How To Take Care of Leather Shoes

Keep them looking better for longer
Sam Brady

Your shoes make a statement about your personality and style. That is why it is essential to keep them looking their best. One way to achieve this is by taking care of the leather. Not only will it prolong the lifespan of your shoes, but it will also maintain their appearance and comfort. In this article, we will explore the best ways to care for your shoe leather.

Understanding the Importance of Shoe Leather Care

High-quality shoe leather is an important part of any shoe. It adds elegance to your footwear and gives it a unique character. However, failing to take care of your shoe leather can lead to cracking and drying, significantly reducing your shoes' lifespan.

Leather shoes are an investment, and like any investment, they require proper care and maintenance to ensure they last a long time. A well-maintained pair of leather shoes can last for years, even decades, and can save you money in the long run by avoiding the need to replace them frequently.

Keeping Your Shoes Dry

A good pair of shoes shouldn't come cheap. So, if you invest in good footwear, you want to ensure it lasts long. The first step towards this goal is to take care of the leather and avoid exposure to water or direct sunlight when not being worn, as they can cause discolouration and damage to the leather. Stop this by storing your shoes in a dry and cool place.

In addition, it is important to note that leather shoes are unsuitable for all weather conditions. In wet weather, if your leather shoes do get wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly before wearing them again.

Regularly cleaning and conditioning your leather shoes can also help preserve their lifespan. Leather shoes should be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a mild soap solution. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple.

Maintaining the Appearance and Comfort

The appearance and comfort of your shoes go hand in hand. If your shoes look good, you feel good, and vice versa. Therefore, regular leather care maintenance can help maintain the appearance and feel of your shoes. This process includes cleaning, polishing, and conditioning your leather shoes.

Polishing your leather shoes can help restore their shine and give them a great finish. Use a high-quality shoe polish that matches the colour of your shoes and apply it in a circular motion with a soft cloth. After polishing, buff the shoes with a clean cloth to remove any excess polish.

Comfort is also an important factor when it comes to leather shoes. To ensure maximum comfort, it's important to choose the right size and style of shoe for your feet. It's also a good idea to invest in high-quality insoles that provide support and cushioning for your feet. Aside from feeling nicer when worn, picking the right size will minimise creasing and bending in the leather as your foot fills the space better.

In conclusion, taking care of your leather shoes is an essential part of ensuring their longevity, appearance, and comfort. With proper care and maintenance, your leather shoes can last for years and continue to look and feel great.

man cleaning brown shoes

Choosing the Right Leather Care Products

When it comes to leather care, not all products are created equal. Choosing the right products is essential to achieve the best shoe results. The following are some of the leather care products you may want to consider:

Leather Cleaners

Leather cleaners are specially formulated to remove dirt, stains, and other contaminants from your shoes. They help to ensure that the leather is clean and ready for other processes, such as conditioning. When looking for a leather cleaner, go for one that is gentle and does not contain harsh chemicals that may damage the leather.

One important thing to note is that not all leather cleaners are suitable for all types of leather. For example, some cleaners may be too harsh for delicate leather types such as suede or nubuck. Therefore, it is essential to choose a cleaner that is specifically formulated for the type of leather you want to clean.

Another factor to consider when choosing a leather cleaner is the application method. Some cleaners come in sprays, while others are in liquid form. Sprays are ideal for cleaning large areas, while liquids are suitable for cleaning small spots or stains.

Leather Conditioners

Leather conditioners help to keep your leather shoes soft, supple, and comfortable. They do this by replacing the leather's natural oils, which deplete over time, leaving the shoes dry and brittle. A good conditioner should penetrate the leather and moisturise it from the inside.

When choosing a leather conditioner, consider the type of leather you want to condition. Some conditioners may be too heavy for delicate leather types, while others may not moisturise enough for thicker leather types. It is also essential to choose a conditioner that matches the colour of your shoes to avoid discolouration.

It is recommended to condition your leather shoes at least once a month to keep them in good condition. However, if you live in a dry climate, you may need to condition them more often to prevent them from drying out.

Leather Protectants

Leather protectants are essential in extending the lifespan of your shoes. They form a protective barrier that prevents water, dirt, and other contaminants from penetrating the leather. This barrier also makes the shoes easier to clean since most contaminants will sit on the surface of the barrier and not penetrate the leather.

