How to Care for Your Leather Shoes

Leather Shoe Care

They often say that you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes. You may have expensive, stylish leather shoes on, but are they in the best condition they could be? It’s important to take care of your shoes if you want to keep them for an extended period, as well as looking sleek and stylish.  Below you’ll find some advice on the best ways to maintain and care for your finest leather shoes.

Invest in a shoe tree
Ok so don’t just invest in a shoe tree, use it! They may not be the best-looking things around, but shoe trees are actually essential for taking care of leather shoes. They keep the shape of the shoe after you’ve worn them. It’s important to use the tree within 1-2 hours after you’ve removed your shoes.

One thing to remember when choosing a pair of shoe trees is they should be unvarnished. They may not look as sleek as a varnished pair, but they will provide better results. They dry up any moisture that’s accumulated within the shoes and aid the shoe leather in returning to its original shape.

Clean them regularly
It is important to clean the shoes regularly using specialist leather cleaner – that includes polishing the shoes too.  It can be expensive to invest in leather cleaner but it is definitely worthwhile. Polishing the shoes will provide essential nourishment for the leather and keep your shoes looking shiny and new. Remember to match the polish to the colour of the shoes.

It’s wise to clean leather shoes after every use. The quicker you clean them, the less likely they’ll be to stain, and over time dirt becomes harder to remove, so the more regularly you clean your shoes, the easier it will be.

Use a water repellent on first use
After purchasing a pair of leather shoes, it is recommended that you use a water repellent product on them before you venture out for the first time. This helps to seal the leather and prevent moisture from misshaping the shoes.  If there is too much moisture getting into the leather, it causes the shoes to stretch. However, too little moisture can be just as damaging as it causes the leather to shrink. Using water-based repellent helps to ensure the shape of your shoes is never compromised.

If you get the shoes really wet, dry them out with newspaper and definitely KEEP THEM AWAY FROM DIRECT HEAT.

Have any repair work carried out by a trusted cobbler
If the shoes need to be repaired, make sure you hire a professional cobbler to do the job. They know exactly what they are doing and they have the necessary tools and equipment available to carry out the task. Never try to repair the shoes yourself. The earlier you spot the damage, the less it will cost to fix the problem.

So if you really want to hang on to those favourite leather shoes, it is really important to take care of the leather, as well as the soles!  After all, you’ve paid a lot of money for them so you want them to last a long time. If you maintain them properly using the tips above, you’ll end up with a pair of shoes that will last for many years to come.

Related information that you may find interesting

The history of footwear – article on the origins of shoemaking.