You can’t wear just any pair of shoes or boots with a suit. By definition, a suit is a formal outfit consisting of trousers and a matching jacket. Therefore, you must pair it with formal footwear, such as dress shoes. Unfortunately, though, it’s not uncommon for dress shoes to develop creases. As the creases form, the dress shoes lose some of their aesthetic value while also being less comfortable to wear. You can still wear dress shoes with a suit, but you should follow some precautions to protect them from creasing.
Choose Dress Shoes That Fit Your Feet
I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning that you should choose dress shoes that fit your feet. If they are small, you may struggle to comfortably walk and move around while wearing them. If they are too big, on the other hand, they may develop creases. Creases are more common in oversized dress shoes because there’s more open, unfilled space. As you walk, the open space inside your dress shoes will cause creasing. To prevent this from happening, you must choose dress shoes that fit your feet.
When shopping for dress shoes, take a few minutes to try them on. Even if you wear a specific size in one brand of shoes, you may wear a completely different size in a different brand of shoes. The only way you’ll know whether a brand of dress shoes fits is by trying them on in store. After putting your feet in the dress shoes and lacing them up, walk around the store. Ideally, there should be slightly less than a finger-width amount of space between the tip of your toes and the front of the shoes. If you discover a pair of dress shoes have more space than this, put them back on the shelf and find a different pair. Choosing dress shoes in the right size is essential to protecting them from creasing.
Choose High-Quality Dress Shoes Made of a Premium Material
In addition to finding the right size, it’s also important to choose high-quality dress shoes made of a premium material. You can probably save a couple bucks by purchasing a cheap pair of dress shoes made of a low-quality material. Over time, though, this could cost you even more money when you’re forced to replace them with a new pair. For the greatest value, go ahead and spend the extra bucks on a pair of high-quality dress shoes made of a premium material.
Genuine leather is an excellent material for men’s dress shoes. Not only is it stylish; it’s soft and comfortable, allowing you to comfortably wear leather dress shoes for eight or more hours a day. Most importantly, genuine leather is less likely to develop creases than other, cheaper materials, which is just one more reason to consider purchasing a pair of leather dress shoes.
Break In Your New Dress Shoes
After finding the perfect pair of dress shoes, it’s recommended that you wear them around your house for a few hours to break them in. All dress shoes need to broken in. Otherwise, they’ll have a stiff texture that’s prone to creasing. You don’t have to wear them the entire day. Rather, wear them for about two or three hours while walking around the house. Over the course of two or three hours, your new dress shoes will flex as they “break” in. As a result, the next time you wear them — outside your house — your dress shoes will feel softer and more comfortable while also being less vulnerable to creasing.
Dress shoes require minimal work to maintain, but there’s one step you shouldn’t overlook: waxing. About once every two to four weeks, apply a premium shoe wax over the surface of your dress shoes. Shoe wax adds a protective layer over the surface of your dress shoes, preventing dirt, moisture and debris from settling into the material. By waxing your dress shoes on a regular basis, they’ll be less likely to crease.
An alternative to using shoe wax is a leather conditioning product. Leather conditioning products work well for leather dress shoes, but they don’t offer the same level of protection as shoe wax. Conditioning products are primarily designed to moisturize and hydrate leather, whereas shoe wax products are designed to create a protective layer of the surface of the shoes. Both types of products can reduce the risk of creasing, though many men prefer the added protection of shoe wax over leather conditioning products.
Store in a Humidity-Controlled Environment
Avoid storing your dress shoes in the basement, attic, patio or other areas in which high humidity is a problem. Instead, store them in a humidity-controlled environment, such as your bedroom or living room closet. Humidity, of course, refers to moisture vapor in the air. There’s always some level of humidity — and that’s okay. As long as the humidity is low, it shouldn’t damage or otherwise harm your dress shoes. But if the humidity rises above 60%, it could leave your dress shoes vulnerable to creasing, which is why it’s recommended that you store your dress shoes indoors where you can control the humidity level.
Store With Shoe Trees
When you aren’t wearing your dress shoes, try to get into the habit of storing them with shoes trees. What are shoe trees exactly? Well, shoe trees are thick blocks that are placed inside dress shoes to retain their original shape. You slide the tree in a shoe, after which you can adjust the extension bar so that it pushes against the back of the shoe. Once in place, the tree will retain the original shape of the shoe, thereby protecting it from creases and other related forms of deformation. You can purchase shoe trees at most shoe stores as well as some online stores.
It’s frustrating when you discover large creases in your favorite pair of dress shoes. The good news is that you can protect your dress shoes from this phenomenon by following the tips outlined here.