Store your shoes away from heating vents and direct sunlight.

How to Protect the Soles of Dress Shoes

by Mimi Bullock

Shoe soles take a beating, even if you only wear them on special occasions. Whether you made a significant shoe investment or opted for a less expensive pair, keep the soles in good shape for longer by taking protective measures. Regular care will ensure that your dress shoes are ready to shine when you next need them.

Take new dress shoes to a professional cobbler and request rubber sole coverings. This added layer of protection will keep water from seeping into the shoes and provide better traction.

Replace missing heel caps immediately to keep the wear even. Stilettos are notorious for blowing heel caps after wearing.

Spritz clean shoes, including the soles, with a water-repellent product. This spray protects the shoe from damage in the rain and snow. Rubber soles do not require water repellent.

Restore shoe traction by rubbing the sole lightly with sandpaper. Soles that have worn down to a slick, shiny surface can create a falling hazard.

Wipe your dress shoes with a damp cloth after every wear. Polish the shoes with a dry cloth. Store them in a lidded shoebox or a shoe bag.

Items you will need

  • Heel caps
  • Water-repellent spray
  • Sandpaper
  • Cloths
  • Shoebox
  • Shoe bag


  • Avoid walking through standing water or mud when possible.
  • A well-made shoe assembled with quality products will stand up to wear and exposure to the elements better than a cheaply made pair.


  • If the soles feel spongy or weak when you press on them, they need replacing.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

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