Prepare your boots for the elements
istock/lolostock Before you even think about wearing a new pair of boots out on an unpredictable winter day, treat them with a waterproofing compound. The formula will create a thin barrier between your leather (which relies on its own natural oils to remain soft and malleable) and the elements. The easiest way to do this is by using a fast-drying spray, which you should reapply after every few wears. If you’re nervous about the protectant staining, do a test run on a discreet part of the shoe, like the inner heel. This is how to make every single pair of shoes last longer.
Stay in shape
iStock/omersukrugoksu Every time you allow your boots to wilt over in the closet, you’re putting undue stress on the leather. Keep them standing tall (and avoid creasing) by investing in a boot tree. For a more frugal option, roll up a magazine and place it into the boot vertically. (These tiny outfit updates will make you look expensive.)