Buying excellent handcrafted footwear dramatically enhances your wardrobe. But to fully leverage that investment and keep your shoes and boots looking great, it’s wise to own the few essential tools listed below.
A Brannock Device
Many men spend their entire lives−and untold sums of hard-earned money−on shoes and boots that don’t actual fit properly. Some shoe store clerks may compromise honesty and transparency to close a sale. Others may not know how to measure your feet, or they believe that those ill-fitting shoes will conform over time.
Don’t leave it to guesswork. Get your own Brannock Device, such as these, which is that flat metal measuring tool that you slide your foot into at a shoe store. Then you can go shopping already knowing what size to buy.
Keep in mind that your foot size can change over time. But with your own Brannock Device you can accurately monitor those changes to always buy footwear that is comfortable, supportive, and ergonomic.
Shoe Trees and Horns
Every pair of shoes should be paired with shoe trees made of genuine cedar, which is a naturally moisture and insect resistant wood. The trees fit into the shoe the way your foot does, to help shoes keep their shape while they’re in the closet.
A high-quality pair of shoes or boots can also be badly misshapen or even damaged if you repeatedly put them on without using a shoe horn. You may accidentally crease or fold the back of the shoe by stepping on it, doing permanent damage. But a simple shoe horn can prevent that from happening.
There are also times when bending over to pull on a pair of shoes is either uncomfortable or risks getting your pants dirty. That’s when a long-handled shoe horn, which you can use while still standing, comes in really handy.
If you wear boots, pulling them off can be a pain in the neck. But a Western-style boot puller is a convenient tool that was specifically designed to solve that problem.
These are usually made of wood, and have a slightly raised horseshoe-shaped opening in front. There’s a narrow platform in back for you to place your other toe, to keep the boot puller from sliding.
Place your boot heel against the opening. The puller will grip it like a bottle opener removing a cap. It will slip off quickly and easily with no effort or frustration.
Shoe Socks for Travel and Storage
When traveling you need to protect leather footwear from scuffs and scratches. Those often happen as shoes or boots knock around inside luggage or the trunk of your vehicle. These are soft fabric pouches, like miniature laundry bags, made for safely packing your shoes.
If you plan to store shoes over a longer period, they need to be safeguarded from moisture that can damage them or invite mold and mildew. Belvedere shoes come with their own shoe socks, so you already have one of your essential shoe care items.
An expert tip is to buy what’s known as a gun sock. These look like thick socks, but are made of special moisture-resistant fabric. They’re marketed as protection for storage of firearms, but work great to protect leather boots, shoes, or belts from humidity and dampness.
These accessories are not expensive, and can ensure that you have better fitting shoes and boots that maintain their beauty and structural integrity, while potentially lasting you a lifetime.