There are lots of gadgets and tools which can make living with your shoes both easier, and less of a chore, so to show you what you are missing, we thought we would tell you about a few that we think you might like.

Shoe Bags for Athletes, Travelers and Shoe Fanatics

designer shoe bagShoe Bags are like a shoe rack on the go!  It is nice to keep a shoe bag on hand for a lot of reasons.  Here are a few different shoe bags, and a few different ideas for how (and when) to use them.

  1. Travel – Here is a nice travel shoe bag, it is made of a thinner material than traditional, hefty shoe bags, so you can squish it into your luggage more easily, without taking up any extra space, (which means you can bring more clothes, right?)  Throw a few of them in your suitcase, just in case you bring home more shoes than you left with J.
  2. Car – Keep a shoe bag in the trunk of your car in case you make an unexpected trip to the beach or have to change a flat in the mud.  Better yet, put a spare pair of shoes in the shoe bag so that you can swap them for the ones you just got muddy.  This is especially a great tip if you have kids (you moms know what I’m talking about).
  3. Athletes – Golf shoe bags are great for serious golfers, and also for every other athlete.  If you have little soccer players at home, get them a bag for their cleats – they will think it is a gift for them but you know that it’s more about you and your car.  Leather is a great option for athletic shoes, especially the sharp, pokey kind.  Young athletes will love something from Adidas, Nike or another trendy athletic gear company.
  4. Shoe Fanatics – What can I say, a nice shoe bag can get your nice pumps to and from a party without damaging them, and you can wear something more comfortable (think Slippers) in the car, no one has to know!

Shoe Stretchers for Squashed Feet

I started using these shoe stretchers a year or so ago to help my aching toes.  I already had duck feet before I had kids and now that I’ve been through two pregnancies, they are, alas, even wider.

cedar shoe stretchersReally anybody can use them, I have friends that have more average-width feet (lucky gals) and even they still sometimes can’t fit comfortably into all heels, especially pointy narrow toed ones and peep-toes.

Shoe stretchers are easy to use, you just have to have a little time – for example, you can’t stretch your new gray suede pumps an hour before the party, they really need to stretch for at least 24 hours.  But the nice thing is that the longer you stretch them the more roomy they get.  Also, you have to be realistic – you can’t turn a size 6 into a size 8, ever. (sorry :( ).  But, if you’re looking for just a little more room, they are actually a really great product.

All you do is put the shoe stretcher in the shoe and expand it to fill the shoe – each shoe stretcher is different but most of them have some kind of hand crank system.  Then you can expand the stretcher a little bit farther than the natural size of the shoe, and after 24 hours you may be able to crank it out a little bit more.  Some of them come with “plugs” that you put into holes along the stretcher so that you can customize the stretch to accommodate corns, bunions and hammertoes.

Important Notes for Choosing a Shoe Stretcher:

  • Look for a shoe stretcher that works for width and length (not all can make them longer) – this will give you the most stretch.
  • They work best on natural materials – leather, suede, some fabrics
    (they don’t work well on plastics and vinyl)
  • Make sure you know what you are getting for the price – a lot of times they are sold as a single stretcher, not a set of two which means you can only do one shoe at once

Have fun with your happy feet!

Shoe Pops for your Shoe Rack

An Inexpensive Fix for Crinkled and Wrinkled Shoes!

Shoe Pops!  That’s right, just like a Popsicle for your shoe!  Well, not exactly like a Popsicle (can you imagine what would happen if you put a frozen Popsicle in your shoe – just ask my son!).

Shoe Pops

Shoe pops are kind of like shoe stretchers, but without the stretching part.

  • They are great for keeping your shoes shapely, and wrinkle free, but they won’t stretch them.
  • They are very inexpensive, compared to shoe stretchers, and are usually sold in sets so that you can protect a few pairs at once.
  • They work great in high heels, sandals, pumps, you name it!

If you have expensive shoes that you plan on using for many years, this is an important investment.  Shoes, especially natural material shoes, like leather, suede, and, to a certain extent, plastics and vinyls, have a tendency to deteriorate when you are not wearing them.

When your foot is in a shoe, it keeps everything filled out, so there is no sagging which inevitably leads to crushing, creasing and wrinkling.  And if you have experienced this before, then you know that once you have wrinkled leather, there is no going back, you simply can’t fix that problem.

So, prevent it before it happens with a set of shoe pops.  This set of shoe pops is very inexpensive, and comes in a set of four so you can take care of two pairs of shoes.  When you take them out of the shoes, you can simply leave them in place of the shoes on your shoe rack so that you will remember to use it again when you get home.

Another bonus of these tools is that they are very lightweight, so traveling is not a problem.  They will keep your shoes free from crushing in your tightly packed suitcase.