When To Replace Your Shoes? Major Signs That Your Shoes Need Replacing
So you’ve clicked on this article? That must mean your shoes are on the verge of collapse, am I right? In this article, I will be going through the main signs that your shoes need replacing. I will also be giving you some helpful hints and tips on how to maintain your existing shoes and what to look out for when you buy a new pair. Let’s get started!
1 - Sole of the Shoe
Although this seems like quite an obvious one it is usually the biggest sign that you need to replace your shoes. After prolonged use, the sole will start to wear away most likely in two places on the shoe. The first being the heel of the shoe, you will usually notice this first as the shoe may become misaligned at the back and look worn down on one side. The second place is the ball of the foot, this is the part of the shoe that usually sustains the most pressure so it is natural that it will wear down.
If the shoes wear down too much, they can become uncomfortable to walk in and may cause joint/hip problems as your feet can be incorrectly positioned for walking, therefore your posture can be affected. The only way to solve this issue would be to either discard your pair of shoes for a new pair or have the soles replaced. Having the soles replaced is only really an option for a leather soled shoe as these can be easily replaced by a cobbler.
2 - Material of the Shoe
The material of your shoe can impact massively on the lifespan and look of your shoe. Leather is considered the best material for shoes, but the grade of leather can vary considerably. Generally low quality leather shoes will start to split and bend after a fair amount of walking. The leather can start to split and can begin to resemble fish scales, especially around the toe area, this can lead to the shoes letting in water. Once the leather has split there is no ‘quick fix’ for this and the shoe will need replacing. The higher grade of leather shoes tend to mould to the shape of your foot after use, meaning when the shoe bends the shoe is more likely to react towards the movement and create less ‘scales’ over time.
One tip to prolong the life of the material is to invest in some good quality shoe trees. When you are not wearing the shoe, it is a good idea to fit shoe trees in them and it will keep the leather stretched so it doesn’t bunch up around the bend areas and split. Additionally, to maintain your shoes it would be a good idea to buy some shoe protector spray, there are all different types (leather, suede, canvas etc) this spray will help to keep your shoes waterproof. Depending on the type you buy, the spray will not affect the look or feel of the shoe.
3- Discolouration of Shoe
Over a period of time, shoes can start to lose their original colouring. There are two main types of discolouration, one from clothes dye/rubbing and the other from sunlight fading the shoe.
The first type of discolouration mainly happens when jeans are worn with a light pair of trainers. The dye from the jeans will continuously rub the tongue of the shoe and the dye will eventually bled onto the shoe itself. This kind of damage is hard to remove off the shoe, and after long term use can discolour the shoe permanently. The transfer of the dye is most likely to occur when the jeans are wet or damp, so avoid wearing light coloured shoes with jeans when it is raining and opt for a dark shoe instead.
The second type of discolouration is due to light exposure. This happens when your shoes are in direct sunlight and start to fade. This is unavoidable when in use but the majority of the damage happens when your shoes are not being worn. Make sure your shoes are being stored where no direct light can get in, such as a wardrobe and cupboard, and make sure that each shoe is stored in the same conditions as one shoe may discolour faster than the other. Once the discolouration occurs there is no solution to this issue and the shoes will need replacing.
4 - Lining of the Shoe
The inside lining of the shoe is another factor that affects the longevity of the shoe. Shoes usually come with either a material lined or leather lined shoe. The material lined shoe will usually be the cheapest out of the two but will wear away the fastest. The two rubbing points of the lining will usually be the little toe area and the heel of the shoe, making them uncomfortable to wear. When purchasing new shoes make sure the fit of the shoe is correct, if they are too small they will wear away faster in these areas meaning you will need to replace them sooner.