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.

How Much Should You Spend On Clothes?

As we always discuss, the right mix of items in your Essential Wardrobe is key in giving you the foundation to dress stylishly no matter what the occasion or your age range.  The great news is, it doesn’t matter what your budget is, you can build a stylish wardrobe no matter much you have to spend. 

Yeah, we know, many people often complain that you “need a lot of money to dress well” but that’s just not true.  It does take some proper strategy to know where and how to spend your hard-earned money though, and that’s where we come in. Figuring out where to save and splurge on items is a question we get asked all the time so in this edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re giving you our advice on how much money you should spend on clothes!

 

How Much Of Your Budget Should You Spend On Clothes?

Good news, this is simple: it doesn’t matter! Figure out what you’re comfortable with, no matter how much you have, and stick to that.  There are stylish options for everyone and every budget.

 

What To Invest In?

Both of us agree that dress shoes / boots and outerwear (jackets, peacoats, bombers) are the two places that it’s worth it to invest in.  Quality items in these categories will give you many years of wear and style.  Ashley also believes that if you dress up every day, or very frequently, it makes sense to invest in quality suits and blazers.

 

What To Go Cheap On?

Outside of the previously mentioned items, both of us agree that you can go much more budget-friendly on t-shirts, jeans, chino pants, and button-ups.  These items are easily replaced at any price point and will look sharp no matter how much you spend, provided you’re shopping smartly.

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.

Best Budget-Friendly Backpacks / Rucksacks For Men 2019

Whether you’re gearing up for a new semester at school or headed off to work, a stylish and functional bag is an important accessory. You want to find a bag that has the right features (laptop storage, pockets for organization) but also one that has clean, minimal design. Our favorite bags are also proof that style and functionality don’t have to be expensive, all these bags are under $150.

Here are our picks for the best Budget-Friendly Backpacks for Men 2019!

 

Incase – $100

Sleek and stylish, this bag from Incase has an outstanding design and a ton of integrated features. It’s nice and deep with plenty of storage and a padded laptop sleeve.  We love how Incase uses thoughtful touches in their design like hiding the zippers and plenty of interior organizational pockets for all your accessories and gear.  Dorian is a personal user of their products and we’re definitely big fans.  We also really like the larger version of this style if you’re looking for a bit more room for travel or more gear.

 

Herschel -$100

We’re big fans of Herschel’s backpacks, they’re great quality and very reasonably priced. Their standard version is great but we’re even bigger fans of the mountaineering vibe of this version.  It comes in a huge range of colors and patterns and the padded shoulder straps and snapping strap details are nice features.  The interior features a padded laptop sleeve and the exterior zipper pocket has plenty of room for keys and tech accessories.

 

Aer – $135

We love Aer’s lowkey, minimal designs, and futuristic style.  The durable, ballistic nylon is incredibly tough and the overall construction is very high quality. This pack features a very cool central zipper design and a ton of room, much more than you’d think for a small size.  It’s great for lugging around school stuff and can do double duty as a great bag for the gym with its shoe compartment.  Overall, this is an outstanding backpack that will last you a long time. If you’re looking for a slightly more traditional backpack style, Aer’s Day Pack is also an awesome choice.

 

North Face – $69

A classic school or work bag that’s very affordable, this North Face backpack features a technical, outdoorsy vibe and a lean profile.  It features dual pockets and protection for your laptop. The details set this one apart, it has a ton of functional pockets and space for attachments, including space for a water bottle.

 

Bellroy – $95

We love Bellroy’s products and have featured them before, so it’s no surprise that they make a great backpack.  The design is sharp and clean with an integrated front zipper for easy access.  The padded straps are comfortable for long wear and the interior features plenty of space for organization and a padded laptop sleeve.

 

Topo Designs – $129

Like the North Face pack, this backpack from Topo designs has a cool outdoorsy vibe and matching technical features that are tough enough for years of school and adventures. Padding and interior organization options are top-notch and its size is perfect for your daily work or school routine but also is spacious enough for travel.  The backpack comes in a bunch of very cool color options and features stylish color accents mixed in.

