R & R and TLC
We at TLC believe in the other kind of TLC -- tender, loving, care.
Give your shoes some TLC when you put them on and take them off. Use a shoehorn. The stiff back, or collar, of a shoe hugs the ankle and provides support and a snug fit. It isn't supposed to bend or flex. If you're cramming your feet into your shoes without the help of a shoe horn, the constant flexing will break down the stiff material at the collar and can do irreparable damage to your shoes in no time.
Shoes spend their time hugging your feet, which can get sweaty and smelly. Avoid wearing a pair of shoes two days running or more. A little R & R will allow them to dry out, dissipate lingering odor and regain their shape.
Clean and polish your shoes regularly. The cleaning materials and methods will vary depending on the type of shoe, but regular maintenance to remove marks and repair the ravages of friction and moisture will extend the life of your shoes and keep them feeling supple and comfortable.
If your shoes see a lot of action in wet weather, consider waterproofing them. It'll protect the finish and cut down on shoe maintenance and polishing.