My mother always said you could tell how much pride a woman had in her appearance if her shoes were as tended to as her hair. I think she believed in the importance of putting forth your best—from top to bottom—and that scuffed toes and ragged heels were every bit as noticeable as tangled hair and bleeding lipstick. And looks aside, shoes and boots that haven’t been tended to can end up ruining an outfit.
Besides the obvious, such as treating fine leather and suede with a protecting product before wearing them, what you do after they get wet or soaked with salt from winter sidewalks is just as crucial. Make sure you clean them off before the salt has a chance to seep in, even with a damp cloth or paper towel.
And to keep your favourite boots looking great for years, give them a polish before you put them away for the summer, so the leather stays supple and smooth. Ragged heels just get worse, unless they are dealt with. If you’ve caught a stiletto on a grate, be sure to fix it sooner rather than later or the damage will undoubtedly get worse. And if you’re even caught without some polish and need a quick touch up, carefully use a magic marker to fill in any scuffs. My mom would approve.