As always, when choosing a leather protectant, consider the type of leather you want to protect. Some protectants may be too heavy for delicate leather types, while others may not be strong enough for thicker leather types. And remember to choose a protectant that matches the colour of your shoes to avoid discolouration.

We recommend applying a leather protectant at least once every three months. However, if you live in a rainy or snowy climate, you may need to apply it more often to prevent water damage.

With the right leather care products, you can keep your shoes looking great for years to come. Remember to choose products suitable for your type of leather and follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

cleaning mens leather shoes

Proper Cleaning Techniques for Shoe Leather

Leather shoes are a timeless classic and can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. However, it is essential to take proper care of them to keep them looking their best. Proper cleaning is one of the most critical aspects of leather shoe care. The following are some of the cleaning techniques you can use for your shoes:

Removing Dirt and Debris

The first step in cleaning is removing any dirt or debris on the shoes. This is an essential step, as dirt and debris can cause scratches and damage to the leather. You can use a soft-bristled brush to remove any surface dirt before proceeding to the next step. Make sure to brush gently to avoid damaging the leather.

Applying Leather Cleaner

Once you have removed the dirt and debris, you can apply the leather cleaner to your shoes. Leather cleaner is specially formulated to remove dirt, stains, and other contaminants from leather without damaging it. Apply the cleaner evenly on the leather and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off gently with a dry cloth. This process will remove any remaining dirt and contaminants, leaving your shoes looking clean and polished.

You should always test the leather cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe first to ensure it does not damage the leather. If the cleaner causes discolouration or damage, do not use it on the rest of the shoe.

Drying and Buffing

After cleaning your shoes, let them dry for a few hours in a well-ventilated area. It is important to avoid drying them in direct sunlight or using a heat source to dry them, as this can cause the leather to crack or fade. Once dry, apply a quality leather conditioner and buff it with a soft cloth to ensure the leather absorbs the conditioner evenly. Leather conditioner helps to keep the leather soft and supple, preventing it from cracking and drying out over time.

It is important to clean and condition your leather shoes regularly to keep them looking their best. With proper care, your leather shoes can last for years and continue to look as good as new.

Conditioning and Moisturising Your Shoe Leather

Conditioning and moisturising your shoe leather is just as important as cleaning. This process helps to keep the leather soft, supple, and comfortable. Here are some tips for conditioning and moisturising your shoe leather:

Selecting the Appropriate Conditioner

The first step is to select the appropriate conditioner for your shoes. Choose a conditioner that matches your shoe leather's colour and composition. Leather is a natural material that requires regular care to maintain its quality. The right conditioner will help to protect your shoes from drying out, cracking, and fading. Many leather conditioners are available, including creams, oils, and sprays. Read the label carefully to ensure your chosen product is suitable for your shoes.

It's also important to consider the type of leather your shoes are made of. Different types of leather require different types of conditioners. For example, suede and nubuck leather require a special conditioner that is designed to penetrate the fibres of the leather without leaving a greasy residue. Smooth leather, on the other hand, can be conditioned with a variety of products.

Applying the Conditioner Evenly

Once you have the appropriate conditioner, apply it evenly on the leather, ensuring you get all the nooks and crannies. Use a soft cloth or sponge to apply the conditioner, and work it into the leather in a circular motion. Be sure to apply the conditioner sparingly, as too much can cause the leather to become greasy or discoloured.

If your shoes have any stains or marks, clean them before applying the conditioner. Use a leather cleaner or a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the leather. Once the leather is clean, you can apply the conditioner.

Allowing the Leather to Absorb the Conditioner

After applying the conditioner, let your shoes sit and absorb the oily substance. This waiting time should not exceed 24 hours for best results. During this time, the leather will absorb the conditioner and become softer and more supple. Avoid wearing your shoes during this waiting period, as the leather may become stained or discoloured.

Once the conditioner has been absorbed, buff the shoes with a soft cloth to give them a polished and moisturised look. You can also use a leather brush to remove any excess conditioner and restore the leather's nap. With regular conditioning, your shoes will stay soft, supple, and comfortable for years to come.


Taking care of your leather shoes is an essential part of preserving their appearance and lifespan. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can be sure that your shoes will remain in top condition for years to come. Remember to choose the right leather care products, clean your shoes regularly, and condition and moisturise them to keep them looking and feeling great.

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