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RISMEDIA, September 2, 2010—The economic roller coaster we’ve been riding for the past two years seems to have taken its toll—right down to the shoes Americans are wearing and how they are thinking about them. KIWI Shoe Care, part of Sara Lee Corp. recently released a new survey that reports Americans like to come to work with their shoes clean and polished. In fact, 86% of survey respondents said the appearance of their shoes matters in maintaining a professional and presentable look at work.

In addition, 88% of Americans feel that looking professional and presentable at all times is important to getting ahead and maintaining a positive image. These numbers were consistent across the board—regardless of age, income or geography.

“There’s no doubt that people are more concerned about their job situations and are thinking more about the image they present,” said Martin Lind, president of Household & Beverage for Sara Lee. “Many people can no longer afford to just go out and buy new shoes like they used to.”

KIWI recommends workers take the following steps to ensure they are always putting their best foot forward in the workplace:

Dress for success. Always look your best—even on business casual days. You never know who you are going to meet in the course of a business day and you should always aim to look presentable and professional.

Polish your shoes. Shine and polish your shoes in order to remove scuffs and scratches and help them last longer and look like you just bought them.

Shield from the elements. Rain, snow, mud, etc. can quickly spoil the appearance of your leather shoes. Waterproof and protect your shoes against water and stains to make sure your shoes are always in tip-top shape.

Travel smart. Are you a frequent business traveler? If traveling, pack smart with wrinkle-free clothing so you won’t look rumpled and unkempt. Also, place your shoes inside a shoe bag or wrap them in a soft material before putting them in your suitcase for additional protection.

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