It is often said, “you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear.”

Albeit true, it is actually far more revealing to see how well a person takes care of their shoes. Whether you are dressed in sneakers or have diamonds on the soles of your shoes, nothing is worse than your shoes giving the impression spending time in a back alley dumpster.

For this reason, preserving your shoes is as important as the kind of shoes you purchase. One of the biggest mistakes men make, is investing money in a quality pair of shoes and then failing to invest the time it takes to protect them.  Sorry guys, it takes a lot more than the occasional shoeshine to keep your kicks in decent condition.

Snow, salt, slush, and sweat are some of shoes most notorious enemies.  Each day, these literal arch nemeses lay the smack down on your shoes, American Gladiator style.

Fortunately, there’s an assortment of steps you can take to combat these damaging elements. Larry the shoeshine guy at Chicago's Altman Shoes, has been in the shoe business for over 40 years, and says the most important step to shoe maintenance is having your shoes shined before the first wear.  This provides armor for your shoes and will help prevent damage from the heavily salted sidewalks.

Next, its very important give you shoes time to breathe.  That being said, never wear them 2 days in a row.  It is best to alternate your shoes throughout the week giving enough time for the moisture to dry out.

Lastly, be sure to use cedar shoetrees anytime you are not wearing your shoes.  This will help maintain the structure of your shoes and also help prevent lasting wrinkles from forming in the toes.

All together, these steps will help keep your shoes kicking for longer.