It’s official. The most expensive pair of athletic shoes ever sold are a pair of Air Jordans worn by Michael Jordan himself during the fifth game of the 1997 Chicago Bulls playoff series against the Utah Jazz. They sold in 2013 for more than $104,000. That is a lot of shoe. It is a lot of shoe worth protecting by locking them in a climate-controlled display case.
It turns out that they are not the most expensive shoes of all time. That title belongs to a diamond-encrusted pair of pumps from Dubai estimated to be worth some $17 million. Of course, nobody would wear a $17 million pair of shoes to a dinner party. At least not anyone living on a budget.
The most you would ever spend on a pair of shoes might be a few hundred dollars. But even so, your investment is still worth protecting. Why spend money on shoes and then treat them like dirt? Take care of them and they will take care of you.
Protect Them from the Weather
By their nature, shoes take an awful lot of punishment. For starters, they are subject to weather exposure every time you leave the house. It cannot be avoided. Between the hot sun in the middle of the summer, a driving rain in spring, and the destructive nature of winter ice and snow, weather can do a number on any pair of shoes.
GC Tech, a Salt Lake City company that makes waterproof overshoes for men, says that shoe covers are your best bet for keeping out snow, ice, and rain. Doing that alone can extend the life of most types of shoes by quite a bit.
Keep out the Environment
It is not just the weather that can cause your shoes to face an untimely demise. There are other environmental elements to worry about. For instance, winter weather tends to bring with it those salty streets and roads. Road salt is a shoe killer. It eats through leather and vinyl with ease.
If you are more of a natural world kind of person, there are environmental dangers in the woods, the mountains, and even at the beach. Consider a day of rock and mountain climbing. Even a good pair of boots can be reduced to shreds if they are not protected with a good oil-based treatment. Oil keeps the leather from drying out and cracking. It also lubricates so that sharp rocks and stones are less likely to do damage.
Keep Them Clean
Even the daily dirt you pick up from around town is enough to reduce the life of your shoes. It doesn’t take much. Dirt gets into the uppers and causes premature aging. It can work its way into the seams, or between the uppers and soles. And even if there isn’t enough dirt to actually damage your shoes, it still makes them look pretty bad.
Most sneakers and casual shoes can be thrown in the washing machine along with your jeans and T-shirts. Formal shoes, work boots, and specialty shoes (like dancing shoes, for example) have to be cleaned by hand. One way or the other, keeping your shoes clean will help them last longer.
You may never have the pleasure of owning a pair of sneakers with a six-figure price tag. Diamond-encrusted pumps worth more than you will earn in your whole life may never grace your feet. Still, make a point of protecting whatever shoes you do wear. The more effort you put into taking care of them, the longer they will last.