Some might think it as odd, but I like going down to my shoe closet just to take a peek inside and to make sure that my “investments” are well-preserved. Every so often, I take them out for a cleaning (yes, even those that I have not used in a while). One by one, I unwrap their protective cloth or paper cover, give them a once-over to make sure that no molds have grown (in Manila weather this is a must), and, depending on the material used for their construction, proceed to wipe, dust, buff or brush them. They are then lovingly and securely re-wrapped for storage.
It might seem a bit on the anal side, but when dealing with shoes that cost more than a month’s salary for most people this kind of care is needed. Indeed, it has been worth the effort. Take these brown suede Cole Haan lace-ups as an example. I bought this pair on a trip to Carmel, California back in 1999. Yes, that was 12 years ago. Yet, they look like they’ve been out of the box for only a couple of weeks.
The design is eye catching as it is slim and very contemporary. Wearing it is a pleasure as the leather is soft and pliable. The best part of the entire experience is when I run my hand softly against it to feel the luxurious suede nap. I imagine a cobbler carefully selecting only the best hides for this handmade shoe and hoping that its future owner will have as much pride in wearing it as he had in making it.
Quality really is timeless.