 

Everlane – $68

Clean, well-designed, and very affordable, this backpack from Everlane is an awesome choice.  It’s got a modern look but with some traditional strap details which give it a nice overall vibe.  Like with all things Everlane, there’s zero branding and a very nice minimal aesthetic. Like the Herschel, it has a top-loading design, snap straps, and features plenty of space for your gear and a padded laptop sleeve.

How and When Should Men Wear A Tie?

Ties are a fundamental accessory in a man’s essential wardrobe, they can add personality, elegance, and formality to many types of looks, no matter what your personal style is. Rules about style and formality, in both work and social settings, are changing so quickly that it can be tough to know when you should and shouldn’t wear a tie.

So, in this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re discussing when and how men should wear a tie! For a full breakdown on our favorite ties and specific tips, make sure you check out our tie article!

 

With What?

A key thing to remember about ties starts with what you should be wearing them with. Dressier looks like suits and sport coats are definitely options you can and should wear a tie with. For more of a hybrid look, try wearing a tie with a bomber jacket, it can give your casual look a cool dressy vibe. One word of warning though, you don’t want to wear just a tie on its own without a jacket, it just doesn’t look right.

 

With What Types of Dress Codes?

When to wear a tie can also be determined by the dress code or how formal your place of work happens to be. Dress codes like “Formal”, “Cocktail Attire” or “Cocktail Party” often call for a suit and a tie. Business casual tends to lean slightly more casual but a tie can be appropriate given the right scenario. One tip we love, try a knit tie in those less-dressy situations, they’re not as dressy as a silk tie and will give your look a cool vibe.

If you aren’t totally sure about dress codes, ultimately you want to go with the crowd and let that dictate when a tie is appropriate. Always being stylish and a bit more dressed up is a great thing most of the time. But, you don’t want to be significantly overdressing for occasions or workplaces that don’t call for it. It can seem like you’re trying too hard or attempting to stand out, and not in a good way.

Back To School Style Mistakes Men Make

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some style tips to help you look your best this Fall. We see a lot of these common mistakes young guys make by either trying too hard or not trying enough. You want to find a balance between effort and casual dress, all while staying comfortable.

The good news is a little birt of effort in the style department goes a long way, so all of these back to school style mistakes are easily avoidable.

 

Socks and Slides

There’s no excuse ever. Pick up some Vans slip-ons, they’re just as comfortable and low-maintenance, plus they’re much more stylish.

Slip-On Picks:

Vans

SeeVees

Sperry

 

Too many logo tees

Leave that for all the annoying kids who are decked out in their logo tee, pants, and socks. They look ridiculous, don’t join them. Stick with the basics and go with something from H&M and Uniqlo, they make our favorite t-shirts that Ashley uses all the time with clients.

 

Not Putting In Any Effort

Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be fancy but you should care about what you’re wearing.  That’s why we made it easy on you and put together a list of all the essentials you need for a stylish back to school wardrobe.

 

Basketball Shorts All The Time

Why? Unless you’re on the court or on the couch you shouldn’t be wearing basketball shorts.  Grab some dark joggers instead, they’re just as comfortable and look a lot better.

Jogger Picks:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Too much hypebeasting

It reeks of trying too hard. If you want to sprinkle it in here and there, totally fine. But don’t jump in with both feet and wear all the trends at once, all the time. Again, we did a back to school essentials article that sprinkles in just the right amount.

 

Not caring about grooming

Look, there might be days you don’t want to style your hair. Fine, no problem, throw on your favorite baseball cap. But, here’s no excuse to have overgrown, unwashed hair or neglected skin. Your overall appearance, especially when it concerns hygiene, will be a huge make it or break it situation when it comes to people wanting to hang out with you. Check out all of our grooming tips in our grooming section. From haircuts to skincare, we’ve got all the tips you need.

 

Wearing only workout gear

Unless your an athlete and it’s absolutely necessary because of your schedule, then there’s no excuse. It’s lazy and looks like you might be hiding a less than desirable physique. You wanna feel just as comfortable? A pair of some Adidas Ultraboosts, black joggers, a tee or a hooded sweatshirt, and a bomber jacket will look 100 times sharper.  All of our picks are right here.