You can make your leather shoes last as long as you want to keep them if you take care of them, but sadly most don't know how. We live in a society now where it is much easier to just throw them out and buy a new pair. Back in the day, most people owned only one pair of shoes and therefore had to take care of them out of necessity and they lasted for the life of the person! With the busy lifestyles of today many people just don't take the time to care for their shoes properly and just take the easier albeit more expensive option of buying new ones instead. It really doesn't take that much time or effort as well will show you. When you first buy a pair of shoes you should always coat them with a weather proofing or sealer to prevent them from water and weather damage.
The sealants usually come on a spray and you should use two to three coats to be sure they are covered properly. Be sure that the spray you choose has a waterproofing agent in it. Also, reapply the sealant every few months to guarantee protection and even more often if you use the shoes in harsh conditions. Leather tends to shrink and get hard if it gets wet, so do your best to keep them dry. If your leather shoes do get wet, let them dry naturally unless you have done it deliberately to shape them to your foot.
Your leather shoes will be much more comfortable if you keep them soft as they are intended to be. If your shoes do become hard you will need to use some wax or polish to make them soft again. Use clear shoe wax or even furniture wax and rub in lightly. If you buy expensive leather dress shoes, inquire at the store you buy them as to any special care they may need to keep them in perfect shape. The best practice is to use natural products whenever possible to take care of your leather shoes.
Harsh chemicals can be damaging to your leather shoes. If they are exposed to chemicals wipe them down as soon as possible with a cloth and warm water then dry and reapply a waterproof sealant. The sock less Miami Vice look is still popular with some, but it is damaging to your shoes.
Whenever possible where socks with your shoes, of course some leather shoes like sandals and many ladies shoes you would not want to wear socks. Overall, wearing socks will prolong the life of your shoes. Always use a soft natural cloth and polish in a circular motion when you are polishing your leather shoes and rub the polish in well. You will not hurt the shoes and it will help to preserve them. Make sure to wipe way any excess polish as not to ruin your pants or socks from staining.
See, it really doesn't take that much effort to make your shoes last.
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Get great deals on brand name shoes at http://www.brandnamefootwearonline.com