Wherever you are in this world that’s been crippled by the Coronavirus, I hope Covid19 restrictions are starting to ease for you like it has for us, and you’re starting to see some normality returning to your lives. One of the many things that you’ll probably be doing as you get ready to return to work, school or college is to remove your shoes from your shoes cabinet, give it a good polish or dusting before wearing it on your first day after months of working or studying from home.
Here’s a little tip for you that may safe you from inconvenience and embarrassment. Before wearing your shoes out of your house on your first day post-quarantine, do wear the shoes around your house to ‘test walk’ them. Did you know that shoes, whether it’s a pair of expensive leather heels or a pair of cheap vintage shoes, need constant wearing in order to prolong their life? Most shoes have moulded Polyurethane (PU) soles, which, while being light and comfortable, is prone to a form of deterioration called “hydrolysis”, especially in coastal, warm and humid areas, when not worn. In short, the soles crumble into a sticky mess when you wear them after a prolonged period of storage without wearing them.
Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of the PU polymer and the resulting physical breakdown or crumbling of the PU sole by the attack of water (usually in vapour form), occurring over a period of several months and years (even when the shoes are in store).
The act of wearing your shoes puts pressure on the soles and squeezes out the moisture, which would otherwise insidiously break apart the foam-like structure. So it’s possible for a pair of unworn or barely worn shoes to disintegrate. It has happened to me several times and definitely put me in a tight spot in public!
During this pandemic where almost the entire part of the world is forced into lockdown or restricted movement, the safest method of buying shoes is through online shopping platforms. One can find great deals on thousands of shoes in various styles from minimalist sandals to sneakers, pumps, boots, flat and loafers via online shopping platforms like ShoesSee, an established shoemaker that manufacture sustainable, foot friendly shoes for women that are produced exclusively by them in Hong Kong.
So start testing your old shoes now before you wear them for a long day or just shop for a new pair. Don’t let that sole collapse and completely detach from your shoes like arid soil crumbling. You really won’t want to be running around barefooted right smack in the subway on your way to work on your first day after lockdown 😉.
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