5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Shoes (And How To Fix Them)

Getting lazy with your shoe care and maintenance can really affect the look and longevity of your shoe collection. But, the fixes are easy and affordable. Just like we talked about in our closet essentials video, having the right care and organizational items are important for keeping your sneakers, dress shoes, and boots all in great shape and looking sharp.

Here are 5 ways you’re ruining your shoes and how to fix them!

 

1. Not maintaining the overall structure

You don’t want to allow the creases to set in as you store your shoes, it ruins the look and fit over time.

The Fix: Get some shoe trees. This simple accessory is critical for the life and overall look of your shoes. Plastic will work but we recommend cedar ones for durability and odor control.

Picks:

Cedar Shoe Trees

Plastic Shoe Trees

 

2. Not taking care of the leather

Unconditioned leather gets brittle, cracked and loses it’s longevity over time if not properly taken care of on a regular basis. This goes for all of your dress shoes, and doubly so for your boots since you might be wearing them in inclement weather.

The Fix: Get a proper shoe care kit and condition your shoes 1 to 2 times per year, more depending on where you live and what kind of weather you deal with.

Picks:

Conditioning Kit

Polish Kit

Deluxe Set With Valet

 

3. Not cleaning your sneakers

Dirty shoes don’t go unnoticed so even your sneakers need a little TLC every once in a while.

The Fix: Bare minimum, take a damp cloth and wipe your sneaks down once a week. About once a month, give then a proper cleaning with a sneaker cleaning kit. We recommend the great sneaker-specific cleaning kits and wipes below to keep your white sneakers looking fresh and clean. Also, a Magic Eraser will do wonders to your white leather sneakers.

Picks:

Sneaker Cleaning Kit

Sneaker Wipes

Magic Eraser

 

4. Ruining the backs of your shoes

When you’re stomping or stuffing your feet into your shoes will result in smashing the backs of your shoes. Over time this can cause irreversible damage to the structure and leather.

The Fix: Get a shoehorn. It will make your life easier and prevent this kind of damage. Pro tip: The longer the better so you don’t have to bend as much. Trust me, you’ll appreciate this.

Picks:

Plastic Shoe Horn (from the video)

Wood Shoe Horn

 

5. Allowing your shoes to get stinky

Do we really need to explain why stinky shoes are a problem? We hope not.

The Fix: Cedar blocks or balls, or, even better, cedar shoe trees all can help control odors and absorb moisture which can ruin the interior lining of your shoes.

Picks:

Cedar Blocks

Cedar Balls

Cedar Shoe Trees

 

$50 & Under Items That Are Totally Worth It

Sure, we know, $50 may not be a lot, but these days it can go a long way if you’re spending it wisely! In the past we’ve down a few of our go-to essential items that make our lives easier, from apps to entertainment, but what about those must-have tools and services that we can’t live without?

Well, we’re going to give you 10 items that we think are not only worth $50 but will have a huge impact on your life well beyond something fairly inexpensive.

 

1.Leatherman Keychain – $35

We love this handy little number from Leatherman, it’s truly a lifesaver. And while it may not seem like much, you will be blown away by how often you use the super useful combination of tools. One of Dorian’s go-to EDC items.

 

2. Minimal Hard Shell Phone Case – $12

You spent some good money on a great new phone so give it the protection it deserves with a case that’s not only protected but also slim and stylish. Looking for a few more options? Check out our phone case rundown.

 

3. Paperkarma $12-$20 Per Year

An insanely useful service that helps you get rid of obnoxious, unwanted junk mail. Simply download the app, take a few pictures of junk mail as it comes in and you’re good to go. Not only is it easy to use it saves you time, money and help cut down on unwanted paper waste for the environment. Win-win-win.

 

4. Herschel Charlie Wallet – $30

We’re big fans of Herschel’s goods and we reviewed another one of their options in our Best Wallets of 2019 article. This card case is perfect for those who like a slim, pared-down vibe. It’s a great bang for your buck and the leather is very nice. They’ve got a ton of great color options too.

 

5. Zojirushi Thermos – $26

This sleekly designed water bottle/thermos might as well be magic because it keeps your drinks cold or hot for what seems like forever. It comes in 3 different sizes and a bunch of great colors.

