After finally getting dug out from this monstrous snow storm, many of us head back to work and begin the arduous task of trudging through the winter streets of Buffalo. With all the snow, salt, rain, etc. that's all over the roads, it's crucial that your kicks are properly protected against the elements. Below are some important steps to help winterize your shoes.

1. Thicker soles
Invest in pair of thicker soled brogue boots. Not only will they help traverse the slippery terrain, they also look pretty outstanding with a suit. JCP recently brought back a popular model which looks great and is incredible affordable.

2. Polish
This time of year is when you should really start polishing your shoes more to help prevent damage caused by the elements. The polish will help moisturize the leather and keep it from cracking. It will also help against any salt that ends up on the shoe by making it easier to wipe off with a damp cloth. Mink Oil is a fantastic polish and will also waterproof your shoes as well.

3. Drying
While many are tempted to place their soaked shoes by a heating vent to speed up the drying process, this will actually hurt the leather and dry it out too much. Instead, place newspaper inside the shoe to keep its shape and absorb additional moisture. If the leather starts looking too dried out, try applying some leather conditioner like Chamberlain's Leather Milk to restore it.

4. Shoe Covers
This final option has some readers divided... While many balk at the idea of wearing "shoe condoms", SWIMS galoshes don't look half bad and provide an easy option for covering your shoes and providing great slip protection. If you're confident enough to wear them (of course you are) just be prepared for a snicker or two. The haters will surely be silenced after your shoes remain dry and pristine while theirs become wet, salt-stained monstrosities.

More from Western New York's own Buffalo Dandy.