How to Make Shoes Last Longer

Two pairs of worn sneakers hanging on a power line

How Can I Prolong the Life of My Shoes?

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes you've been holding onto for way too long? Whether it’s the Converse you’ve had since high school or that pair of boots you just can’t seem to replace, letting go is hard. Stop letting go so soon and follow these shoe care tips to make your shoes last longer, including your insoles when you use FLAT SOCKS sockless shoe inserts.

Pair of worn pink canvas sneakers outside

The Lifespan of a Shoe

How long should shoes last, anyway? The average lifespan of a pair of shoes is between eight months and a year, however this depends on several factors. How often you wear them, the quality of design, types of materials used, and the activities you do while wearing them can all affect how long shoes last.

Even if your favorite pair of canvas sneakers lasted you all the way through undergrad and kept you on your feet past that first bad break up, ask yourself, are your shoes still functional?

Some shoes appear to be in good condition, but the materials they’re made of break down in less than two years. In other words, that memory foam insole probably remembers too much by now. Luckily, there are products like FLAT SOCKS inserts for Converse, Vans, and other shoe styles that can mend issues like worn out inner soles.

Black and white shoes with gray FLAT SOCKS shoe inserts

7 Tips for Longer Lasting Shoes

While repairing your shoes can squeeze out the remainder of your sneakers’ usability, making your shoes last involves preventative care and good maintenance. From preserving your insole with FLAT SOCKS to making your shoe soles last longer with smart storage and cleaning hacks, here is how you can make shoes last longer:

1. Protect from the Inside Out

Long walks on a sandy beach, dancing at clubs, and sweaty feet sound like a strange “about me” section on a dating app, but really they’re just a few ways shoe soles wear out fast. Consistent wear, movement, and sweat all break down the materials inside your shoes, replacing that cushioned feel with something far more uncomfortable and, well, smelly.

Man putting rainbow FLAT SOCKS shoe insert into black shoe

FLAT SOCKS are the perfect fix for worn out soles inside the shoe. The textured bottom minimizes slippage while the soft, cushy fabric makes feet feel cozy. They also pull sweat from your feet, preventing sweat stains and getting rid of odors. Classic FLAT SOCKS help preserve the inside of your shoes, so you don’t have to worry about excess wear.

2. Keep Them Clean

The best way to keep shoes from falling apart is with proper cleaning. Never toss your shoes in the washer or dryer, as this can expedite how quickly materials break down. Instead, follow cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer or buy a shoe cleaning kit.

Person cleaning worn shoe with a brush

Polish leather shoes or boots with a cream polish to make them appear less dull. Oil stains on shoes can be removed using a dab of cornstarch or baby powder, while salt stains dissolve with white vinegar and water. If you have stained rubber soles, try dish soap and water or a little bit of rubbing alcohol.

3. Store Shoes Properly

At the end of a long day when your dogs are barking, resist kicking your shoes off into a random corner by the door and store them the right way. Incorrect storage of shoes can severely diminish their shape and quality. Here are a few storage tips:

  • Protect shoe soles by keeping shoes out of direct sunlight or heat, as this can dry up rubber midsoles and make them less durable.
  • Store shoes separately instead of stacking them since this can turn fabric uppers into a flat mess.
  • Use shoe bags, shoe trees, or boot racks for the safest storage options.
  • Maintain the shape of boot and sneakers by stuffing them with newspaper to prevent sagging or crease marks.
  • Toss a silica gel packet into each shoe to keep moisture, mold, odor, and bacteria growth at bay.

Shoes being stored on a shoe rack

4. Use Shoe Protector Spray

Protect your shoes as though they are a work of art, like paint splatter FLAT SOCKS. Spraying your shoes with a waterproof shoe care spray soon after purchasing or cleaning protects delicate materials from stains, dirt, and water damage. Of course, you always want to test your shoes for color fastness, as some chemicals may have an adverse reaction to certain fabrics.

5. Pay Attention to the Weather

Your mother said put a hat on or you’ll catch a cold. While that may not be entirely accurate, you should wear the right shoes for the weather if you want your footwear to last. In wet weather, avoid soft, absorbent materials and shoes with shorter cuffs and choose boots or sneakers that are more durable. If you’re worried about warmth, a faux fur insole will keep those toes cozy.

6. Let Your Shoes Rest

Shoes need time after being worn to air out and return to their original shape. Performance materials like foams can take close to two days to fully bounce back. Opt for different shoes in the meantime and, while you wait, toss your FLAT SOCKS in the laundry so you have a fresh pair of your favorite patterned socks ready to go.

Woman standing in pink shoes next to four other pairs of shoes

7. Invest Smartly

The shoes you wear every day should be your most affordable pair. Daily use wears shoes out faster, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on a shoe you’ll replace in six months. This includes walking shoes, office flats, loafers, house shoes, and casual sneakers.

Shop smart and make the most of a bigger purchase by spending more on the shoes you’ll wear less often such as leather boots, dress shoes, and staple heels. Also, when buying workout shoes, it’s okay to spend a little more on better quality materials that help prevent injury and absorb shock. Buying FLAT SOCKS on clearance can help you curb the cost of socks, too, and save on longer lasting shoes.

Use FLAT SOCKS for Long Lasting Shoes

Red canvas sneakers with black and white checkered FLAT SOCKS inside


Every pair of shoes you buy is an investment in your feet and your style. The best shoes help make you look and feel good, supporting your feet and showing off your personal style. FLAT SOCKS encourage you to be yourself and make the most of your shoes.

Are your kid’s shoes wearing out faster than usual, too? Check out FLAT SOCKS Kids so your whole family can enjoy longer lasting comfort from their favorite shoes.