 

6. External Phone/Laptop Battery – $46

If you’ve ever known the sweet agony of having your phone or computer die at the wrong moment when traveling or working away from home you know how valuable one of these babies can be. Light and portable, one of two of these is money very well spent.

Picks:

Anker 1

Anker 2

Anker 3

 

7. Vintage Casio Digital Watch – $34

From a style perspective, we love the vintage vibe of these classic digital watches. They’re super affordable and add a great throwback-inspired vibe to your style. You can slap on a perlon strap to add a different look too.

Casio 1

Casio 2

Strap Options

 

8. Slow cooker – $30 – $50

While there is a serious debate in our house as to which slow cooker is best, there’s no debate about how awesome and practical both of our favorite slow cookers are. Drop in some ingredients and some flavorful items, hit the dial or button and you’re good to go. An absolute must for any busy guy who still wants to eat well and healthy.

Ashley’s Favorite: Crock Pot

Dorian’s Favorite: Instapot

 

9. Betterment – No Fees

A great new option for financial services, we love Betterment’s free checking and savings accounts. They both have zero fees and the savings account has one of the highest interest rates anywhere at 2.39%. So, essentially you get paid every month to keep your money in your savings account. Investment and retirement have an annual fee of 0.25% per year on your retirement balance, but since you’re getting paid in your savings account, it will likely cost you nothing.

Sign Up For Betterment Here

 

10. Incase Backpack – $49.95

Yup, we’re huge fans of Incase.  We’ve featured their backpacks and briefcases previously because we absolutely adore their clean, minimal design, functional features, and great price. This version in particular, at $50 is an absolute steal and one of the very best affordable backpacks out there. It comes in a range of colors but our favorites are the light grey and dark grey.

Our Favorite Podcasts? / Best Podcasts 2019

Just like a ton of you out there, we love a great podcast.  Whether we’re in the car, cleaning the house, or just taking some time to ourselves, they’re a great way to learn, be entertained, and get motivated.  Recently a viewer asked us what some of our favorite podcasts were so we thought we’d share some of our go-tos, for entertainment, business, and more.

In this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re running down a list of our favorite podcasts and why we love them so much!

 

Dorian’s Favorite Podcasts

Dorian loves a mix of history, business, current events, and entertainment in his podcast diet.  Here are some of his favorites.

Conan Needs A Friend

A hilarious and insightful interview pod hosted by Conan O’Brien and featuring great guests like Dana Carvey, Bill Hader, Jimmy Kimmel, and more.

The Rewatchables

Part of The Ringer’s awesome podcast network, The Rewatchables recaps classic action, comedy, and thriller movies in a really funny way.  if you’ve ever found yourself on the couch on Saturday or Sunday afternoon watching movies like Step Brothers, Bloodsport, Top Gun, and really wanted to discuss how perfect these movies are, this is the pod for you.

Revisionist History

A great deep dive into notable historical and current events but with a unique perspective, this educational and entertaining show is hosted by Malcolm Gladwell, the brilliant mind behind such classic books as “The Tipping Point“, “Blink” and “Outliers“.

The Daily

Dorian loves the mix of important news stories and outstanding news stories from The New York Times editorial team.

Slow Burn

Dorian has mentioned his love for history, and in particular, presidential history and this killer series has seasons on The Watergate scandal and the Clinton/Lewinsky affair.  We’re definitely excited about Season 3, which will cover the murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.

Economist: The Intelligence

Another current events podcast, this time from The Economist, it offers excellent business coverage as well.

Revolutions

Another podcast for you history nerds out there, this one focuses on some of the most important and, well, revolutionary revolutions in history.

Seincast

Dorian’s love of Seinfeld is deep and strong, so obviously he’s going to be into this hilarious podcast.

Batman – The Animated Podcast

An offshoot of the awesome animated series (definitely not for kids), this serialized podcast is super entertaining and a must for all comic book fans.

 

Ashley’s Favorite Podcasts

Ashley loves true crime, technology, and some interesting non-fiction in her podcast menu.  Here are her go-to’s.

Reply All

Not so much a technology podcast, rather, it’s more about human stories with bits of tech, social media, and communication within it. We also love the great rapport between the two hosts.

Criminal

Ashley is a huge true crime fan, so this one is right in our wheelhouse.  Sure, it’s probably obvious that this one is about crime and criminals, but the stories are crazy and out-of-the-ordinary in a really entertaining way. Guaranteed to blow your mind!

Couples Therapy

A podcast with Casey Neistat and his wife, Candice, this podcast is pretty raw, unfiltered and a really interesting look into their relationship (and all relationships, really).

7 Books That Could Change Your Life

Whether you’re a student or making your way in the professional world, never underestimate the power of a great read or two.  Whether it’s about organization hacks and work habits or motivation and goal setting, we always encourage you to keep up with some solid reading.

We’re both big believers in the improvements that great books can make in your life so we thought we’d share some of our favorite, life-changing reads with our picks for 7 books that could change your life!

 

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. He died in 2008 but before he died he gave an incredibly moving lecture called “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. “The Last Lecture” is an addendum to the commencement speech he gave after he learned that he was dying, and it’s the perfect ready for those feeling overwhelmed by it all.  It’s an especially great must-read for any students who want to take some time to pull back and think about the big picture in life.

 

Bullet Journal Method

We’ve raved about this one before, this  NY Times bestseller and one of Dorian’s favorite organizational books, we’re both now converts of this goal setting and organizational process.  No matter if you’re working in a business job or in school, the tools and tips in this book are incredibly useful for maximizing your time, organizational habits, and overall work/school performance.

 

Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell translation)

A super quick, impactful read, this philosophy book is sort of like a very practical operating system for living your life.  Written by an ancient philosopher, it just goes to show how universal good advice and practical wisdom can be.  Just make sure you get the translation by Stephen Mitchell linked above, it’s universally regarded as the best one among many, many options.

 

4 Hour Work Week

Another one of our favorites that we have talked about before, this book is all about thinking about smart work versus hard work. This book is packed with solid tips and an excellent framework for creating success in work, school, and life in general.

 

Catch-22

An absolutely classic work of fiction, Catch-22 focuses on the absurdity of war, but just like in war, college life is absolutely absurd if you step back and look at it.  It was recently made into a tv series as well.

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

We all know how good habits and positively affect our lives, both with school and work and this excellent book is a great deep dive that not only explains how habits are formed but also how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good.  Essential reading if you’re embarking on a new school year or a new job.

 

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Al all-time classic, this book about personal and professional relationships is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published way back in 1936 (seriously!).

 

A Few More Of Our Favorites

Thinking, Fast and Slow
An international bestseller, this book by a renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, is a fascinating dive into our minds and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.  An essential for someone who’s working on developing better habits and efficiencies, both in school or work decision making.

Do You Do It, Or Does It Do You?
An incredibly insightful lecture by Alan Watts, this piece is a must-listen.

Wisdom of Insecurity
The perfect antidote for those struggling with anxiety, stress, and an uncertain future.

Rework
A great look at what it really takes to grow a business on your own as an entrepreneur from the founders of Basecamp.

Sherlock Holmes Collection
The classic detective series isn’t just entertaining, it can teach out a lot about how critical thinking, reasoning, and introspection can play a part in day-to-day life.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Another absolute classic-for-a-reason, 7 Habits is one of the best and most successful business and self-help books because of it’s no-nonsense approach to building great habits.

Don’t Iron Your Shirts!

Proper clothing care and storage is something we talk about a bunch, and for good reason.  Taking those few extra steps to properly care for and prepare your clothes are going to add an extra layer of both style and longevity to your wardrobe. In this week’s 2 Minute Tuesday we’re answering a great question about how to iron a shirt.  Tune in, the answer may not be what you think!

 

Why?

We firmly believe that men should be steaming not ironing their shirts.  Why? A few reasons:

  1. It’s quicker and easier – You’ve got to set up the board, get all those weird angles and spots, it’s a lot.  Whereas a steamer is much faster and way easier, a few runs from top to bottom on the front and sleeves and you’re done.
  2. It’s better for your shirts – Ironing is tough on shirts and its easy to look away for a minute or use the wrong setting and damage or burn delicate materials. Trust us, an iron burn isn’t a good look! The steam is much more delicate on non-cotton or blended fabrics.
  3. It’s more effective – The steam also does a lot better job of releasing tough wrinkles and creases than a standard iron or even a steam iron.

