All posts by markw

How To Waterproof Your Shoes

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Why should you protect your shoes? A pair of quality shoes is an investment—a well made pair can last quite a long time if properly cared for.  However, one of the quickest ways to wear out your shoes is to allow them to be water-damaged. At TheShoeMart.com, we have a variety of waterproof shoes. However, if you’d like to protect shoes you already have, you can learn to make them water resistant below!

Always let your leather and suede shoes dry naturally and never put them near heat (fireplace, radiator, etc) to dry.  Shoes that dry out quickly can crack if not treated well.  To speed up drying to an appropriate rate, remove insoles and stuff shoes with newspaper, changing out for dry newspaper occasionally. The same way shoes shouldn’t lose moisture quickly (dry naturally), they shouldn’t intake a lot of moisture at once, either.

What materials SHOULD be protected, and what shouldn’t?   Soft leather, silk, suede, fish and reptilian skin should all be protected from water damage. However, attempting to waterproof patent leather, shiny soft leathers, animal hairs, or sparkly artificial materials like sequins or glitter will only ruin the finish of your shoes.

Step 1: Make sure shoes are clean.

You don’t want to waterproof over dirt, dust, or excess polish, so be sure to clean shoes and remove excess build-up before waterproofing.  A universal product like Collonil Clean & Care (Colorless) works on a variety of materials, including canvas/fabric, suede, nubuck, and smooth leather. Remove the laces before cleaning, polishing, or waterproofing. As with all products, test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous patch of the shoe to ensure it does not cause discoloration. Dry shoes as instructed above.

Step 2: Make ’em water resistant.

We suggest you follow the directions on whatever product you choose, but here are some tips:

1. Always do a spot test, just as you would with polish or cleaning products. Use the side of the shoe’s tongue where the laces will hide a mistake or the inner side of the back of the shoe.

2. Be sure to read all of the labels and ensure that the product fits the material. We have various products from Frye, Collonil, Skidmore’s, and Alden to help you protect your shoes from water damage:

Alden Leather Defender: Water-based spray for leather shoes and boots. Should not be used on suede or nubuck.

Skidmore’s Beeswax Waterproofing: Penetrates leather leaving a waterproof seal. Leather only, no suede or nubuck.

Collonil Waterstop Spray (200 ML) is designed for a variety of materials, from leather to suede to canvas and fabric.

Frye makes a weatherproof spray for leather. You can find our blog on using Frye products here.

 Step 3: Shake it off.

Now that your shoes are water resistant, take pride in their longevity. Waterproofing is no excuse to slack on shoe care, however. Be sure to maintain your shoes and create a rotation so that they have time to dry out in between uses.

In warm dry climates you can get away with weekly polish and waterproofing once or twice a year, but in rainy and cold climates you should polish and waterproof much more often, and possibly invest in a pair of waterproof shoes or galoshes to travel in.

Winter Shoes

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If you haven’t woken up to frost on your windshield yet, we are slightly envious.  If you have, you have likely realized that the cold of winter is getting ready to take over.

You’ve found your shovel or snow blower and you have your windshield scraper on hand.  You’ve got gloves and hats… but are your feet ready for the cold? Snow and ice are major challenges of the season, and your footwear plays a major role in keeping you safe and healthy in the winter.

At TheShoeMart.com, we have a large selection of Snow Boots for Men and for Women. Browse our online store to find the perfect style for you.

To make it a bit easier, we’re featuring two of our favorite styles for men and women. 

Kamik Men’s Bushman

We like the Kamik Bushman boot because it has serious antibacterial power.  An important part of taking care of your feet in the winter is keeping them from creating a hot, humid climate for bacteria to grow.  Kamik‘s Aegis Antibacterial treatment and waterproofing technologies will keep your feet dry and warm. 

Sorel Women’s Tofino Cate

The Tofino Cate boots from Sorel  make it to the top of our list with a sophisticated and fun quilted look. Waterproof construction, faux fur, and leather shell will keep your toes warm, dry, and cozy in a look that’s sleek enough for the streets. Sorel boots are very popular this year and have been flying off our shelves.

For the rest of the month, we’ll be bringing you tricks and tips to help keep your feet comfy, as well as ways to clean your winter footwear.

Are your toes ready?

Weekend Wear

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Weekends are for staying comfortable–whether you’re on the couch or hitting the trails. With slippers, moccasins, loafers, boat shoes, hiking boots, and comfy athletic shoes–we’ve got your weekend covered. Today, we’d like to focus on the softer side of things: the slipper.

With many styles of slippers to chose from, you are sure to find the perfect balance of comfort and style. From classic to classy, here are a few of our favorites.

The Classic :

Suede, shearling, wool blends, sheepskin, and pile lining maximize the warmth and softness on all of these slippers. Slides offer easy entry and exit for quick snack trips on wood floors or grabbing the newspaper off the porch. Keep comfy out of the covers with the below styles from Sorel and L.B. Evans.

Side-goring makes it easy for shoes to encompass your feet without the struggle of shoving your foot into the shoe.  This easy fit will keep your heels snug and comfortable, too.

Pile-lining and Sheepskin are soft and comfortable ways to keep your toes toasty. Both of the following styles from Minnetonka have indoor/outdoor soles and will keep the chill out–even when you’re outside.

The Classy:

Be ready for house guests with sophisticated styles that include leathers, hardsoles, and super comfortable footbeds. There’s no reason that comfort can’t be stylish.  Simple and elegant leathers make the styles below from L.B. Evans and Spring Step a bit less casual.

Step up your game a little bit–and step into supple smooth splendor–with Deerskin or Moosehide moccasins from Minnetonka. Cushioned insoles and

The slippers below, with durable outsoles and sleek silhouettes, will have you tempted to take them out of the house.

At The ShoeMart, we realize that not everyone fits one mold. We carry slippers in XL sizes (14-16) and Wide widths for those that need a roomier fit.

 

We also carry many Women’s Slippers from Minnetonka, Sorel, Sofft, Vionic, Sperry Top-Sider, and Spring Step.

9 Essential Shoes for Daytime Wear

We believe that men’s shoes are just as important in the daytime as they are at night. From the office to the grocery store, your feet should be wrapped in comfort and style. While we all have a reliable, favorite pair, it’s called a shoe rotation for a reason—wearing the same pair of shoes every day without break not only wears them down, but it makes you look dull and worn, as well.

1.  Black Lace-Up

A versatile black lace-up is a must for every shoe rotation.  A plain-toe shoe made of calfskin with a leather sole is formal enough for most occasions. We like the Rizzo from Bacco Bucci — it’s even denim-friendly.

2. Brownwing

A brown longwing is much more casual–and versatile.  A longwing is at home in a non-white collar environment with a sport coat or with jeans. There are tons of shades of brown to choose from:  The Dark Brown Smooth Calfskin All Weather Walker from Alden is a very versatile option, wearable even on those bad-weather days.

3. Burgundy Loafer

Another versatile shoe to have in your rotation is a burgundy loafer for comfort and quick on and off.  Burgundy is a great color because it goes with anything a black shoe does and more.  Bit and Tassel loafers are fine, but a classic penny loafer can be dressed up a bit for more formal occasions.  Try the Pinch Penny from Cole Haan.

4. Driver

Another variation of the loafer is the Driving Moccasin.  A great option for when you are traveling long distances, the driving moc will get you from here to there and keep your tired feet comfortable on the way back from a long day.  Relax in reliable style with the Double Bottom Cowhide Driving Moc from Minnetonka in Dark Brown Lariat or Chestnut.

5. Desert Boot

A classic look that is also comfortable thanks to their crepe soles, the Desert Boot is a pleasant part of your rotation, especially on days that involve a lot of walking.  You can’t go wrong with Clarks in Oakwood Suede or Beeswax Leather.

6. Canvas Pop

Add some color with a reliable canvas shoe. Navy works for any season, so we suggest the Hookset Camp Canvas Oxford from Timberland.  Less daring? It’s also available in black. Very daring? Try the Cherry Red Canvas 8-Eye Boot from Dr Martens.

7.  Boat Shoe

A casual shoe with function and iconic nautical style, a boat shoe is great for a leisurely afternoon on the water. Go sockless and be ready for anything in the Authentic Original from Sperry Top-Sider.

 8. Double Monk

A Monk is interesting and captures attention, drawing comment from others. A double monk makes a statement all on its own. Our pick? The Conard Double Monk Strap from Johnston & Murphy.

9. Reliable Boot

Sometimes life gets rough. On days when you need to be up for anything, it helps to have a well-constructed, dependable leather boot. Made in America with Horween Chromexcel leather, the 1,000 Mile Boot from Wolverine is a great choice to keep you going when the going is tough.

Shoe Horns: We’ve got your back.

If your feet are constantly getting into a wrestling match with your shoes and boots, it may be time to invest in a shoe horn.

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Shoe horns are curved instruments that allow you to more easily get your foot into your shoe. They get their name from the original material used to craft them: animal horn. Today, shoe horns are made from various materials, but the most common materials are metal, plastic, and wood. At The Shoe Mart, we offer steel shoehorns. Many of our steel shoehorns are wrapped in premium, full grained leather. This creates a functional product that not only feels rich when in use, but looks great, too.

A shoe horn’s purpose is to help you guide your feet into shoes that are tight-fitting. All you have to do is put the shoe horn against the counter, or back of your shoe, an

d then slide your heel along the horn until the foot is comfortably inside the shoe. This will allow you to put the shoe on without damaging the counter. We recommend using a shoe horn when you first order shoes from TheShoeMart.com so that if the shoes do not fit, they will be undamaged and in returnable condition. You can find our selection of quality shoe horns here.

Shoe horns are also useful for people who are not flexible or people who have back injuries. A shoe horn allows you to put on a shoe without bending forward to get your fo

ot inside. Long shoe horns even allow you to put on shoes while standing up.

Available with inscriptions or fun accents, shoe horns also make great gifts!

 

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