One of the smartest work-wardrobe investments you can make is in a great pair of shoes. For men, we recommend 100 percent leather; for women, we recommend keeping comfort top of mind. Once you have a pair you love, be sure to take care of them. Here are some easy ways to keep your best shoes in tip-top shape. If you’re looking to jazz them up, we’ve got ideas for that, too.


Photo courtesy Nice laundry

Deals on Socks 
Socks are trendy for men. The small space between the cuff of your pants and the top of your shoe is an important piece of fashion real estate some colorful sock is dying to call home. But socks can be expensive, and you need a lot of them. One of the best deals on professional socks we’ve seen is at the website, Nice Laundry. They have colorful and stylish socks in premium cotton. A pack of six is $49 with free shipping. You can also subscribe and get sock shipments throughout the year. If you need to make room for your new socks, Nice Laundry will even recycle your old ones.


Photo courtesy Nordstrom

Heels that Hurt 
High heels hurt? Ditch them — welcome to the wedge. Unlike stilettos that anchor weight in your toes and heels (no wonder you’re in pain), wedges disperse the weight across the bottom of the foot. Toms and Clarks have some of the most comfortable wedge booties out there.

The Smelly Feet Dilemma 
There’s some scary, big equipment out there that can kill off bacteria in your shoes. But let’s be honest: If you’re growing colonies under your toes, you should probably opt for a new pair. Fortunately, keeping your shoes clean is pretty simple. The best way to keep them smell-free is to purchase shoes that are 100 percent leather, rotate them throughout the week, and insert shoe trees at the end of each day, especially if you’re a no-sock stepper.


Photo courtesy Rachel Coward

The Shoe Doctor 
Have a broken-down pair of shoes you just can’t part with? Scott Hays at Totem Lake Shoe Repair in Kirkland is known to bring shoes back from the ashes. If your heels click when you walk because the metal is exposed or your boots won’t zip up, it’s time to take them to the doc. People say he’s the best in the biz.

Keeping your shoes dry is a must. It will make them last longer and keep you comfortable. Our favorite waterproof spray is Tarrago Hightech Nano Protector, which costs about $12 on Amazon. It works on all leathers, including suede and nubuck. After a coat of Nano Protector, water will bead off your shoes and you’ll be singin’ in the rain.


Photo courtesy Rachel Coward

Keep ’Em Clean 
You can spend more than $50 on a shoe-care kit, but all you really need is a rag, a toothbrush, and leather cleaner and conditioner from Lexol. Rub in the leather cleaner and scrub with your rag and toothbrush. Let it dry, then add the conditioner. Your slippers will be sparkling in no time.

Lace it Up in Style 
Sometimes the smallest item you wear adds the most to your outfit. If you dare to spice things up, consider some colored or textured laces. Allen Edmonds (who makes great shoes, by the way) has a six-pack of 30-inch colored laces for $20. When you change your shirt, switch out your laces. Ladies, you have a zillion options, but American Apparel carries lace and ribbon shoelaces that will outshine your classic black ones.