7 household tricks to make your shoes last longer

Sarah Bernard
·Host of The Thread

It's jeans and jacket weather in New York City and this week I officially put away my summer sandals— a bittersweet ritual. But as I dug out my booties and my over-the-knee boots from the back of my closet, I realized how much I'd missed them. What's easier than pulling on a pair of statement boots with jeans and a sweater? A no-brainer winter uniform. Truth be told, in my rush to move on to warmer weather, I left a lot of them in need of love and attention. A few will have to head to the shoemaker. But in many cases there are fast and easy cost-saving home remedies that work just as well to get your winter footwear into shape. Here are seven of my favorite:

1. All of my heels have scuff marks, and I've found that baking soda is a fantastic scuff mark remover. Use a little water to make a paste and gently rub the area.

2. Petroleum jelly gives a nice shine to leather. Apply less than you think you need with a cloth and then use another cloth to wipe the leather clean.

3. If your leather is dry and cracked, rub on any lotion to add moisture, the same way you would to your skin.

4. Extend the life of a newly polished pair of shoes by spraying them down with hair spray.

5. Many of my boots are covered in white residue from the salt that's sprinkled on sidewalks to melt snow. You can make your own gentle salt-remover by adding one tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of water and using a soft cloth to dab the water-vinegar combo on the residue.

6. Instead of replacing shoelaces that have frayed at the ends, you can slightly wet the shoelace tips, roll them between your fingers, and then dip them into clear nail polish.

7. Sometimes you need to give your year-round shoes, like a pair of canvas Converse, a little prewinter prep. Covering them with a layer of spray starch will ensure that the inevitable winter dirt will clean off easily.

Do you have any homemade shoe-care tricks? Post them on our Facebook wall and let us know!

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