10 Life-Changing Shoe Hacks
Most people will walk the equivalent of five times the circumference of the earth in their lifetime. This estimate may or may not be accurate, but, regardless, most of us do spend a lot of time in our shoes, and there is a real need to ensure that our footwear remains supportive and in good condition. These 10 shoe hacks will have your feet singing sweetly during your next walk around the block.
Sandpaper Gives Soles More Grip
Slipping is more than an inconvenient embarrassment; falling is a major cause of injuries each year in the U.S., especially for older adults. Make sure your footwear is stable by scoring smooth, slippery soles with sandpaper. Method 1: Score the bottoms of shoes with medium-grit sandpaper. The resulting abrasions give soles more tread. Method 2: Super glue strips of sandpaper to shoe bottoms with the grit facing outwards. The sandpaper gives shoes added grip and traction.
Panty Liners Absorb Sweat
Made from durable, absorbent material, panty liners are an unsuspecting shoe hack that keep feet dry on humid, hot and sweaty days. Either disposable or reusable cotton-made liners will do, but we recommend using brands that have a mild adhesive on one side to help keep them in place. Method: Simply place a panty liner on top of the insole before slipping your foot into the shoe.
Steam Straightens Creases and Softens New Shoes
Breaking in a new pair of shoes seems like it takes forever. For those who are in a hurry for new sneakers to fit perfectly, steaming will shape and manipulate the instep, shaft and width of boots and shoes. Steam also helps smooth out creases in worn or rumpled shoes. Method: Hold an iron on its hottest, steamiest setting several inches away from your shoes and rotate them slowly in the steam. Tip: Wear a pair of gardening gloves or winter gloves while steaming your shoes.
Baby Powder Quiets Squeaks
Baby powder is unique. It's one of the few astringents in powder form, which makes it a versatile product perfect for shoe hacking! Essentially, astringents constrict cells in tissue. When applied to the insoles of shoes, baby powder tightens the materials and seams which results in less squeaks and squeals when your sneakers step. Method: Simply sprinkle a generous amount of baby powder in your shoes before wearing them. The powder will also absorb sweat and leave a pleasant aroma!
Ice Widens Shoes
Because impulse buying is real, sometimes we end up with shoes that don't fit. This shoe-stretching hack has helped thousands reshape small shoes. Method: Simply insert a sealed bag of water into a shoe, and then place it in the freezer for 24-48 hours. As the water slowly freezes, it will gently expand the shaft and width of your shoes.
Aromatics Stamp Out Stink
Who knew a cup of tea was the solution to stinky feet? Unused tea bags in the heels of your shoes will stifle smells by deodorizing the insole with sweet and earthy aromas. We recommend using herbal blends like chamomile, rather than green, black or white varieties because of the acidity. The herbs in tea bags will actually filter odors like a miniature potpourri satchel.
Beeswax Waterproofs Shoes
Ancient Egyptians coveted beeswax for its waterproofing properties; and centuries later, it's still the protective agent of choice for a wide variety of all-weather materials. Not only does beeswax make shoes and other leather goods waterproof, its low melt point and dry, oil-free nature help make whatever fabric textile it's applied to extremely durable. Beeswax is also an all-natural wax, and it's free of questionable chemicals found in silicones, fluoropolymers and other high-tech weather sealants.
Hair Dryers Clean Soles
Shoes are always stepping in something dirty that stubbornly refuses to be cleaned off. Hair dryers are an easy-to-use tool for removing crud and debris lodged between the tread of hiking boots and running shoes. The heated air makes the bottoms malleable so they can be cleaned more easily. Bonus Tip: Use a hair dryer to make new boots and shoes a bit more comfortable by softening the exterior material with direct heat.
Deodorant Prevents Blisters
Applying deodorant to the heel of your trainers is an age-old runner's hack that prevents blisters. It's such a popular trick that companies now produce entire lines of expensive blister-preventing lubricants. Method: Rub a line of your daily deodorant on the insoles and heels of your shoes. We recommend using a non-petroleum-based gel deodorant, but any variety will do in a pinch.
Vaseline Vanquishes Scuffs
Sick of scuff marks on shoes? Petroleum jelly will soften and condition both leather and synthetic-leather shoes. Because it's colorless, petroleum jelly is technically not a polish. However, it is a form of crude oil that effectively buffs away scuff marks and makes boots and dress shoes shine. Bonus Tip: You can also use whole-fat cooking oils like avocado oil or coconut oil to shine shoes. However, be aware that polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oil may stain shoes and should be avoided.