I love fall for many reasons, but one of my least favourite things to do during this season is say good-bye to all the fabulous summer shoes I have amassed for the past couple of years. Even though J teases me that I have feet like Frodo (he often asks me how I enjoyed my trip to Mordor), I love wearing sandals because of all the beautiful bright colors and funky styles.
Eventually it comes to the point where peep-toes become unacceptable, so it’s time to put away my summer shoes for the winter. Usually I do this when I’m switching from my spring/summer wardrobe to my fall/winter wardrobe, but this year I think I had just bought so many shoes that I couldn’t bare to put them away until November. What can I say? I find it hard to let go.
I first prep my shoes for storage by wiping them down with a barely damp cloth or paper towel to try and rid them of some of the dirt and grime that have built up over the summer. We don’t want that living on them for the next six months! Then I zip zippers and do up buckles and place them on a sheet of newspaper where I spray them with an all-purpose protectant spray. You can usually find these at any place that sells shoes. Brands like Tana are probably the best but I have found the “Rain and Stain Guard” from Payless works pretty much just as well. Plus, at $5.99, it’s not a bad little investment and you can use it on all of your shoes, not just the leather ones.
Depending on the brand you need to let those puppies dry for about 1 hour. Make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area because that stuff stinks! On shoes that are real leather I go an extra step and use a bit of mink oil on them. I have a tube from a brand called Novi that I picked up from a shoe store three or four years ago and I still have quite a bit left, so it’s another good investment. Mink oil is a great extra step for all of your leather shoes to protect and condition the leather to make them last longer. Test on a small, not-so-visible area as it will darken the leather in some cases. I have found, however, that this is usually only temporary.
For those of you who have never used mink oil before, less is more, otherwise you’re going to find yourself oilier than take-out fish and chips. Squirt a small amount onto a paper towel and rub into the shoe, working with small areas at a time. Use a second piece of paper towel to wipe off any excess. (You could use rags as well to make this project a little more eco-friendly, but I don’t know exactly how well those rags would keep over time and what would be the best way to wash them in between uses.)
Let the mink oil settle for a couple of hours before storing away your shoes. I like to store them in clear plastic shoe boxes that my mom gave me for my birthday. They’re stackable so they fit on the top shelf of my closet perfectly.
This would also be the perfect time to give those boots a little loving before wearing them this season. Spray them down and oil them up and they’ll be in good shape for the rest of the season.
I’m always sad to say good-bye to my summer shoes but let’s face it, there are a lot of cute boots out this season too. If only this poor blogger had more money….le sigh.