Cool Shoe Tool #2 – Shoe Polishers

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My #2 Cool Shoe Tool Pick: Electric Shoe Polisher

For a totally polished, perfect look, consider purchasing a shoe polishing system. If you have nice shoes, especially expensive ones, then you should polish them often to keep them looking their best at all times.

A newly polished shoe serves two functions:

  • It looks like a new shoe and you look classy
  • It also keeps leather shoes in tip-top shape, maybe even extending their lifespan.

There are many levels of shoe polishing methods, and each has its pros and cons. Check out my guide below to selecting a home shoe polishing system – It is broken into three categories – choose the one that matches your needs and make sure to keep it right by your shoe rack so that you’ll actually use it!

1. Shoe Polish and Sponge Method – This is by far the most affordable method, great for young adults and college students. It also takes up the least amount of space, but, it requires the most amount of elbow-grease, so, you have to really want polished shoes if you are going this route. Polishing shoes is surprisingly easy and very gratifying. You just buy shoe polish at any shoe store or even drug store, rub it on the shoes, wait a minute and shine it off and… voila! An instant facelift for your favorite shoes! Make sure to cover the floor with a towel or newspaper to avoid stains.

2. Shoe Valets and Boxes – This is one step up from method 1. You still have to use your very own muscles to polish, but the nice thing here is that the shoe sits up on the box (less mess) and more comfortable. Also, there is usually storage in a box underneath the shoe for polishes and rags. This cedar shoe valet comes with everything you need to get started.

3. Electric Shoe Polisher – I have to admit I don’t have one of these and I’m not sure I’d necessarily spend the money on it this year, but I have tried an electric polisher at a friend’s house and it is really nice. They fit right into the closet and do all the buffing for you, you don’t even have to use cleaners or chemicals – great if you have kids and pets.

Now, Get Polishing!!!

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Put Your Shoes Out!

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Put your shoes out tonight – it’s Saint Nicholas Eve!
Here’s a history question for you: Who is Santa Claus? Have you ever wondered where Santa Claus came from (besides the North Pole, of course). He is actually a make-believe version of the real life St. Nicholas from long ago (don’t tell your kids about the make-believe part).

 

It turns out that people have been celebrating St. Nicholas day, December 6 each year, a long time before Santa Claus came around. On St. Nicholas day people around the world, mostly in Europe, honor this saint from long ago. I know, what does this have to do with shoe racks?

Not exactly much, but it has everything to do with shoes! Stories of the original St. Nick tell of a generous man who gave to the poor – he even gave away his inheritance from his parents to those who were in need. He would put coins, nuts and more in the shoes of the needy and that is where the tradition of children putting their shoes out on St. Nicholas eve came about.

My parents always celebrated with us this holiday and taught us about the “real Santa Claus”. Every year we would put our shoes out and in the morning there would be nuts, a tangerine, rice and flour plus a small present for each of us – it’s a fun, magical tradition and it made us feel special to know about this other, more authentic Santa Claus that existed long ago.

You can read here the history of this special saint and see how he inspired our modern day Santa. Hint: it mostly has to do with everyone’s favorite Christmas poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas – (Remember, “I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick”)

I’d love to hear your stories about the holidays also, let me know if you have ever heard of the real St. Nick and what you think about the tradition.

And to everyone, no matter what your religion, I want to wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!

 

 

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First Cool Shoe Tool Pick is Here! Shoe Stretchers!

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My #1 Cool Shoe Tool Pick:  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.

Really 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.

My Shoe Stretcher

My Shoe Stretcher

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!

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