As the cold weather quickly approaches, it’s time to swap your sandals and slides for boots and booties. But, as we all know, the shoes of the season come in delicate fabrics like suede, leather, and velvet, which are easy to scuff up on wet or snowy streets. Even the most finely crafted footwear can’t withstand some of Mother Nature’s harsh weather conditions, but luckily, there are ways to protect your favorite pairs. We caught up with stylist Jenny Altman and asked what she uses to save her soles from the unpleasantries that the seasons ahead bring.
Altman strongly suggests avoiding intricate fabrics when it comes to winter shoes and boots. But if you just must buy that fabulous satin ballet slipper or a new velvet pump for fall, she recommends stocking up on Scotchguard. “I spray a light coat on everything, all my fabric shoes, and it’s like magic in the rain and snow,” she says. Helpful tip: Just make sure you use the spray outside, as it’s a little smelly. Altman also warns that there may be a slight discoloration from the product, but when spritzed evenly, you’ll never notice it.
In a pinch? Reach for standard fabric protector. “I’ve been known to use this, too, as I always have it around the house for sofas and chairs,” she says, adding that they make one specifically for suede and nubuck (think UGG boots).
Along with protecting the tops and toes of your shoes, Altman also suggests protecting the soles: “Rain and snow—and that damned salt!—really take a toll on the soles of your shoes.” Take them to your nearest shoe repair shop and request that a thicker, more durable sole be added, she says. New soles can cost as little as $10 and can completely safeguard your shoes from environmental elements. Just make sure they match up to the original sole’s color.
“Louboutins will cost a fortune to re-sole, but they don’t belong in the snow anyway, so don’t bother,” she says. “But as for normal, everyday shoes, it’s totally worth the extra trouble!”