We all love how sharp we look in a new pair of shoes, but breaking them in can be sheer agony. Plus, once they finally fit just the way you want them, it’s not too long before they’re stinky, covered in dings and holes, and unfit for polite company.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Nope, simply using these easy-as-pie hacks, you can have your shoes looking and smelling just like they did the moment they came out of the box! Here’s how…
1. Restore shoe whiteness using toothpaste: That Colgate in your bathroom cabinet doesn’t just whiten your teeth; the stuff that helps your enamel retain its bright color will efficiently strip dirt and grime off of your kicks.
2. Clean leather with rubbing alcohol: If you pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel and run it over leather shoes, you won’t believe how much dirt it picks up. The alcohol immediately cuts through even the most stubborn grime.
3. Freshen up your sneakers with baking soda: We’ve all had our noses suffer due to stinky shoes, so what exactly can be done about it? Pour a bit of baking soda inside them! It’s a natural deodorizer, and it’ll give them that “brand new” smell once more.
4. Use a nail file to banish scratches: It’s nearly impossible for a shoe to live its whole life without suffering a scratch or two. The good news is there’s a solution for unsightly scratches! Rub a nail file over the affected areas and those marks will buff right out in no time.
5. Soak shoes in a vinegar solution to get rid of bad smells: For this trick, mix equal parts water and white vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Then douse your shoes with it to refresh even the smelliest kicks.
6. Shine patent leather with petroleum jelly: You might think petroleum jelly is only used for cosmetic purposes, but it actually works wonders on footwear, too. If you apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your shoes, they’ll gleam like diamonds.
7. Use cornmeal to absorb suede stains: Suede is a very fickle material. It looks great, but as soon as something stains it—even water—it’s almost impossible to remove. Luckily, a sprinkle of cornmeal is the answer!
8. Use a hair dryer to stretch out new shoes: Sometimes you try on shoes in the store and they seem to fit perfectly, but when you get home and put them on, they’re a little tight. Don some woolly socks and use a hairdryer to “dry” your shoes to help mold them to your feet.
9. Loosen too-tight shoes in the freezer: Another way to help loosen shoes is to fill plastic bags with water, place them in your shoes, and then pop the shoes in a freezer. As the water turns to ice, the bags will expand, stretching your shoes to the ideal size.
10. Rub sandpaper on soles to enhance the grip: When you buy new shoes, the soles are intact and the rubber allows you to traverse even the slipperiest surfaces. Over time, however, the soles wear thin, but if you give them a good sanding with some coarse sandpaper, it will actually turn your shoes from no-grip to no-slip!
11. Gel deodorant helps prevent blisters: If you don’t wear socks with shoes, your Achilles heels can chafe due to the constant contact. But, if you smear a bit of gel deodorant on the heel area, it prevents this problem completely! Plus, it makes your feet smell nice.
12. Tape your toes together to avoid pain: High heels typically squeeze your toes together, there’s a solution! Taping together your middle toe and the toe next to your pinky will alleviate a lot of the strain put on your feet during those long nights out.
13. Waterproof shoes with beeswax: A rainstorm can hit at any moment, and let’s face it: your footwear isn’t always prepared to face a downpour. However, if you spread a thin layer of beeswax over any shoe, it becomes waterproof!
14. Absorb moisture using newspaper: If you happen to step in a deep puddle, it might seem like the insides of your shoes will never dry. But, if you crumple a few newspaper pages inside, they’ll help absorb the moisture.
15. Embrace no-tie shoelaces to avoid tripping: The new wave of no-tie laces has been quickly taking over shoe stores everywhere. They may cost a little more than regular sneakers, but if you’re the kind of person who frequently trips over untied laces, they’re worth the investment.
16. Use a bread tag to fix broken flip-flops: The straps on flip-flops tend to pull out of their holes. If you can’t get to the store and you need a quick fix, try attaching a plastic bread tag to the bottom to keep them in place!
17. Alleviate shoe squeaks using baby powder: No one wants to be the person strutting through a completely silent room with squeaky shoes, which is caused by the friction of your foot against the inside material. To avoid the embarrassment, just sprinkle baby powder in there.
18. Store your kicks the right way: Most people just toss their shoes into a pile by the door when they get home. But did you know it actually does more harm that good? If you invest in a shoe organizer, your footwear will stay in better condition for longer.
19. Use heel protectors to prevent sinking into sand or gravel: When you wear heels on uneven terrain, you’re taking gamble with your ankles. Heel protectors offer a widened end for those super-skinny heels so you won’t roll your ankle if you accidentally step into a gap in the sidewalk.
20. Soak feet in tea to soothe blisters: This hack may not necessarily have to do with shoes, but since your feet sit in them all day, it’s important! The anti-inflammatory properties in tea work magic on your feet, soothing both blisters and chafing.
If you struggle with your shoes, tips like these are definitely worth checking out. They’re bound to change your shoe game forever!
Share these handy shoe hacks with your friends below!