If you’re like most Americans, you probably have at least a few different pairs of shoes in your closet. Some of you may even have dozens or hundreds of footwear options in your closet. Are you doing anything to take care of those shoes? If you don’t care care of your footwear, their ability to protect your feet is going to fade over time. Today, we’re going to share a few tips for taking care of your shoes so that they can continue to take care of your feet.
Shoe Maintenance Tips
Follow these tips to make sure your shoes stay well-maintained and continue to support and protect your feet.
1. Heel Examination – High heels aren’t our favorite pair of shoes, but we understand why a number of people wear them for certain occasions. If you have a favorite pair of heels, make sure you check the heel height every so often. If one heel wears down faster than the other, it will alter your gait, which can affect your hips, knees and feet. If they wear down unevenly, take them to a repair store to be adjusted.
2. Air Them Out – This is especially important during spring when our feet are more likely to get wet. If your shoes are a little damp, don’t just throw them in the closet and hope they are dry the next time you need them. Put newspaper in the shoes to absorb the wetness, hang them on the clothesline or invest in a boot dryer. Wetness can contribute to a rash, redness or fungus growth, so air out your shoes if they get wet.
3. Washable – Another way to care for your shoes is to put them through the washing machine every once in a while. Aside from cleaning the outside, the wash will help take care of any odors that may be coming from your shoes. Not all shoes are washable, however, so check the tags when buying to see if they are washing machine safe.
4. Arch Awareness – Even the most durable of shoes begin to wear down after enough use, and this can result in the falling of the arch support inside the shoe. This can be problematic for anyone with high arches. In order to ensure that your feet remain supported after months of use, invest in a custom orthotic insert that will offer increased support and protection.
5. Unlace – When you get home, don’t just pull your shoes off by stepping on the heel and pulling them out of a laced shoe. If you shove your feet in and out of your shoes while the laces are still tied, you’re going to be exerting a lot of force on the upper heel. This can lead to a misshapen heel or a damaged heel that digs into the back of your Achilles. Always unlace your shoes before putting them on or taking them off.
If you have a question about shoe maintenance or foot care in general, submit your question to Dr. Silverman below!
Lance Silverman, MD
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