SPRAY - Protect the outside surface of your shoes by spraying the leather with a waterproofing spray for leather/nubuck prior to wearing outdoors, especially during seasons of high precipitation. Leather/nubuck sprays are typically available at your local shoe repair shop/shoe store. Use the spray on all your leather/nubuck/suede shoes to keep them looking great over the long term.
CONDITION - Over time, leather can get a little dried out from wear and change in temperatures. Leather conditioner/cleaner products are also available at most shoe repair/shoe stores, and can be rubbed into the leather for a healthy refreshed look. Think of it as a moisturizer for your shoes. Applying it once or twice a year is sufficient.
REMOVE SCUFFS - If you get scuff marks on the shoes, typically on the toe or heel areas, they can be minimized by dipping a clean cloth in equal parts water + baking soda. Lightly rub the area, buffing it clean with a clean cloth. Scuff marks happen, but can typically be erased or minimized.
SALT STAINS - If salt stains occur, or in many climates, when they occur, they can be removed by wiping the area with equal parts water + white vinegar. Filling a spray bottle with the two liquids and keeping it on hand throughout the winter makes it easier. Once sprayed and washed, wipe clean with a damp cloth and air-dry away from any heat source.
HEEL CAPS - With wear, heel caps (the rubber or plastic piece that caps the bottom of the heel) naturally wear down and are meant to be replaced. Shoe repair shops have the materials for this and can replace them for you in about 1-2 days. This should be done before wearing them all the way down, to not damage the actual heel + covering. Heel caps slowly wear down as you walk, and getting new ones keep shoes looking sharp and at the proper height for balance.
COBBLERS / SHOE REPAIR SHOPS - It's amazing how many repairs and adjustments can be done at your local shoe repair shop. If you have any shoes in your closet that need a fix, a refresh or just don't quite fit in one area, it's worth bringing them in and asking them what can be done. Often times for a reasonable fee (less than $20) a pair of shoes can be like new again.
TRAVEL PACKING - When packing your shoes in a travel bag, you can put socks in the toe area to maintain their shape. Use your fabric dust bag (that comes in our shoe boxes) to store and protect them, keeping them lovely upon arrival.