Words & Photos: @oliverinstead
By now you should know that 1. I love shoes and 2. I love travelling. But what I love more, is stealing from hotel rooms. Now you’re probably thinking “well, that escalated quick” but there is indeed a correlation between these things, which is why I want to show you some of the shoecare hacks that I’ve picked up during my travels… while I let you raid my shoedrobe, ’cause why not?
one Don’t forget the toothbrush
When you’re away from home, even the free crappy toothbrush seems like a viable cleaning tool for your scruffy shoes, especially at times when a humble towel just won’t do. So always, ALWAYS exploit the complimentary toiletries and take the rest home – I accumulate them until they flood the bathroom cabinet but eventually, they will come in handy.
two Toothpaste ain’t just for the tooth
Keeping in the vein of applying oral products on your feet *because we all have one of those days* did you know toothpaste could serve as the perfect polish for your shoes? Simply apply it on the dirty spots, work it in then leave for a few minutes before scrubbing it off with the aforementioned toothbrush and bam, you got yourself some good-as-new shoes for the evening!! 😉
three Lather it up
Ok, I’ve stayed in enough hotel rooms to understand that toiletry supplies can feel like a real luxury, especially in the UK. However, I’d hope that wherever you’re staying there will be access to shampoo and sometimes that’s all you need to give your footwear a quick face lift.
Note: You might not want to do this on your premium leather kicks but on faux leather shoes, this hack works a treat.
four Loot every corner
If all else fails, check in the wardrobe, every drawer and most importantly, where the slippers are kept. If the hotel is generous (keyword: if) and take into consideration their guests’ every need, they will very kindly leave a little instant shoe shine. If that’s the case, use it. Take it, and run with it.
The truth is I’m still using one that I nicked from a spa hotel in Hisarya, Bulgaria a few years back to give my shoes a quick dust and shine before I head out.
five Plan ahead
This final hack is less cleaning tip and more common sense – just like a good breakfast, a sensibly selected outfit can determine your day, i.e. mountain trekking in light coloured trainers will not leave you very jolly. Likewise, wearing suede shoes in the monsoon will only rain more on your metaphorical parade.
In short, beware of the surrounding elements to help prolong the life of your footwear. Do your research : a telly in the room with a weather channel in your native lingo would be a good start… if you don’t have the privilege of a working Wi-Fi, that is.
Hopefully you will get to experiment and enjoy these shoecare hacks courtesy of your next hotel stay. If you need more tips, check out my post here on how to maintain the whiteness of your white leather, or you can consult the series of style how-to videos on Style Hub – Farfetch’s new destination for all things fashion / an after-sales service for all the beautiful stuff you can shop on their website if you will.
Birkenstock • Hudson • Nike • New Balance • Ted Baker