Leather shoes are an investment. They’re stylish, comfortable, and durable but require regular care to ensure they last for years. Failing to maintain leather shoes can cause cracks, water damage, and discolouration.
From using the right leather shoe polish to cleaning and repairing scuffs and stains, there are many aspects to keeping leather shoes in good condition. This article will help you discover foolproof tips for caring for your leather shoes so they always look great and last longer.
Choose the Right Leather Shoe Polish
The first step towards taking care of your leather shoes is choosing the right leather shoe polish. The best shoe polishes are created using natural components like beeswax, carnauba wax, and lanolin to moisturize the leather and avoid cracking.
They also have a high concentration of pigments to give shoes a deep, lustrous shine. Oil-based polish is a good choice for shoes that need conditioning. The oil softens the leather, making it more pliable and comfortable. It also helps keep the leather from cracking.
Cream polishes are easier to apply than regular polishes, as they have more water resistance than oil-based products. Additionally, they’re better at bringing out an overall shine—which can help protect your shoes from wear and tear.
Apply the cream polish in small sections with a brush or cloth and rub it into the leather with circular motions. Allow the cream polish to dry before buffing out any excess to bring out a shine.
Avoid using water-based polish on shoes with nubuck or suede uppers because it will cause the material to dry out and crack over time.
Brush Before You Apply the Polish
It would be best to brush the shoe before applying the polish to remove dirt and debris. Use a soft brush and brush it in the direction of the grain. Then use a horsehair dauber (a small round pad) to apply polish to your shoes by gently rubbing it on.
Brush off excess polish with another horsehair dauber or soft cloth like a cotton flannel or chamois leather cloth.
Repeat this process until you’ve achieved desired shine. Allow your shoes to dry for at least 5 minutes before putting them on again if you’re wearing them for special occasions.
Use Leather Conditioners
A shoe conditioner is important for keeping your leather shoes soft and supple. The best kind is a neutral pH balm or cream that won’t leave any residue or build-up on your shoe’s surface.
It’s also important to note that leather conditioners won’t work if your shoes are wet. So make sure they’re completely dry before applying the balm.
Keep Leather Away From Extreme Heat or Cold
Leather can be a demanding material. Heat can damage the glue holding the shoe together, while cold can crack the leather. If you wear your new loafers outside on a cold day, ensure they are protected with rubber galoshes, so they don’t get ruined by rain or snow.
Invest in a Shoe Tree
A shoe tree is inexpensive to keep your loafers looking crisp and new. They’re made of cedar or birch, and they help the shoe retain its shape while also absorbing moisture from inside the leather itself.
You can leave the shoe trees in your loafers overnight to keep them from getting flat and creased.
You can also use them when you’re travelling, as they help keep your shoes looking good even if you stuff them into a suitcase for the weekend.
Taking care of leather shoes might seem like a tedious task. Well, it is, but it’s also absolutely worth it. Leather shoes can last for years and years, so it’s worth putting effort into. The steps above will help you keep your shoes looking great, even if you wear them daily.