Nine items to stock in your home shoe-care kit.
No matter how much you paid for something, you should expect it to require a little upkeep.
To help keep your favorite shoes running, we asked an expert, Randy Lipson of Cobbler’s Corner Shoe Repair and Cobblestone Shoe Repair in Missouri, what you should stock in your home shoe-care kit.
Leather punch: ArtMinds Leather Punch ($10.50 at Michaels). Women looking to customize the straps on sandals or heels will find this handy. If it’s a pricey pair, take them to a professional, but this is a quick fix for a cheap pair of shoes. Use the skinniest punch option and don’t eyeball it or the punch will be off-center.
Leather shoe cream: Saphir Pommadier cream polish ($20 at hangerproject.com). Leather creams are for soft-leather shoes (get a paste for hard leather). Keep black on hand and then buy specific colors as needed. The polish protects and moisturizes and enhances the color, which is important because, he says, “new shoes have no protection on them at all.”
Back-of-heel cushion: Foot Petals Fancy Feet ($5 at Macy’s). This is a good standby to always have on stock. Use it wherever you feel chafing inside the heel.
Heel protector: Just for Kiix Invisible Heel Protectors ($10 for two sets at justforkiix.com). Protect against dings and dents in your heels. The “invisible” heel protectors are glossy, so they look better on patent styles.
Quickie shoe shine sponge: Rockport Premium Shine Sponge ($8 at rockport.com). Lipson says a shine sponge is a good last-minute solution if there’s old polish on your shoe, as it will reactivate the shine.
Shoe deodorizer: Thornell Shoe & Sneaker Sweetner ($8 at shop.thornell.com). If you notice occasional shoe odor, this spray helps keep smells at bay. After applying, sit your shoes outside in the sun to further kill odors and bacteria.
Water repellent: Tarrago High Tech Nano-Protector ($10 at amazon.com). This is a must-have, and should be used on every shoe you buy before you wear them, Lipson says. It’s easy and effective, and it’s worth investing in a quality brand.
Outdoor heel protectors: High Heeler Solemates Heel Protectors ($10 at Nordstrom). These handy little props guard against heels making divots in soft soil. You’ll walk with more ease, and avoid grass and dirt stains on your heels.
Ball of foot pads: Dr. Scholl’s DreamWalk Ball of Foot Cushions ($5.50 at drugstores). Foot pads can help cushion a problem area in uncomfortable shoes. If you have severe pain, see a specialist for a full-sole pad.