From Scratches to Shines: Your Ultimate Guide to Proper Leather Shoe Care
Leather shoes are everyone’s favorite. They are a classic fashion staple that never goes out of style and one that goes with almost any outfit for any season. They add an appearance of “put-togetherness” to your wardrobe, whether it’s your casual wear, office wear, or formal wear.
Nearly all the shoes that most of us own are made of some kind of leather. However, as much as we love them, we often don’t know how to properly care for leather shoes, and thus, many end up with scratches, cracks, creases, and more damage.
Shoe care is essential to make our leather shoes last for a long time, maintain their original look and shine, and avoid damage or wear with frequent use.
These types of shoes are also often on the pricier side. Thus, proper care and maintenance of your leather shoes are essential to help you save money in the long run by avoiding constant repairs or replacements. After all, prevention is better than “cure”.
By following this guide, you will learn valuable tips to help you keep your leather shoes looking their best for years to come. Who knows? After properly caring for your leather shoes, you may even pass them on to another generation!
How to Properly Care for Your Leather Shoes
- Wear your shoes on rotation
It’s best not to wear leather shoes daily because it will cause them to wear out faster.
Just like skin, giving your shoes time to breathe and preventing moisture buildup is best. Giving your shoes a break will prevent the leather from becoming too dry or too moist, which can make it stretch, crease, scuff, crack, warp, or stain.
If you are genuinely passionate about wearing leather shoes and want to wear them daily, have at least two pairs to wear on rotation to avoid putting too much strain on one.
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- Clean your leather shoes after each use
Another great tip to help you properly care for your leather shoes so they can stay in good condition for a long time is to make it a habit to clean them after each wear.
It’s good to have a soft-bristled shoe brush, a damp microfiber cloth, and a leather cleaner on hand. You will lessen the buildup of dirt, dust, and grime on the shoe’s surface, saving you the time it would take you to remove stains later.
When cleaning your leather shoes, use the soft-bristled brush to gently remove any excess dirt or debris that may have accumulated on them. Then, use the damp microfiber cloth and leather cleaner to wipe the leather’s surface in a circular motion.
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- Condition your leather shoes regularly
Like hair, leather shoes also require regular conditioning to keep the leather soft and supple. This is vital to maintain the leather’s natural oils, preventing them from drying out or cracking.
To properly care for your leather shoes, use a leather conditioner that is specifically designed for shoes. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth and rub it onto the leather in a circular motion.
Let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean cloth.
It is recommended that you condition your leather shoes at least once a month to keep them soft, smooth, and hydrated.
- Store your shoes properly after use
Proper storage is often overlooked, yet it’s essential for preserving the quality of your leather shoes. It is best to keep the shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight, heat, or moisture when not in use.
While putting them away, avoid stacking the leather shoes on top of each other, as this can make them lose their shape.
Consider investing in a cedar or poplar shoe tree to absorb excess moisture and odor while keeping your leather shoes in proper shape.
With proper storage, you can keep your leather shoes in good condition for a long time and ensure they are ready to wear whenever needed.
- Polish your leather shoes every six wears
As you strive to properly care for your leather shoes, you must find the balance between not getting them too wet and not drying them out, which will cause them to crack. This is where polishing comes in.
Polishing your leather shoes is crucial to give them a beautiful, shiny appearance and protect them from external elements such as water, dust, or dirt by adding an extra layer of protection.
A shoe polish also helps restore a leather shoe’s color and effectively hides blemishes, scratches, and scuffs.
The good news is you don’t need an expensive polish to do this. You can opt for a wax or a cream polish, though the latter is the better option for leather shoes as it is more moisturizing and creates a natural finish.
Wax gives better protection for leather shoes and a higher level of shine, although it’s a bit more drying.
Depending on your needs, we recommend starting with cream polish and then finishing with wax.
Remember to choose a polish that matches your shoes’ color.
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Final Takeaway: Show Your Leather Shoes Some Much-Needed TLC
Anything lasts when you know how to properly take care of it, including your leather shoes. Proper care and maintenance of your leather shoes are crucial to keep them looking great for years.
Investing time and effort into caring for your leather shoes can prolong their life while helping you save money in the long run.
Knowing how to properly take care of your leather shoes is essential to any fashion-forward individual’s lifestyle. Not only are leather shoes stylish, but you can also wear them confidently when you keep them in good condition.
So, go ahead and give your leather shoes the care and pampering they deserve, and you will enjoy them for years to come.
This is a contributed post.
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