You want your shoes to fit you well and look good. And yet, every one of us knows that shoes that fit well, are those that bend when we walk. This bending allows us to flex our feet and be comfortable when walking. However, this bending causes our shoes to crease, and creased shoes look old and worn, and it is not something we like.
So then, the question arising here is how do we ensure that our comfortable, well-fitting shoes stay looking good, and how do we keep the creases out of them?! First off, we accept that some amount of wrinkling of leather shoes, and even sneakers, is inevitable. This is even more so with leather shoes made from a single piece of leather, rather than multiple bits. We cannot eliminate creasing, but we can prevent it from happening, too much, and too quickly. Preventing creasing in sneakers and leather shoes is kind of similar. However, leather shoes require a lot more time, effort, and money.
Preventing Creasing In Leather Shoes
1. Buy Well-Fitting Shoes
Shoes that fit you well are less likely to crease. When trying out a new pair of shoes, check the toe box area. If there is a large space between your foot and the shoe, the leather will bend and crease when you walk.
2. Invest In Some Water Repellent
Leather and water do not work well together. You might be able to avoid getting your shoes sopping wet. But there is also the chance of some water accidentally coming in contact with your leather shoes. The safest option here is to buy water repellent (often sold at the same shop you are purchasing the shoes from). Apply this water repellent to your shoes (especially when you are breaking them in) and being mindful of not getting your shoes wet, will go a long way in preventing your shoes from creasing.
3. Try Not To Wear Your Dress Shoes For Two Days In A Row
Moisture from our feet dampens the insides of the shoe. Therefore, try to give your shoes a chance o completely dry out before you wear them.
4. Buy A Shoehorn
These simple bits of plastic are tremendously useful in preventing the back of your shoes from creasing. Instead of just jamming your feet into your expensive dress shoes, use a shoehorn to help hold the back of your shoe firm, while you slide your foot into it.
5. Buy A Shoe Tree
Shoe trees, like shoe horns, are available at almost all shoe shops. It’s a little contraption that you insert into your shoes when you are putting them away. The shoe tree keeps the shape of the shoe straight and does not allow it to sag or bend.
6. Get Toe Taps Fixed
Essentially these are little discs, nailed to the sole, at the pointy end of the shoe. Wear and tear of shoes, typically begin at this end of the shoe, and toe taps prevent that. It is important to remember that these tips must be put on by professional cobblers to ensure that they do not interfere with the fit and balance of the shoe.
7. Stuff The Inside Of Your Shoes With Rolled-Up Socks
Especially when traveling, or when using a shoe tree is not possible, stuff your shoe with rolled-up socks to keep the shape of the shoe.
8. Condition Your Leather Shoes Every 3-6 Months
Work some leather conditioner into your shoes at least once in six months, more often if you live in a dry climate. The conditioner keeps the leather supple and prevents it from creasing
Removing Creases From Leather Shoes
Even if you have done all the different things needed to prevent creasing of your dress shoes, there will still be some amount of creases visible in time. As soon as you notice them, there are steps you can take to remove these creases as quickly as possible.
1. Buy And Use Leather Oil
Saturate the crease and the surrounding area till the leather gets supple again. Leather oil is available at some shoe shops or can be ordered. You need the massage the oil into the leather.
2. Carefully, Use A Blow-Dryer To Soften The Leather
Be very careful when applying heat. Never use it for more than 2-3 minutes in one spot. Before applying on the whole shoe, test it on a small spot of the shoe, because sometimes lighter color leather can get discolored. It is also possible to remove creases using a steaming iron or a steamer. However, both these processes have to be done very carefully Sto not damage the leather.
3. Use A Shoe Tree.
Once you have massaged the oil into the leather and treated it with heat, put a shoe tree in to hold the shape of the shoe. Put the tree in tight, but not too tight because the leather is now so soft it can stretch and lose shape.
Preventing Creasing In Sneakers
Sneakers are made of fabric and mesh and tend to be more elastic than leather, and so creasing is not as easily noticeable.
To decrease creasing at the toe area, where the shoe bends the most to allow your feet to flex while walking, use shoe crease protectors. These are inserts, around the toe area that remains inside the shoe, even when you wear them. They give support and shape to the shoe and shoes with shoe protectors stay taut and looking new for much longer than those without. Even then, shoe protectors only prevent and do not eliminate creasing.
Shoe protectors work to support the toe area. Rigid plastic heel counters on sneakers decrease the creasing at the heel end of the shoe.
As with leather shoes, using a shoehorn, and stuffing your sneakers with socks or paper when not using them, helps to decrease the creasing in your sneakers.
Invest a bit of time and effort into maintaining your shoes. Regular care and a little investment in shoe care aids can save you big bucks from having to buy new shoes all the time.