How to Care for Leather Shoes

за Taymoor Malik на Nov 27, 2023

How to Care for Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are a classy and versatile timeless addition to your collection. The cherry on the top if their durability and classic aesthetic, making them a worthwhile investment. However, in order to ensure that your leather shoes stand against the test of time, you need to take proper care of them.

Proper care of leather shoes is essential. This way, your shoes will stay in top condition, and also last for a long time, making them worth the money. So, let us delve into the art of preserving and enhancing your leather footwear, covering everything from cleaning and conditioning to storing and repairing.

Understanding the types of leather shoes

Before we dive into the care routine, we need to first understand the different types of leathers because they are not all the same. Different leathers mean that there are different methods to care for each of them.

Full-Grain Leather

The full-grain leather is regarded as the highest quality of leather and it is also the most long-lasting. This type of leather retains the grain and the natural markings of the animal hide, and provide a unique character. So, to maintain a full-grain leather, it is essential that you are gentle in terms of cleaning and conditioning is essential.

Top-Grain Leather

When it comes to top-grain leather, this has a slightly smoother surface because of the removal of the top layer. However, it is still of good quality and also can be cared for similarly to full-grain leather.

Suede and Nubuck

These leathers have a velvety texture and are rather soft. They need specialized protection and cleaning, and a soft brush can help to restore their original appearance.

Patent Leather

This leather is glossy and eye-catching, and it needs minimal care. This is the easiest leather to take care of, as all you need to do is simply smudge with a damp cloth and buff it to shine.

Cleaning leather shoes

When it comes to cleaning leather shoes, you can’t just directly go in and clean. Over the time, dust, dirt and grime can build up on your shoes, and this can cause premature wear and damage. So, to take care of your shoes, you need to have supplies like a damp cloth, soft brush, mild leather cleaner and leather conditioner.

Then, you need to brush the surface dust away with the brush, and use a damp cloth to clean the shoe. You need to dampen the cloth using a mild leather cleaner or a mix of water and soap. Then, you have to wipe the shoes down, but be careful to not saturate them. Then, to remove excess moisture, use a dry cloth.

After that, you need to air dry the shoes at room temperature. The goal here is to keep your shoes away from radiators or direct sunlight as they can lead the leather to dry out and then crack.

Conditioning leather shoes

Conditioning is a very essential step, and it is one people often overlook. Like human skin, leather needs to be moisturized to remain supple and also to prevent cracks. Leather conditioners are able to help maintain the leather’s natural oils and also extend its lifespan.

To condition your leather shoes, you need to first pick a suitable conditioner. Pick a leather conditioner that matches the type of leather you have. Some conditioners are formulated for gull-grain or top-grain leather, while others are for suede and nubuck.

To apply the conditioner, you just need to dab a small amount of conditioner on a soft cloth. Then, rub the conditioner into the leather in circular motions. You need to make sure that you cover the entire shoe, and also pay extra attention to any dry or scuffed areas.

The goal is to let the conditioner sit on the shoe for around 15 minutes, this will allow the conditioner to be absorbed into the shoe. If the leather is soaking it up too quickly, you can add more on the shoe.

If there is any excess product, it can be wiped off with a cloth.

Protecting Leather Shoes

There are many other things you need to keep in mind to protect your leather shoes from getting damaged. First, you need to waterproof them, try applying a waterproof spray to your leather shoes. This will prevent stains and water damage.

You should also invest in good and high-quality leather creams and polishes. Using wooden shoe trees when your shoes aren’t in use helps to maintain the shape of the shoes. It also ensures that there are no odors and creases. Another essential element is rotation, you need to avoid wearing the same pair of leather shoes every day. Give them a day or two to air out between wears. This will prevent excessive wear and allow them to maintain their shape.

When it comes to storing, you need to store them properly, and by that we mean in a cool, dry place. Likewise, you need to inspect them on a regular basis for any damage or wear. Address issues like loose soles etc. promptly to avoid further damage.


Caring for leather shoes is an investment in both style and longevity. With regular cleaning, protection and conditioning, your leather shoes will be worth every last penny. Remember, you need to adapt your care routine to the specific type of leather you have, and never underestimate the value of preventative measures like waterproofing and wooden shoe trees.