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This is how a pair of undyed leather shoes looks after a year of non-stop wear.

The story is here, courtesy of the good folks at Blackbird, who seem to endorse this kind of shoe abuse, but we see it more as a cautionary tale. A scant twelve months ago, these were bright, clean loafers, full of potential. Now they’re covered with the kind of creases and raw scuffs that cause weaker souls to run out of thrift stores in tears.

There, but for the grace of shoe trees, go all of us.

So in the interest of saving any other wayward oxfords that have yet to fall into weathered perdition, we thought we’d reiterate the one central rule of wearing in shoes: don’t wear them more than two days in a row. There are others—keep them out of the rain, keep a shoe tree or some newspaper inside when you’re not wearing them—but they pale before that one cardinal dictum.

When you ignore it 364 times in a row, you end up with something like the shoes above—great color, but a cloudy patina and too much scuffing for a shoeshine to cure. Consider yourself warned.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom