Despite their remarkable durability and aesthetics, leather shoes are susceptible to wear and tear. That means when it comes to preserving the integrity of your leather shoes, it is crucial to dedicate some time to their maintenance.
Don’t worry if you still need to learn how to go about it. In this post, we will comprehensively outline the leather shoe care process, providing you with the knowledge and shoe maintenance tips necessary to ensure your leather shoes retain their timeless elegance and remain in pristine condition, reminiscent of the day of purchase.
The initial step in effectively caring for your leather footwear revolves around assembling the essential tools and products for your shoe-cleaning kit.
Let’s get started!
How to Protect Leather Shoes from Rain or Moisture
The biggest concern we all have in keeping our leather boots or shoes intact are protecting them from any kind of moisture. Sharing best ways you can easily protect your shoes from rain or getting wet.
Invest in High-Quality Leather Protector Spray
To safeguard your investment, begin with the proper preventive measures. Invest in a top-notch leather protector spray before your inaugural wear. This spray creates an impenetrable barrier against moisture, effectively shielding your shoes from the elements. Regularly reapply, especially after cleaning, to ensure ongoing protection.
Gentle Drying Methods
If your leather shoes become wet, adopt a gentle drying strategy. Stuff them with newspaper to absorb excess moisture and allow them to air dry at room temperature. It’s essential to avoid exposing them to direct heat sources like hairdryers, which can harm the leather.
Regular Leather Conditioning
Leather loses its essential oils over time, making it more moisture-resistant. Ensure you incorporate leather conditioning into your routine to maintain suppleness and bolster water resistance. This step is integral to extending the leather shoe lifespan.
How to Clean Leather Shoes
To maximize the longevity of your leather footwear and protect your investment, it’s essential to follow a thorough leather shoe care routine. Here’s a comprehensive guide on leather shoe maintenance featuring key tips and product recommendations:
1 - Dirt and Dust Removal
Start by gently brushing off loose dirt or dust with a soft-bristle brush or a clean cloth, a crucial step in protecting your leather shoes. This is perfect for suede shoes which collects dust faster.
2 - Damp Cloth Wipe-Down
Dampen a clean cloth with lukewarm water and wring it out. Wipe the shoes meticulously to remove surface stains and lingering dirt.
3 - Leather Cleaner Application
Utilize a specialized leather cleaner tailored to your shoe’s type. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, employing a soft cloth or brush to work the cleaner into the leather, safeguarding its quality.
4 - Rinse and Proper Drying
After cleaning, eliminate excess cleaner with a damp cloth. Allow your shoes to air dry at room temperature, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent leather damage.
5 - Leather Conditioning
To maintain suppleness and moisture, apply a suitable leather conditioner. This step is crucial for protecting and preserving the leather. Choose products designed to maximize leather shoe durability and follow their application guidelines.
6 - Polish for Protection
- After conditioning, use a matching color shoe cream or wax to restore shine and add a protective layer. This shield defends against future stains, ensuring your shoes remain pristine.
Consistent leather shoe preservation practices are vital to maximizing durability and pristine appearance.
Have white leather shoes and want to know how to take care of them? Checkout the white leather shoes care and cleaning guide.
How to Store Leather Shoes
Proper storage is crucial, especially for tall leather boots that may not be in regular rotation:
- Use Boot Shapers – Tall leather boots can lose their shape over time. Insert boot shapers to help them maintain their form and prevent creases.
- Store Upright – You can store your leather shoes and boots upright rather than folded or stacked to prevent creasing and maintain their shape.
- Keep in a Cool, Dry Place – Store your leather shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources, which can cause the leather to crack or fade.
- Use Dust Bags – Try storing your shoes in dust bags or pillowcases. It helps you protect them from dust and moisture. If possible, avoid plastic bags, as they can trap moisture.
Shoe Care Products to Care for Your Leather Shoes
Cobbler’s Choice Leather Conditioner
Revive and safeguard your leather shoes using our all-natural Leather Conditioner. This conditioner offers a profound and thorough treatment that goes beyond the surface of the leather, all the while leaving an invisible shield to shield it from environmental factors. It is particularly well-suited for parched, weather-worn leather that often faces exposure to the elements.
Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP
If you prioritize maximum weather resistance over concerns about darkening your boot’s leather, then Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP is the ideal choice. Obenauf’s and Hubert’s Shoe Grease offer similar performance regarding waterproofing. Their higher wax content provides superior weather resistance for an extended duration.
If your leather is significantly worn and requires intensive revitalization, use Leather Honey. The product, indeed, has a texture reminiscent of honey. It tends to darken the leather to some extent, so use Leather Honey on leather shoes that need thorough conditioning and restoration.
Bickmore Bick 4
If you really want to preserve the exact color of your leather and want to ensure not even the slightest change in hue, you can rely on Bickmore’s Bick 4. Its wax-free formulation sets Bickmore’s Bick 4 apart from the other conditioners.
It is crafted using a unique blend of emulsifiers and conditioners that soften the leather without introducing any darkening effects. It’s the ideal choice for those who prioritize color preservation.
Jason Markk Shoe Cleaner
Jason Markk’s all-purpose cleaner holds a slight advantage with its exceptional conditioning properties when used on leather. It not only effectively cleans but also enhances the color of the leather, leaving it with an appealing and glossy sheen.
Saphir Renovateur Cream
Saphir Renovateur may come with a relatively higher price tag, and the quantity in each bottle may be limited. Still, it stands out as the preferred leather conditioner for many people, especially for dress boots and exotic leathers.
While it may share conditioning qualities with many conditioners, it gives you a superior shine on your boots.
TAKAVU Horsehair Brush Kit
PrecisionPrecision isn’t typically a top priority when brushing off shoes, unlike painting a wall or creating art where accuracy is crucial. For brushing off dust and debris from your footwear, a generously sized brush of TAKAVU is the way to go. The larger brush can make this task considerably easier and is highly advantageous in specific situations.
Tarrago Cream Polish
Tarrago cream polish is renowned for its ability to nourish and rejuvenate leather. Whether your shoes are made of smooth, patent, or exotic leather, this cream provides essential moisture to keep the leather supple and prevent it from drying out or cracking.
Leather Spa Leather Cream
Leather Spa, the renowned leather care company based in New York City, makes leather creams free from silicone and petroleum-based ingredients. This commitment to using non-damaging formulations ensures that your leather shoes receive proper care and protection without the risk of long-term harm.
RepelWell Shoe and Boot Protect
Leave your rain boots behind and don the footwear you truly desire. RepelWell™ Shoe & Boot Protect is your go-to solution for keeping your fabric, leather, and suede shoes dry and spotless, regardless of the weather conditions.
Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy-Duty Water Repellent
Love rugged hiking or camping escapades?
Your footwear (or gear) may encounter more than just minor dampness. Opt for a heavy-duty waterproofing spray like Kiwi spray. This spray harnesses the power of silicone to establish a robust, long-lasting barrier on your hiking leather boots, ensuring the highest level of dryness and protection.