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Caring for Men's Dress Shoes the Right Way

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Johnston Murphy 'Atchison Cap'

Johnston Murphy 'Atchison Cap' Image: Zappos.com

After putting in the time to find just the right pair of dress shoes, you want to make sure that you care  for them properly to get the most out of your investment. That’s why learning how to take care of your dress shoes is so important.

The First Steps in Caring for Men's Dress Shoes

When caring for men’s dress shoes, I have two very important words for you: shoe trees. Nothing will help protect your investment of nice, dress shoes more than a pair of cedar shoe trees. And this isn’t a suggestion – it’s a must. Shoe trees do a couple different things. Number one, they help shoes keep their shape. And they also help take moisture away from the shoe, so it’s very important for the life of your shoes to put the trees in right after taking them off after a tough day. 

Not only should shoe trees be bought when you pick out your new pair of dress shoes, you should also pick out a water repellent/conditioner. It will allow your new investment to take a beating from water and also soften the leather. Just ask the salesman when making your purchase what he would recommend for the shoes that you’ve picked out. A small $10 investment will pay dividends down the road.

Ongoing Repair and Care of Men's Dress Shoes

When it comes to shining your shoes, you have two options: you can buy a shine kit (or shine box as they called it in Goodfellas) and polish your shoes yourself, or you can find one of the few remaining shoe-shine stands that tend to be in upper-tier departments stores. If you wear dress shoes a lot, you might want to learn how to shine your own, but if you wear them sparingly, then a trip to get them shined is in order. It's cheap, they do a better job and it's a fun, throwback experience to have. 

The last thing to do it to replace your soles. The nice thing about dropping a little money on well crafted shoes like this is that you can get the soles replaced and lengthen the life of your investment. Don't let them get to the point where they're falling off -- when they're worn, go to a professional and get a new sole put on. 

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