There are multiple things involved in shoe care – from shoe trees for proper storage of your dress shoes to regular polishing and cleaning to keep them healthy. The first step in shoe-care begins right when you put them on, though. Dress shoes (or even casual shoes and boots) that fit you perfectly will be snug, which makes it hard to put them on even with the laces completely undone. And although leather shoes conform to your foot over time, trying to push your feet into them with just your hands will put unnecessary pressure at the back of the shoe. This can damage the leather around the heel region of the shoe. Thankfully, there’s a tool to get around this – the shoe horn.
A shoe horn is a long spoon-like tool that is used to put on your shoes safely by helping your foot slide into the shoe. Using it is very simple too. You need to hold it straight in the back of your shoe, the spoon-like head of the shoehorn facing downwards and inwards. After that, put your foot in the shoe – the heel will glide along the surface of the shoe horn. As the foot is going in, start pulling up on the shoe horn to remove it so that the remaining space allows your foot to safely fit into the shoe. Longer shoe horns can be used while standing up, while shorter shoe horns will require you to sit down to use them
How to use a shoe horn?
Now that we’ve discussed through the basics, let’s go through easy steps for using the shoe horn to safely put on your shoes.
Sit down on a chair/bed/stool if you have a short to medium shoe horn.
Stand up if you have a long shoe horn.
Loosen up the shoe laces. Trying to the wear shoes with the laces still tied is the worst mistake I see people doing. You need as much open space as possible in the shoe before you try to put your foot in
Set the shoe horn vertically inside the shoe with the spoon-like curved side facing towards the front. The curves of the shoe horn should rest at the back of the shoe.
Inserting the shoe horn before your foot prevents the damage that can be caused from stepping on the back of the shoe
Slip your foot into the shoe. Your heel will slide along the surface of the shoe horn as your foot moves in. As this is happening, pull up on the shoe horn slowly. Your foot and the shoe horn are supposed to be moving in opposite directions, so that the shoe horn is completely out by the time your heel touches the sole of the shoe.