I wonder if you could do a post about wear & tear on shoes. I recently started my career as an associate at a lawfirm. I am on my 4th month and have gone through two pairs of black pumps. I do at least 1/2 mile of walking downtown to and from court everyday–sidewalk, brick, asphalt. I live on a dirt road & when I pick up my son from his grandmother’s house, I have to walk through gravel. Needless to say, my heels don’t last long. The obvious answer is to get the heels fixed at a tailor, but there really isn’t a conveniently located tailor. So, even if I am going to get them fixed, I may have to wear them for awhile before I can get there.
Wow — we’ve heard of people who wear their shoes hard, but reader A has them beat. I t seems like there are two things going on: first, the walk to and from court — and second, the dirt road/gravel and so forth. We’d like to take gravel out of the picture for your high heel pumps (how do you even do it?) — what you need is a commuting shoe. Obviously, you don’t want to go whole-hog on the cowboy boots (although, hey, they are jokingly referred to as s#$! -kickers for a reason) but Frye makes a number of boots (as well as some hard-working shoes) that can look great with both pants or skirts. We might even suggest looking into Doc Martens or the like — you just want a black shoe or boot that won’t be noticed beneath your regular suit pants, but can take a gravel-dirt road experience. If money is an issue, even just plain black sneakers (like those from Sketchers) would be a good option for commuting shoes (and, unlike our other suggestions, they’re lightweight enough to toss in a plastic bag and toss in your tote bag if you need to carry your commuting shoes with you instead of just kicking them off under your desk).
Now, in terms of sidewalk, brick, asphalt — shoes do need regular maintenance. We suggest finding a shoe guy (there must be one near the courthouse — isn’t there a shoe shine stand, at the very least? Try asking the proprietor of the shoe shine stand if he or she does other maintenance.) We’ve noticed a big difference when we’ve had the heels and soles of shoes replaced with rubber soles — more comfortable to walk on, less skidding, and they wear much better. In fact, at the end of every season you should do an assessment of your shoes — does the leather need to be conditioned? Does the suede need to be brushed or otherwise cared for? Is the leather holding up? How are the soles doing? It doesn’t require a weekly trip to a shoe guy, but once a season goes a long way.
Readers, what kind of maintenance do you do on your shoes? Do you have any suggestions for grueling walking circumstances like Reader A?