After handbags, I have an obsession with shoes. I love how they make me feel when I shop for them. Well, all year long, as a matter of fact.
Buying shoes has a special effect on me simply because you can be having a bad hair day, a bad outfit day or you need to be loosing weight or more body toning but shoes... they always make you feel great. My only issue though is that some of the shoes I love I can’t wear.
You see, I am not a heel girl. Firstly, when I wear heels, I am often the tallest person in the room and that makes me really self-conscious. I am also not good at walking in heels. So, yes, you will rarely see me in towering high heels.
That said, I do have some heels in my collection. In case of a breakout on my face I go and try shoes or wear the most funky ones I have so it distracts me and whomever I am meeting from the war zone happening on my face and yes, it gives me the extra confidence.
Whatever is your relationship with shoes I am sure you can relate in one way or the other.
The fact that I splurge on shoes also means that I take care of my shoes because as the saying goes “Good shoes take you to good places” and I truly believe that you should always splurge on good shoes. No one likes blisters and no one likes to pretend that "yeah, those shoes are not killing me" when in fact, they are.
So how do you take care of your shoes? Well, here are my pro-tips mixed with my personal experiences below...
You are going to need:
- Time on your hand
-A good podcast or good playlist
- Floor space
- 2 x The famous blue Ikea bags
- Wipes (choose some with no alcohol)
- Paper Towel
- Tissue paper or shoe trees
- Silica bags
You'll also need.
- A shoe care kit: I like to keep this in a shoe box. Inside, I have waterproof spray for suede shoes, a suede cleaning rubber, a good leather cream, a shoe brush and few shoe dustbags that I use for polishing and applying the leather cream.
- And, yes, labelling machine
First, take all your shoes out - and yes, sport shoes included, and even those that seem to have disappeared deep inside your closet. Now time to organise them by type of shoes.
Flats, heels, sandals, sport shoes etc… this will give you a good idea of what you already have and maybe what you are lacking in your collection. It will also instantly show you that you have maybe went overboard with heel shopping for someone who barely wears heels (yes, I am referring to myself here but I’m certain I am not the only one).
You are also going to notice the ones you have never worn, the ones that you have overworked, and the ones that you have purchased on sale but that are still two sizes too small.
Now, time to take out to the Ikea bags - one for the shoes you will be donating or selling, and the other for that trip to the cobbler.
Now, you finally know what you are left with. So, time to show your shoes some love.
I generally clean the inside of my shoes everyday with baby wipes and dry them with paper towels before letting them dry overnight and storing them back in the shoe cabinet. But like everyone else, I do skip this often and so when I am detoxing my shoe collection, I like to clean the inside of my shoes first.
Then, I'll apply some leather cream to my leather shoes and let them dry. I then take all my suede shoes and brush them with the rubber made for it, in case of stain before waterproofing them with the spray.
Each has its way of storing their shoes but personally I prefer one cabinet devoted to only this. This is so that I can keep a close eye on what stays and what goes during the year. I can understand that this is not always possible so I will highly encourage you to store your shoes together per type (i.e : sneakers together, flats together, heels together etc…)
Time to play Shoe Tetris
To keep or not to keep the boxes? I tend to keep the boxes of the heels that I don’t use that often (like evening ones or the one in fragile material) and I simply label the box with a picture of the shoes or the model so I know what is inside.
Otherwise, I use the shoe boxes from Ikea as I like that not only I can see what is inside but I can place those boxes side by side and create another shelving space to store flats on tops of them.
Check the shoes boxes out here (click here)
Always place one shoe in and one shoe out so you can save a bit of space here and there. But it also keeps the visual of your cabinet pretty nice to the eye. At least for me.
Place either shoe trees or tissue paper inside your shoes to keep their shape. And yes organise them per type.
I keep all the heels in one row on the top of my shoe cabinet because I use them the least. Then, I have a few rows of flats divided between my work shoes, my weekend shoes (sandals, espadrilles etc..), then a row with my slip ons and sneakers and the last row is devoted to one part sneakers and one part sports shoes.
In the case of my sneakers and sport shoes, even if I let them air overnight before storing them I always place a bag of silica inside as no one likes a shoe cabinet that smells bad 😉 .
As for my winter boots they are in another cabinet cause I rarely use them but don’t want to part with them, to keep them straight I use an insert that I found at Muji, but if you don’t want to spend on it, a rolled magazine inside the boots will do the trick.
Time to take a step back and admire your work. But also take some notes so next time you go shoe shopping you know exactly what you need and what fits you.
Things to do
- Clean the inside of your shoes on a daily basis
- Let them air dry overnight before storing them
- If caught in the rain with your shoes help them fully dry by placing newspaper inside.
- otate the use of your shoes
- Inspect your shoe health and take them to the cobbler when necessary
- Waterproof your suede shoes before taking them out, remember the spray might slightly change the colour of them especially on light colours
Tips for when going shoe shopping:
- Get to know your fit and your needs - what where the patterns you noticed when you detoxed your shoe collection?
- Try shoes at the end of the day when your fit are swollen so you know if they really fit or not
- Too small will always be too small and too big will not be comfortable either way… hello, blisters! So, please keep moving.
And finally if you trying to figure out what is the foundation of a good shoe collection
1 pair of flats in a dark colour
1 pair of flats in nude
1 pair of black pumps
1 pair of nude pumps
1 pair of sneakers OR SANDALS
And if you're looking for new shoes to add to collection... We've got everything you need! From Christian Louboutin heels to chic Lanvin and Chanel flats, trust us, we have them.