Formal clothing always is attractive, and everything else that accessorizes a formal, professional look is also appealing. Shoes are an important and irreplaceable part of every outfit, and when it comes to formal attires dress shoes definitely matter a lot.
This is why you must consider high-quality dress shoes a great investment- especially if they last a fair amount of time. Wondering how? Keep reading to know all about the longevity of dress shoes and more!
How Long Do Dress Shoes Last?
This is a very common question. While stepping into a professional chapter of your life, the idea regarding the durability of dress shoes will help you understand when to repair or replace them.
Dress shoes may last anywhere from 6 months to even 10 years, depending on a few factors. Let me break it down for you in terms of quality, price, materials, and more.
Factors Affecting the Longevity of Dress Shoes
Without much ado, let us jump right into the factors that affect a pair of dress shoes’ longevity:
01. Quality Matters
Always a first priority. Good quality shoes, especially dress shoes will always last long. The better the quality, the more the durability. But in the case of dress shoes, overpriced does not necessarily mean good quality, but cheap ones are a riskier option.
A pair of decent quality dress shoes will last you between 2-5 years, and the higher quality ones may last beyond that.
02. Choose Materials Wisely
Very important! Certain materials will last long, certain will not. Leather, for example, will last longer than vinyl, rexine, or other synthetic materials.
03. Proper Maintenance is Important
You cannot expect something to last if you do not take care of it. The more careful you are in maintaining your dress shoes, the longer they will last.
Storing them in a dry environment, using good polish, repairing professionally when necessary will increase the longevity of your dress shoes.
04. Be Careful During Your Wear Period
How long and how you wear your dress shoes matters. If you constantly wear the same pair without rotation, the longevity may decrease by months or even years! Wearing leather dress shoes in damaging weather conditions also lower their longevity.
Be mindful of what activities you use them for- like you can opt for loafers that are perfect for casual activities.
05. Pick Durable Soles
Of course good quality and well-constructed shoes last only as long as their soles. Leather soles, paired with leather uppers tend to have longer years of use than rubber soles.
06. Look Into the Construction
Construction is not only limited to the stitches but how the sole is attached to the upper. This will affect longevity and also resoling.
Goodyear Welted dress shoes tend to last up to a couple of years and are easy to resole for even longer use. Blake Stitches are harder to resole or repair and thus are not very durable.
Cemented dress shoes cannot be resoled, which is why you can use them up to a year or 2 before having to replace them.
07. Price Speaks a Lot
Like I said, cheap shoes are easier to replace but in the end may cost you more in the long run than a well-priced pair. Anything below $120 may cost you more runs to the repair shop and frequent replacements.
$120-$200 is a good range where you can buy good, high-quality but not necessarily genuine leather shoes. These shoes may last you as long as 3-5 years!
If you are willing to spend $300 and beyond, you may be lucky to find dress shoes that will last up to 10 years on a run. But of course, these estimations are dependent on the other factors mentioned above.
How to Take Care of Dress Shoes to Increase Longevity
For this part, I will be focusing on leather dress shoes as they will have better longevity if taken care of properly compared to other options.
- Cleaning: Please clean your shoes as soon as you get home. Properly cleaned shoes will not only look nice but also prevent the material to be damaged from the debris. Thus, greater longevity.
- Maintenance Product: Polishing regularly is a must! Use good quality polish to protect your dress shoe material from chemical and environmental damage as well as those from wear and flexing. Use a shoe brush to do that- it will additionally clean dirt. Use water repellant sprays to act as a barrier to moisture damage.
- Shoe Stretcher: Use a shoe stretcher to fill in your leather dress shoes while you are not wearing them. This will ensure that your shoes do not lose shape earlier than their expiry date.
- Repairing & Sole Care: Never ignore the warning signs. Professionally repair your shoes before the damage or tear gets too big. Occasionally replace the sole, or easily repair and taps or dents through a cobbler.
Durable Dress Shoes Materials
As I have said before, leather is the most common and the best material for dress shoes compared to vinyl, synthetic, textiles, etc. Textile is slightly more durable than synthetic but nothing beats leather.
You will find two common types of leather that will make your dress shoes durable if taken care of properly:
- Full Grain Leather: These are usually of premium quality thus can be expensive. Full Grain Leather is minimally treated and is durable. They age seemingly well given they are properly maintained.
- Corrected Leather: This type of leather has added artificial grain that is coated with a sealant. Even though many expensive shoes can have Corrected Leather, they do not last as long as Full Grain Leather.
To summarize, dress shoes can last you from 6 months to even as long as 10 years. Quality material and stitching make dress shoes more durable, and proper maintenance adds to that.
So to get longer use out of your dress shoes, apply the information provided above while buying them! And do not forget to wear the right dress socks to look perfect!