. Because of this, replacing your old, frayed shoelaces with LoopKing™ luxury gold-tipped laces is a tried and true way to make your shoes last longer.
3. Spruce up Shoes with Accessories
If you want to know how to make shoes last longer in terms of visual appeal, try rocking some cool accessories.
Lace locks not only look cool but it also provides a quick and easy way to ‘lock’ and ‘unlock’ your shoelaces, so you don’t have to tie them. They’re great for running shoes, loafers, sneakers, trainers, and more.
Shoelace charms are decorative pieces of jewelry that lay over your shoelaces. They look awesome and will add some much-needed visual flair to an old pair of shoes.
Gold aglets are another decorative touch that you can add to your shoelaces. Our LoopKing™ branded gold aglets feature premium metals that won’t fade or crack over time.
4. Start a Shoe Rotation
This tip will help your shoes last twice as long since you won’t use them as much. A clever way to extend the lifespan of your shoes is to put a rotation in place.
That way, you wear each pair of shoes in your wardrobe an equal amount, preventing you from wearing out one pair of shoes too fast.
For this tip to work, you’ll need at least a few pairs of shoes to rotate. While you won’t get to wear your absolute favorite pair of shoes every day, they’ll last you a lot longer.
5. Waterproof Your Shoes
Even if you don’t get your shoes wet regularly, it’s still a good idea to spray your shoes with water repellent.
Why is that?
It’s because the waterproofing spray will protect against more than just moisture. For instance, your shoes may have tiny salt particles from the sidewalk that are slowly eroding the shoe fabric. A waterproof spray will get rid of salt and other debris, as well as protect against moisture.
If you only use waterproofing spray once a year, make sure it’s during the winter. The weather is not only harsher then, but there’s more moisture in the air. A buildup of moisture in your shoes will wear them out quicker and can lead to mold forming inside.
6. Store Them in a Protected Area
Where you choose to store your shoes has a significant impact on their lifespan. Improperly storing your shoes can lead to fading, scratches, mold, and general wear and tear.
Do your best to store your shoes in an area away from direct sunlight, as it can wear down your shoes.
Conversely, you don’t want to just throw them in the closet, either. Shoes need breathing room, so neatly space them out on the closet floor to avoid making things too claustrophobic.
For shoes that are going to have a long-term stay in the closet (such as dress shoes or shoes for special occasions), investing in shoe trees is a good idea. A shoe tree is typically made from wood or plastic and resembles the shape of a shoe.
You insert them inside your shoes to ensure they hold their form and don’t collapse on themselves during long-term storage.
If you don’t have the closet space to store your shoes on the floor, you could opt for a shoe organizer instead. These are cubed shelves that are designed specifically for storing shoes, and they’re great for keeping your footwear dry and protected.
Lastly, stuff your shoes with newspaper or acid-free tissue paper. Both materials are absorbent and will maintain the proper moisture levels for your shoes while they’re in storage. The paper will also prevent the shoe fabric from deteriorating.
7. Repair or Replace the Soles
Often, the first part of the shoe that wears out first is the sole. What most people don’t know is that it’s possible to replace only the soles of your shoes – sparing you from having to get a new pair.
This is one of the most reliable ways to extend the lifespan of your favorite pair of shoes. If the soles are worn-out, you don’t have to write a eulogy for your sneakers just yet.
- You can use some Shoe Goo to glue them back together…or
- Instead, head to your local cobbler and request that they replace the soles of your shoes.
It’s a quick and cost-effective way to make your shoes last longer, so you shouldn’t pass it up. A new pair of soles tend to cost around $30 – $55 dollars, which is less than buying a new pair of high-end shoes.
8. Use Shoe Shields to Prevent Creasing
Nothing ruins the look of a pair of shoes like deep creases near the toes. Unfortunately, it’s normal for shoes to crease in this area whenever you bend forward and during storage.
Deep creases and wrinkles will show your shoes’ age, which is what you don’t want.
To stop creases in their tracks, you can use shoe shields. These are aerated plastic plates that will hold the tip of your shoes firmly in place. That way, you won’t have to worry about creases forming while your shoes are in storage.
There are a wide variety of shoe shields on the market that fit sneakers, boots, dress shoes, and more. Before making a purchase, ensure that the shoe shields will fit your particular type of footwear.
9. Use a Shoehorn
Do you crunch down on your heel collars when attempting to put on your shoes? If so, not only is it cumbersome to deal with, but you’re doing damage to the heel collar.
It’s not meant to withstand the weight of your body pressing down on it every time you put on your shoes.
To save yourself some trouble, and to extend the life of your shoes, always use a shoe horn when putting on your shoes during the day. A shoe horn is a long metal handle that you can use to slide your heel into your shoe without smashing the heel collar.
How to Make Your Shoes Last Longer
With proper care and storage, you can make a standard pair of shoes last 2x or even 3x longer than it normally would.
Since shoes are a necessity, you’ll always have to buy new pairs – so why not take care of them, so they last as long as possible? Doing so will save you both time and money.
Also, the quality of your shoelaces makes a huge difference in how long your shoes will ultimately last. To ensure they stick around for a long time, don’t forget to use LoopKing™ Luxury Laces.