How to Clean Suede Shoes

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Many people are intimidated when it comes to cleaning suede shoes. However, with a few tricks and tools, you’ll find the process is rather easy. You’ll Need: 1. A suede brush 2. A suede eraser 3. Rag and sponge 4. … Continue reading

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Taking Care of Your Athletic Shoes

How To Clean Your Athletic Shoes

They’re designed to keep up with you, so they know how to get down and dirty. That doesn’t mean they have to stay that way, though. Here’s how to clean up your athletic shoes!

Step 1: Get Prepped. Brush off any excess dirt, remove shoe laces and insoles. Allow the insoles to air out, using foot powder or baking soda as necessary to eliminate odor. Rinse the shoes with cool water to get rid of loose dirt that didn’t come off with brushing.

Step 2: Wash! With most styles, you should be able to machine wash with cool or warm water and regular detergent. We recommend washing them in the same load as your towels. Adding Pine Oil disinfectant to the beginning of a wash cycle (warm water only) can help disinfect your shoes and protect your feet from bacteria or fungus. Lysol brand disinfectant can also be used.

Always check with the manufacturer to be sure that shoes are machine washable.

If you have any doubts at all, hand wash shoes with a soft brush and liquid detergent diluted with water. Scrub the inside and outside of the shoe and be sure to rinse afterwards.

Step 3: Dry! *NEVER put shoes in the dryer. Do not put them near a radiator. Do not attempt to dry them with a hair dryer. High heat will damage shoes. DO put sneakers in a well ventilated area to dry. Stuff them with white paper towels or white cotton towels to absorb the moisture and help retain shape. Some use newspaper, but the ink may transfer to the shoes or to your socks.

Step 4: Finishing Touch. A “magic eraser” or wet wipes work wonders on getting scuffs out of rubber. If all else fails, you can use shoe polish to touch up scuffs.

Posted in Athletic Shoes, Brooks, Casual Shoes, CrossFit, CrossFit Open, Ecco Golf Shoes, Fitness, Golf Shoes, Inov8 Shoes, New Balance, New Balance Classics, Pendlay, Reebok, Running Shoes, Saucony Shoes, Sneakers, Uncategorized, Vibram Five Fingers, Workout | Leave a comment

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 NanoPro Spray (300 ML) and Waterstop Spray (200 ML) are designed for a variety of materials, from leather to suede to canvas and fabric.

Frye makes a cream and waterproof spray for leather. You can find our blog on using these 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.

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The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 is the latest in functional fitness shoes.  The newest generation of the F-Lite Series boasts not only an eye-catching new design but also a lot of other new features.

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You’ll get more protection with a re-constructed toe bumper and 360 degree Ropetec that extends into the upper of the shoe. The toe bumper will ease the impact of burpees and the Ropetec adds more durability for rope climbs.

You’ll enjoy more movement with multi-directional meta-flex technology that allows for natural flexibility. You don’t worry about having to stay in place, either with the enhanced stability heel.  Denser by 40%, the heel will provide you with all the power you need for olympic lifting.

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When you’re comfortable, you can do more.  Despite being a zero drop shoe, the F-Lite 235 from Inov8 offers just the right amount of cushioning to get the work done.  Get it done with a forefoot cushion for shock absorption and super-soft mesh pressure vent.

Check out some of our Polyvore sets or grab them yourself from our Website.

inov-8 Women's F-Lite 235 Standard Fit Blue-Pink

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SmartWool : 20 Years of Sock-cess

We’d like to congratulate one of our Brands, SmartWool, on 20 years of comfort and innovation. There are many things that factor into their success, but we’d like to take the time to point out some of our favorites:

1. The Best Materials

SmartWool  uses Merino wool to craft their fine products.  Merino sheep exist in one of the most interesting climates on the planet, having to deal with very hot summers and harsh winters. These Southern Hemisphere-dwelling sheep have a fine, light, white, strong, smooth, and bountiful coat of wool that keeps them cool in summer and warm in winter.

SmartWool  is Zque accredited–sustainable and responsible economically, environmentally, and socially. Zque accreditation also focuses on animal welfare and source transparency.

