Protecting Your Shoes From Salt

Aw yeah, look at you and your brand new, sexy as hell, badass winter boots. Whoever said you had to sacrifice looking good to bundle up never saw THESE babies.

But wait… what’s this? Your city uses salt during the winter and you walk to work/to get anywhere? Well, DAMN it. I guess you can kiss those beauties goodbye. By the time spring and dry streets roll in, your combo-breaking kicks will be a shapeless mess.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are ways to prevent the inevitable salty shoe-icide that comes with city living and salted streets. Read on:

Option 1: Plastic bags

Ohh baby, so fly! Be prepared to turn heads when you swagger by with grocery bags tied to your feet. Take THAT, salt. People gonna recognize! Not to mention you can have it all for the low, low price of FREE (5 cents in some city bylaw cases).

Unfortunately all that sweet attention will come from looking like an idiot and probably falling down a lot, because plastic bags’ have little to no traction. So don’t actually do this. The consequential spine surgery isn’t worth a new pair of shoes.

However if this is the most awesome thing you’ve heard since 3D TV, then here are creative suggestions: Use the really cool bags specialty shops give out (comic book shops, toy stores, designer clothing stores – to name a few) and invest in some of these wicked cool, strap-on shoe spikes.

Option 2 : Special Waterproofing Sprays

Jokes aside, one real solution to protecting your awesome winter boots or shoes is a special spray sold pretty much anywhere you can buy shoes. Chances are, if you’ve bought your shoes in the winter/wet months, a salesperson has already mentioned it. I’ve personally witnessed these sprays’ magical water-proofing abilities and it BLEW MY MIND.

Internet forums advise spraying your boots once a month, on average, and to clean them beforehand, since boots can be difficult to clean once waterproofed.

Option 3: Shoe Polish

Shoe Polish is a classic for shining, water-proofing, and extending the lifetime of footwear. Check out everything you need to know on its wiki page. As with the spray, shoe polish will seal in grime—so apply to clean, dry shoes.

Another thing shoe polish has in common with shoe spray is how incredibly toxic it can be. An awesome safe alternative is to use beeswax. There are also several brands of sprays and waxes designed to be environmentally friendly.

Option 4: Clean Shoes After Every Outing

Not the lazy person’s solution, but there is always the option of cleaning your boots after every trip you take that involves lanes clad with sodium chloride. Use water and vinegar for leather.

Option 5: Protect with Magic

Google suggests protecting your shoes with magic(!). Such brilliance can only come from a search engine. Simply take your boots to your local druid, enchanter, or sorceress and be prepared to never need a new pair ever again. Forget salt, those boots’ll survive A NUCLEAR APOCALPYSE.

What? What do ya mean ‘unrealistic’? You’re saying the only places you know to find these kind of people are in games and, as of yet, there is no way to enter those realms and transfer items to or from it? Well DAMN it.

Pictured: Magic

Option 6: Move to a Place that uses Sand instead of Salt

Thunder Bay uses sand instead of salt on walkways. By the end of the winter your friends who live in Ottawa won’t believe how awesome your boots still look!

But sand is no effective substitute where safe winter driving and a healthy environment are concerned; turns out sand is just as bad. Here’s a chart:

 Negative Effects of Sand  Negative Effects of Salt
  •  ineffective at melting snow
  • does not provide cars with safe traction
  • repeated application
  • extensive clean up
  • collects oil and grease
  • clogs storm drains
  • clouds water in rivers, lakes, etc
  • ground to dust by traffic and inhaled
  •  twice as expensive as sand
  • salty spring runoff harms/kills aquatic life
  • can taint ground water
  • corrodes roads, cars, shoes

Of course, if you only consider the state of your beloved footwear after a winter spent trekking up and down streets, then cities that use sand are the place to be.

And, when all else fails, wear the shoes you don’t care about. I’m looking at YOU, ugg boots.


G to the 3 at 30 Nov -0001

What about carrying a snow shovel with you at all times? That way you can be your own snowplow and clear a path for yourself wherever you go. Your friends, and perhaps even perfect strangers will gratefully follow in your slush free wake. The shovel

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