 

Our Steamer Picks

Whether you choose a handheld version or a full stand size, these are our two favorites.

Our go-to steamer

A full-size stand steamer

 

How To Steam A Shirt

As we mentioned, it’s super easy and effective.  Here’s how:

  1. Hang up the shirt
  2. Steam the front from top to bottom
  3. Steam each sleeve from top to bottom

That’s it!

We Sold The Company!

In this week’s 2 Minute Tuesday, we’re changing it up a bit and covering a question for Dorian! As a successful entrepreneur himself, Dorian has a lot of experience in the business world and starting and building companies.  So, in this episode, he’s going to answer a question about some of his favorite business and entrepreneurship tips and what it takes to build and sell a successful company.

Don’t forget to check out his business book recommendations below!

 

Read The 4-Hour Work Week

A classic book by Tim Ferriss, this book is packed with solid tips and an excellent framework for creating successful businesses in the modern entrepreneurship world.  Check it out here: The 4-Hour Workweek

Use Ignorance / Youth as a Strength

Part being humble and part being resourceful, your ignorance and inexperience can actually be an incredible tool when starting or growing a business.  People will often offer help, insight, or advice if you approach your interactions and, more importantly, mistakes, the right way.  If you approach business in a cocky or overly-confident way it can often work against you and you’ll miss out on valuable growth and insight.

Try and Test Everything

One of the mantras Dorian loves in the 4-Hour Workweek revolves around constant testing and experimentation.  You always want to use feedback, data, and trial and error to constantly evaluate where you’re at.  You can’t be afraid to try new things, adjust, and re-evaluate both success and failure (more on that in a second).

Fail Quickly and Often

Part of the trying and testing is failing.  It’s a huge part of not just starting businesses and being an entrepreneur but also success in general. You can’t be afraid to fail, start over, or abandon things that aren’t working.  It’s called “trial and error” for a reason, and often times your failures and what you learn from failures are the most important part of future success.  From Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos, no successful entrepreneur or business owner has ever gotten anywhere without failure, so embrace it, get better, and move on.

Cut Expenses / Mitigate Risk

As you get into starting a new business or work on a new idea you never want to bet your current financial future too heavily.  So, it’s important to consider the risk and mitigate potential loss at the beginning with thoughtful planning.  Look at approaching your life and business with low overhead and you’ll have more flexibility and less overall risk as you develop your business or company

 

Dorian’s Favorite Business Books

The 4-Hour Work Week

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Rework

Do You Do It Or Does It Do You – Lecture by Alan Watts

I Lost 30 lbs In 6 Weeks [The Check In #1]

Welcome to our newest series, The Check In!  We wanted to try something new for our viewers and readers so in this series we’re checking in with each other on a few personal things, talking about some stuff we’re excited about right now, and giving you guys a few updates on what’s going on in our lives (like Dorian’s weight loss).

We hope you enjoy this new series, let us know what you think and if you have any questions or topics you want to see us discuss!

 

Things Ashley Is Into Right Now

Chain Necklaces – Ashley loves a little bit of silver or gold peeking out as a nice bit of bling. Look for what’s known as a club chain in a small size like 2 or 3 millimeters.

Braided Belts – A cool twist on belts and they just add something special to your outfit.  Look for them in leather or cotton and you can wear them in a variety of basic colors like brown, tan, black, navy, or gray.

Belt Picks:

Belt 1

Belt 2

Belt 3

Belt 4

 

Things Dorian Is Into Right Now

Dorian is loving the documentary Apollo 11, a fascinating take on the space mission.

Watch the trailer here

Buy/Rent the documentary here

 

Dorian’s Book Recommendations

The Passage of Power by Rober Caro is a 4 volume history series about one of our country’s most interesting Presidents and his rise to power.

Buy It Here

Frank Miller’s Batman is a hugely influential series of editions featuring one of DC’s most legendary characters.

Check Them Out Here