2. Thoughtful and Innovative Technology

The company name isn’t an accident. SmartWool uses innovative tech to bring maximum comfort to your feet. Specialized knitting techniques for ease of movement and moisture management, arch and ankle support, and adding extra wool where it counts (WOW™ Technology) are all thoughtful ways that SmartWool keeps you comfortable.

3. Easy Care and Long Life

SmartWool also creates durable products that are easy to care for. Their Marino wool goes through a smart wash that smooths out the scales of the wool and reduces shrinking and catching in the wash.  SmartWool’s WOW™ Tech puts extra wool in high-impact zones to not only increase comfort, but also durability.

Find your own reasons to celebrate SmartWool at TheShoeMart.com or at our store in Norwalk, CT.

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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?

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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.

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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.

Posted in Alan Payne, Alden Shoes, Allen Edmonds, Austen Heller, Bacco Bucci, Born Shoes, Bostonian, Casual Shoes, Clarks Shoes, Cole Haan, Comfortable Shoes, Dansko Shoes, Dr. Martens, Frye, Keen Shoes, Men's Shoes, Merrell Shoes, Moreschi Shoes, Santoni, Stacy Adams, Timberland Shoes, Uncategorized, Walking Shoes, Women's Shoes | Leave a comment

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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Night Out Attire

It’s been a long week, and you’re ready to wash away all of your workweek stress. You’ve made plans with your friends or date, but there’s one last detail to cover… what do you wear? A night out means that everyone will be looking their best, and you want to belong without blending in.

Not surprisingly, your night out outfit’s appropriateness depends on where you are going.

 If you’re going to a Night Club there will always be a dress code and it will vary based on region and even the club itself. Do some research into what is appropriate.  Nightclubs mean lots of hot, sweaty bodies and spilling drinks.  Navy and grey are dark enough to flatter and they disguise sweat and spills in UV nightclub lighting, black and light colored fabrics do not.

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Casual

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Keep in mind that your shoes will probably take a beating from the club scene. Resist the temptation to sport your most expensive pair.  A leather that you can clean and polish up like new the next day are ideal. Keep it classic with a black, plain toed shoe like the Eddy from Nunn Bush, with a slip-resistant rubber sole and padded collar to prevent blisters. If you need to keep it casual, take it down a few notches in the part leather, part canvas Vartan Sport Oxford from Cole Haan. Take it a step further and stand out with a pair of chukkas with a pop of color like the Lunargrand Chukka.

Meanwhile, for Date Night, you should avoid expecting the mess and dress to impress instead. What is appropriate always depends on the venue, so call or stop by before the date to see what kind of outfit will fit in.  If you are short on time, you can always look the restaurant up online on sites like CitySearch and Google for photos and suggestions.  Go-tos include sharply tailored silhouettes and darker or subtle neutral shades.

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Most importantly, be sure to tell your date what you’re wearing so that you don’t out-dress her. Then, pay attention to your shoes–because she will, too. A well-kept black slip-on like the Novara II from Mezlan appears classic and effortless. At a more casual venue or during a day date, the soft deerskin Wimbley from Alan Payne will keep you looking cool and at ease. For a more rugged look, put on a pair of lace-up boots like the Alden Indy boot.

Whatever you choose, remember that your best accessory for a night out is confidence. Keep a good attitude and you’re sure to have a good time, regardless.

Posted in Alan Payne, Alden Boots, Austen Heller, Born Shoes, Bostonian, Business Casual, Business Shoes, Carmina Shoes, Casual Shoes, Clarks Shoes, Cole Haan, Comfortable Shoes, Dress Boots, Dress Shoes, Ecco Shoes, Exotic Leather, Florsheim Shoes, Frye, Frye Boots, L.B. Evans, Lifestyle Sneakers, Magnanni Shoes, Marcoliani Socks, Men's Shoes, Mephisto, Merrell Shoes, Minnetonka Shoes, Moreschi Shoes, Santoni, Slip-Ons, Sperry Shoes, Stacy Adams | Leave a comment