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Leather Shoes Care: Essential Tips and Tricks for Properly Caring for Your Leather Shoes

  • August 18, 2022
  • Shoe Care

The Leather Shoes give off an aura of luxury and sophistication, complementing everything from the casual jeans-and-tee combo to the most stylish business attire. It amplifies the wearer’s personality, reflecting quality and style. 

Even as the euphoria of the leather shoe blows you, it’s worth noting that, like anything, leather shoes demand care and maintenance. Although it has strong durability, everyday tear & wear can take its toll, making it lose its luster. However, your shoes can last for decades with the proper leather shoe care.

Leather Shoe Care

Why Leather Shoe Care is Important for Longevity

Prevents Drying and Cracking 

Leather is a natural material that requires hydration to maintain its smooth feel. Without regular conditioning, irreparable cracks can emerge. These cracks can degrade the quality and appearance of the shoe over time.

Mitigates Wear and Tear

Also, with frequent use, areas of the shoe subjected to high stress, like the sole, will wear out quickly if there’s no proper maintenance. The use of conditioners can reduce the likelihood of wear and tear. It keeps the material flexible and soft, thereby reducing friction and abrasion. 

Protect from Environmental Damage

Did you know that polishing isn’t really about aesthetics? 

Leather absorbs the substances that can lead to staining, discoloration, or structural damage. Polishing helps protect the leather from external factors like dirt, water, and other damaging elements.

Preserves the shape of the shoe 

You can store leather shoes with shoe trees. The shoe trees are inserts where you can store your leather shoes when they are not worn. The shoe tree serves two primary purposes. To absorb sweat or moisture that must have accumulated, thereby preventing mold growth. It also preserves the shoe’s shape by keeping it stretched in its original form; this helps reduce wrinkles and maintain the shoe structure. 

Choosing the Right Products for Leather Shoes

We’ve come to terms with the fact that cleaning your leather shoes is inevitable because it’s the only route to longevity. By the way, we are not particular about brands when we talk of leather shoes. Whether it’s leather Oxfords, Brogues, Chukka boots, or Suede shoes, you must take proper care of them. So, let’s explore the items you must have in your cleaning kits.

Horsehair brush

It’s a special brush made from natural bristles. They are known for their softness, which makes them suitable for cleaning dirt and grime. The bristles are gentle, so they don’t cause any damage to the surface of the leather. 

Shoe polish

Shoe polish enhances and protects the appearance of leather shoes. It also provides many benefits, from covering scuffs to restoring color and protecting the leather from moisture and wear. 

mens leather Shoe polish

Leather conditioner

The Leather conditioner helps restore and maintain some of the leather’s natural oil contents, which keeps the leather fibers hydrated. Hydration of the Leather helps prevent cracking and dryness.

Saddle soap

It is a specialized sap designed for moisturizing and conditioning leather. It removes dirt, grime, and stains. Its moisturization and conditioning reduce the likelihood of drying and cracking. It has a leather-friendly formula which makes it a safe option to use for your shoes. 

Soft cloth

A soft cloth is suitable, especially if you don’t have a specialized brush; using a soft cloth with soap can remove most dirt and grime from the shoes. However, if you can use a microfiber cloth, you should do so as they tend to be better than other cleaning cloths. 

Leather cleaner 

Over time, the accumulation of shoe polish on leather shoes can trap dirt and dull their appearance. Removing these layers can be challenging when not using the right tools. Leather cleaner is designed to solve this kind of problem. It can dissolve buildup polish and restore the leather’s natural outlook. 

Waterproof sprays

Waterproof sprays are your best bet against inclement weather. They create a protective barrier that shields the shoes from moisture or harsh weather conditions. But the fact that waterproof protects your shoes doesn’t mean you should use any product you find. Some can damage the shoe. If you opt for a waterproof spray, steer clear from silicone and instant-drying sprays. 

Shoe trees

Shoe trees are typically made of wood and are used to maintain the shape of a shoe, absorb moisture and prevent odor. By keeping the shoe dry, the shelf life is prolonged. Pierzel, a renowned shoe brand, understands the value of keeping your shoes in impeccable condition. With every purchase of Pierzel shoes, customers are delighted to discover an added touch of luxury—a complementary pair of high-quality shoe trees. 

Shoe Trees

Cream Polish

The cream polish plays a significant role in giving the shoe a lasting shine. It can hide minor scratches and restore shoe color. It is applied with a soft brush and a horsehair buffing brush to give the shoe a brighter outlook. 

Wax Polish

The Wax polish is similar to cream polish but comes in a solid form. It’s best known for its ability to give shoes a glossy finish. Frequent polishing helps keep the shoe at its best and ensures its durability. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Leather Shoes 

1: Collect necessary materials

Get the necessary materials ready before you clean. Running back and forth to get the tools when you have started will make no sense. You’ll need a soft brush or clean cloth, a mild leather cleaner or saddle soap, water, a soft, dry cloth, and a leather conditioner.

Cleaning Leather Shoes products

2: Prepare your shoes

Remove the shoelaces. If they are dirty, you can clean them separately or change them. Pick a soft brush or cloth and gently brush off loose dirt, dust, or grime from the surface of your shoes. Do the brushing gently to avoid scratching the leather.

3: Test the cleaner

Before you apply the cleaner to your shoe’s surface, it’s crucial to test it on a small, unnoticeable area. This help to ensure the cleaner won’t cause any damage to your leather shoes. It’s also important you follow the product description in the manual to be on the safe side.

4: Begin the Cleaning process 

After testing the cleaner and ensuring it’s suitable. Wet a small cloth and take some mild leather cleaner. Ensure the cloth does not get too wet. Use a circular motion to work the cleaner to the leather, pay attention to the dirty spots on the shoe and use little water and cleaner to prevent damaging the leather. Then remove the residue left by the cleaner. This step is important. Then wipe away the lather with a clean, damp cloth or sponge, and rinse the cloth.

5: Dry & Polish your shoes:

After removing the cleaner, your next action is to dry your shoes. But please avoid using direct heat from sources like a dryer and heater. It could damage your shoes. Allow shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated area with sunlight or heat. It helps to prevent the leather from cracking. When it’s dried, you can polish the entire shoe after cleaning it with wax or cream polish to give it a shiny finish. 

You could also use this method to clean your leather shoes.

For grease or oil stains: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch and rub gently with a damp cloth on the affected spot. Leave for some time to allow it to absorb the stain, then wipe off the powder. 

For Scuffs & Ink stains: Use a non-gel toothpaste and a soft cloth to remove scuffs. For ink stain, dip a cotton swab in a nail polish remover. You can also rub cotton swabs with alcohol, then wipe them with a damp cloth and dry them.

For other stains on Leather: You can create a paste with the same amount of lemon juice and tartar cream, apply it to the stain, let it sit, and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. 

Final Thought 

Whenever you admire leather shoes on a guy’s feet, remember that a meticulous cleaning regimen is behind the smile. Your leather can shine again; follow the steps provided. Gentlemen, this is it. You’ve got everything you need to maintain your shoes properly. Brace up and let your leather shoes reflect your commitment and style. 

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