How to care for designer shoes

I love getting emails from readers who have recently invested in their first pair of designer shoes or are about to take the plunge.  I’m just as excited as they are!  Obviously you know that I’m all about investing in nice shoes, even if you don’t have a whole wardrobe of designer shoes, having just one or two to mix into your every day wardrobe is so worth it.  I get a lot of skeptical people too who wonder if I only buy designer shoes for the name or if they really are that much more comfortable.  I’m not going to tell you that it’s like your walking on fluffy clouds of comfort, I mean most my heels are 4 inches or higher, of course it’s going to hurt BUT the difference between 4 inch inexpensive heels and 4 inch expensive heels is huge.  I don’t even know how to explain it but it’s one of those things that after you’ve worn designer heels for awhile you can really feel the difference, especially with the fit of the shoe.  I find that my designer heels mold to my feet whereas cheap heels make your feet mold to the shoe.  (Which pretty much can’t happen and that is what creates the blisters and the rubbing on cheap heels.)  Also, the inside of cheap shoes are mostly made of man made materials so the material will always be a bit stiffer and more uncomfortable to wear.  I’m not saying that all non-designer shoes are uncomfortable and all designer shoes are comfortable.  There’s no way to classify them as that, it’s just that there IS a difference between the quality and the comfort.  I have some Louboutins that hurt like hell but that’s mainly due to the angle of the arch, not the shoe itself.  And I’ve worn cheap shoes that hurt like hell because I was basically walking on plastic that rubbed against my heel and created a nasty blister.  And I mean really, maybe my feet are just a bit pickier and they can feel the difference whereas some people can’t.  I don’t have a definitive answer, I just know that there is a difference to me and that’s why I invest in nice shoes.  Investing in nice shoes also means taking care of them since out of everything we own, shoes get beat up the most and when you’re spending that much money on shoes, you want to make sure that they last!  I’ve literally worn some heels down so that the heel tap has disintegrated and I was walking on the nail in the heel so I know about wearing down your shoes.  Ever since I discovered ways to take care of my shoes, I’ve never had that problem again.
I put together a video showing you the ways that I take care of my heels and how I make them last a bit longer.  One tip that I didn’t mention in the video is to try not to wear your shoes back to back days.  With leather shoes, they need the time to breathe and mold back to their regular shape.  If you wear them too often and for too long, they can get misshapen and end up getting stretched out.

Just wanted to show you my shoes that have been resoled next to the ones that haven’t.  As you can see, you can get the red zip soles that match perfectly to the Louboutin red if you are concerned about the color match.

And here I’ve added a pair that just has the regular black zip sole on it.  It’s all the same, just different colors.  I’ve never seen anything other than the black or the red so not sure if they could’ve done something to match the color of the Gucci soles.  I don’t mind though, it’s just the bottom of your shoe, not many people will see it!

And here are the links for the Apple Brand – Leather Conditioner Care
and the Garde’ Rain & Stain Repellant
that I use and showed in the video.
I hope that helps and if any of you have tips about taking care of your shoes, please do share!

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  • Twenty.Something
    March 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    GREAT video Tiffany! Thank you. I'm definitely going to use your tips!

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    March 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Yes there are nude soles because I got my shoes resoled in nude! Thanks for the reminder Tiffany. I'm starting to get all my shoes resoled (esp. for leather soles) and it's worth it to make shoes last!

  • Brittany - Try It On Me
    March 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I need to find a great cobbler so I can have rubber soles added to my shoes. I did it for one pair years ago, and it kept them in great condition for way longer than any other pair I own. Great post! XO

  • Erika
    March 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Great video and great tips. I'm considering investing on good quality shoes and when I do I can refer to your video on how to care of them ;). Thanks Tiffany!

  • Sarah Smile
    March 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Great post & video! Do you have any tips/resources for cleaning leather bags! I'm so scared to do anything to my designer bags but they need help! xoxo

  • DSK Steph
    March 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I loved this video! Thanks Tiffany!

  • Anonymous
    March 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I agree with Sarah – any tips for cleaning leather bags? I have a white Gucci and a brown Marc Jacobs that have gotten stained from rubbing against my dark blue jeans! It makes me only wear them when I am not wearing jeans! Help!

  • Bee29
    March 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    This post is just what I was looking for! Thanks for all the helpful info. I have these suede Louboutins that have been on a shelf for several months because I was afraid to wear them and now looking fwd to talking them out for a spin 🙂

    P.S. Love the top, Yumi Kim is one of my fav. designers. I must have bought every color combo of her tops. P.S. she also has the best sample sales in NYC twice a year. If you ever in NY, strongly recommend to check it out!

  • kileen
    March 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    i only recently discovered getting shoes resolved and i have to admit it's made a HUGE difference in extending the life of my shoes. great tips, Tiffany!

    cute and little

  • Katie
    March 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Great tips! I have a couple of heels that need to be fixed so I need to look into that!

  • ChinaDoll
    March 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing these amazing tips and it was a great video! I agree, there is a huge difference when it comes to quality but as for style and comfort, there are cheaper shoes that gives you the same style and comfort of those expensive designer shoes but not the quality. 🙂


  • yinyangmom
    March 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    you are so right, maintaining the soles of your shoes makes a difference in terms of its overall comfortability. <3

  • Heather
    March 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Great video! You always vlog on good topics! And you shouldn't have to explain your preference for designer shoes to anyone – if that's what you prefer, don't let haters say anything to ya! 🙂

  • modern.girl
    March 2, 2011 at 12:50 am

    sooooo helpful!!! everyone should bookmark this video. love you, girl!


  • Diana
    March 2, 2011 at 1:39 am

    my family would always get their shoes re-soled, re-stitched, and shined BEFORE we wear them. i just threw away a pair of red leather pointy shoes i had for 7 years.

  • PetiteLittleGirl
    March 2, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Those are great tips! I didn't know the shoes can be re-soled. I only have one pair of design shoes but I definitely keep these tips in mind. Thanks for sharing

  • jon
    March 2, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Thanks for sharing! I don't have designer shoes (anymore), but these tips will work with the heels I have 🙂

  • pepper jill
    March 2, 2011 at 7:14 am


    Try a leather lotion like Cadillac Boot & Shoe Care (I bought it at Nordstrom).

  • Christine
    March 11, 2011 at 6:58 am

    How Do you clean your patent leather shoes? Do you also you the Apple products or do you use mineral oil/petroleum jelly by chance.

    I own the Apple leather cleaner, conditioner, suede lotion as well as the repellent but have always wondered if I could use these products on patent leather.