Purchased a pair of shoes recently only to find wrinkles on its surface after a few uses? Well, your shoes are growing old even though they have been newly purchased. One of the most probable reasons for them to look old and wrinkled is CREASES. And creases on shoes are almost inevitable, just as wrinkles due to old age in humans.
The good news is, you can reduce the creases or slow down the creasing process on your shoes. But, it is only with proper care and maintenance that you can increase the life span of your shoes and prevent them from looking all crumpled and wrinkly.
Therefore, we have come up with some handy tips and tricks that you can use to prevent your shoes from forming creases. Read our tips below to make your favorite pair of shoes look younger and better.!
Why do shoe crease?
Shoes that are used almost daily are subject to getting old and creased eventually. But, several factors contribute to creasing. Ideally, shoes are supposed to be soft near the toes, and every time we walk, the area near the toes bends as the ball of feet lifts from the ground. This is the general reason that shoes form creases due to the constant walking and bending.
You will notice these creases, especially in leather shoes, as the material is very soft. Eventually, they start curving since they flex while walking, which causes the crease. This also reduces the efforts to break in, but the shoes might wear out sooner and look old and wrinkly.
The material of the shoe also plays a significant role. Rubber and mesh have more excellent elasticity than leather, and the creases are not very noticeable even if the shoe bends excessively. Whereas in the case of leather, the finishing is smooth, and the elasticity is also good, which allows the bend in the toe region and eventually makes the crease inevitable.
Another reason for the shoes developing creases on the foot region is the size of the shoe. If it is slightly wider or larger, leaving space in the toe region, or not holding your feet properly, the shoe loses its shape as per the ideal feet size it is made for and eventually starts creasing.
The elasticity in the shoes is necessary because that causes our feet to remain comfortable inside the shoes, and the shoes don’t feel very stiff. It gives your feet enough room within the shoe and enough elasticity, reducing the stiffness and break-in period. But excessive creasing can also be due to other major issues like improper walking gait or oversized shoes.
Read on to find out how you can avoid creasing your shoes and improve their life span.
Where do shoes exactly crease from?
It is slightly impossible to predict where your shoes can crease from. As a general rule of thumb, to provide elasticity and flexibility while walking, shoes will crease from the upper region near the toe. But the intensity to which creases form and the exact location of where creases are formed might differ. Several factors contribute to this difference.
Different manufacturers use different quality materials and have different processes of making and constructing the shoes. The overall construction of both your shoes is not always uniform.
Due to this, one of your shoes may look more creased, whereas the other one may be less creased. The location of the creasing may also vary based on the shoe construction and uniformity, while the making may hugely contribute to creasing.
As discussed earlier, the material is also one of the factors that contribute to creasing. By material, we mean two things, being rubber, mesh, leather, etc. Each material has a varying amount of elasticity, and hence the creases are more or less evident. But, the thickness and the texture of the fabric are also important.
Certain shoes are made of extremely thick leather, which would not crease that easily. The thickness may also affect the overall elasticity of the shoes. You may have seen work boots or construction boots, or welder boots that are very tough and thick. They do not bend easily, and such shoes are very stiff and resistant to bending or creasing.
Here, the material and the shoe fitting both play a vital role. If the upper part of your foot supports the gap regions of the shoes well, there are fewer chances of forming bends and creases at the most prominent spots. However, there would be a minimal level of stretching when your toes bend while walking.
The upper sides of the shoes are also subject to creasing, sometimes apart from the toe area. This is because the shoes are oversized, and the shoes bend to make up for the gap caused due to small size.
The heel area of the shoes can also develop creases if they are constantly under pressure while wearing. This mostly happens with those who wear their shoes directly by pushing their feet through the heel region and struggle to wear their shoes correctly.
Therefore, heel regions are made of slightly thicker material to avoid creasing while wearing the shoe. However, if you continue to pursue the habit of pushing your feet daily into the shoes, then creases are bound to form.
How to Not Crease Your Shoes?
Not that one can altogether avoid creasing their shoes, but just like you have anti-aging creams to slow down your skin aging process, the same is the case with shoes. You can prevent them from getting too wrinkly and keep them looking good as new. Here are a few tips we suggest you must try to keep your shoe crease-free:
Get the right size
This is the most important hack that we recommend to every reader to purchase a pair of well-fitted shoes. Shoes with unnecessary space in the toe box region can cause bending and creasing. Eventually, the creases will spread to the entire shoe and make them look ugly and wrinkly.
Therefore, no matter how attractive a pair of shoes may look to you, buy it only if it fits you right. A small amount of space in the toe box is recommended to avoid making your feet feel stuffy. But, make sure not to have any extra space inside the shoes to cause creases.
Iron The Shoes
Ironing shoes may sound a bit offbeat, but if you follow the steps appropriately, then it might help.
- Remove the laces of the shoes to maintain a smooth surface while ironing the shoes to remove the creases.
- Now, stuff some newspaper inside the toe box to keep the surface stiff while you are ironing. You can use any paper and make sure to stuff generously.
- Heat iron to medium-low setting, just so that it produces steam if placed on a damp cloth.
- Take a plain/non-colored damp cloth and place it over the shoes.
- Now, press the iron on top of the damp cloth over the shoe and allow the iron steam to penetrate to the shoe surface.
- Now the material of the shoes starts to feel warmer and stiff. Iron gently for a minute or so and switch off the iron.
- The surface of the shoes feels uniform and almost crease-free.
- Keep the shoes moisturized for a while by keeping the damp cloth on top.
- After a few hours, remove the cloth and apply mink oil on shoes to maintain moisturization and give it a smooth shine.
The more dry your shoes are, the more likely they are too look wrinkly and creased. Therefore, it is necessary to keep them moisturized to keep the material supple and maintain its elasticity. Shoe conditioners are great products that you can regularly apply as part of routine shoe care and maintenance.
Another great product is mink oil that is generally used for leather shoes. It makes sure to keep them moisturized while maintaining shine and avoiding creases due to drying. Even if your shoes go very dry, you can apply mink oil for your rescue.
Go for stiff leather shoes
Stiff materials do not bend easily and have fewer chances of forming creases on their surface. However, stiff shoes may not feel very comfortable to wear in the long run. Stiff shoes will have an extremely tough material. This is usually in the case of leather or rubber shoes that are made of multiple layers of leather. But, you would want to wear them during winters, else your feet are bound to feel all stuffed up!
Avoid soaking shoes in water
For leather shoes, especially those that are new and trying to break in as per your feet, it is advisable not to spoil their shape and ruin their elasticity by getting them wet. In fact, once they become dry after getting wet, the shoes will have a very skinny and wrinkly texture which affects the overall lifespan and looks of the shoe. This can cause creases.
One way to prevent damage due to sudden encounters with water is to use a water repellant spray. Water repellant sprays make your shoe temporarily waterproof and reduce the creasing and shrinking that can happen due to moisture.
Use these sprays once in 3 months to keep the waterproof barrier intact and avoid crease formation.
Avoid Extreme Heat for Drying
It is not always advisable to use direct heat over the shoes as it can damage the material. However, if appropriately done, you can use a heat gun or a blow dryer to remove the creases. Just make sure that the shoes do not get too dry in the process.
- Insert a shoe tree inside the shoes to hold the shape while heating.
- Now set the heat gun or blow dryer to the lowest setting and hold it 8-10 inches away from the shoes.
- Move the heat gun or blower back and forth several times for it to work on the entire shoe.
- Now, after drying and once the leather has become slightly warm, use a shoe conditioner, polish, or cream and rub it over the surface to prevent it from getting too dry.
Use a Shoehorn
As we discussed in the article previously, wearing the shoes through the heels can cause them to crease from the heel area. No matter how easily your shoes slip through the heels, eventually, the area around the heel will start creasing. Be it leather or rubber, or mesh fabric, the creasing will deteriorate the life span of your shoe and change its shape over time.
Therefore, a shoehorn is a one-time solid investment you can make for your shoes. You can use it to reduce the impact on the heel region. It allows you to slip in your feet into the shoes easily without pressurizing the material.
This prevents your shoes from creasing around the heel area and adds support to the back of the shoe. A shoehorn might be a costly investment but is worth it, saving you from wrecking your shoes.
Insert Shoe Trees
Shoe Trees are the best way to protect your shoes when you are not wearing them. Shoe trees are available in different sizes and types, being adjustable and non-adjustable based on your choice. You can simply place them and fit them inside the shoe after wearing them for the whole day.
Shoe trees allow the material to remain stiff and not bend, thereby retaining the shoe’s shape and preventing creases at the front region.
Shoe Trees are also known to keep your shoes smelling fresh and odor-free. It also absorbs most of the moisture and sweat from your shoes making them suitable for use for the next day. It is an overall, great protective gear and a good investment for your shoes.
Sneaker shields or more commonly known as crease protectors are a tool used to fit within the shoe’s toe box. This maintains the rigid shape of the shoe and prevents the material from folding or bending too much.
Sneaker shields are usually made of flexible materials like plastic, polyethylene, or TPR that are hard as well as bendable. These sneaker shields are usually removable and washable. However, if there is not enough space within the shoes, these sneaker shields can suffocate your feet or even cause pain to your toes. Make sure to try them out first before you decide to use them permanently to prevent creases.
Else, you can keep them stuck within the shoe’s toe box after wearing the shoes for the day.
Use a spare pair of shoes
Keep rotating your shoes daily. Do not use only one shoe daily. This will cause overuse and bending of shoes. Therefore, the shoes crease from the toe region due to daily bending and tear or deteriorate easily.
Instead, if you use the shoes in rotation, all your shoes would last longer and remain crease-free for longer.
Safe Packaging to Avoid Creases
The method of storing your shoes also determines the level of creasing on your shoes. Therefore, you can store the shoes appropriately to keep them lasting longer and avoid the formation of creases:
Use dust bags to store them
If you are traveling and carrying the shoes in your luggage, use a dust bag to store them. These are generally available with the shoes themselves and protects them from getting pressurized due to all the luggage inside the bag, forming creases.
Dustbags can also be used in general while storing shoes in the shoe rack to avoid dust particles from settling on the surface. This can help in keeping your shoe dust and crease-free.
Stuff clothing/paper towels inside shoes
Another convenient way of storing your shoes after use or carrying them while traveling is to stuff your clothes or paper towels inside the shoes. By stuffing clothes, you can retain and maintain the shape of the shoes while also saving space in your suitcase.
Make sure to be generous while stuffing clothes or paper towels and push them right to the toe box as that is the area prone to maximum creases. Stuffing allows to keep the shoes stiff and retain their shape.
Once we are used to a particular walking style, it can be tough to change the style. But, our walking knowingly or unknowingly causes creases over the shoes. In that case, we can make a conscious effort and focus on walking with more pressure on the heels rather than on the shoes. This not only gives a proper walking gait but also reduces creases in the toe area of the shoe.
Shoe creases form because your shoes need to bend while walking and retain their flexibility. However, several reasons can contribute to the formation of creases on shoes and make them look old and crumpled. Your shoes don’t look shiny and lack the uniformity that needs to be maintained on their surface.
For which, we decided to come to your rescue and suggest some useful tips to prevent creases on your shoes. These tricks have proven effective in making shoes look younger and crease-free, thereby making them last longer.
Read our article above and tell us how younger and crease-free your shoes have been looking through the comments section below.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.