10 Dos & Don’ts Of Leather Shoe Maintenance

different types of shoes

A nice pair of leather shoes is one of those things that every shoe rack needs. Whether it is an official pair for work or a trendy pair for a fun night out, there is no denying the fact that leather- authentic leather to be precise- gives an air of sophistication and class that no other shoe material can.

In spite of all the good things that can be said about leather shoes, it goes without saying that they are the hardest to maintain.

Below are 10 Dos and Don’ts to help you take care of your pair properly. These tips should help make things a whole lot easier for you.


  • DO give your shoes a chance to breathe

No matter how good the shoes look it is never a good idea to wear them every single day. Invest in a second or third pair and give each a chance to rest. The reduce exposure ensures longevity.

  • DON’T wear leather shoes in wet weather

Leather might be one of the strongest shoe materials in the market but it is safe to say that water is its kryptonite. Wet leather is weak and more prone to wear and tear effects. If you must wear the shoes out in the rain, invest in weatherproofing sprays or pastes to protect the leather.


  • DO use warm water for light cleaning and soft cloths

Warm water is less harsh on leather and ensures that your shoes aren’t left looking raw and unsightly. Soft cloth is effective in the cleaning process with no damage to the leather from friction or abrasion as seen with brushes.

  • DON’T soak the shoes in water

Soaking dirty shoes in water works for cloth materials but is disastrous with leather. It should therefore never be done.


  • DO use the right shade of polish

This is to ensure maintenance of aesthetic value of the leather shoes. It also helps protect the leather from unwanted dying which could weaken and damage the shoes over time.

  • DON’T apply polish over dirt, water or mud

Shoe polish has a sealant effect. Applying over these three ensures that they remain in longer contact with the leather leaving them to exert their damaging effects. To avoid this, buffer or wipe the shoes before applying the polish.

Leather Shoe Maintenance


  • DO allow the shoes to dry at room temperature

When leather is exposed to direct sunlight or heat from radiators, it dries to fast and tends to become stiff. This makes it more likely to develop cracks. To avoid this, allow them to dry under a cool shade outdoors.

  • DON’T wear the shoes if they aren’t completely dry

As earlier stated, leather is weakest when it is wet. Wearing wet leather shoes leads to tearing and separation of partitions held together by shoe gum or even seaming.


  • DO store the shoes in a cool and dry place

This controlled environment allows the leather to maintain its structural integrity therefore preventing any weakness. Open shoe racks are the best in this case. Keeping leather shoes in their original boxes for a long time is not a good idea as moisture buildup tends to weaken the leather.

  • DON’T place other shoes or object over the leather shoes

This is a tip meant to protect the shape of the leather shoes.

Before we call it a wrap, it is important to remember that care and maintenance of leather shoes also includes care and maintenance of fastening features. Zippers in particular need special attention. This is because unlike laces, you can’t remove them during the cleaning or polishing processes. One way to take care of them is ensuring that you clean them using clean dry cloths to remove moisture and shoe polish that strayed too far.

After all is said and done, you will have to put in a bit of effort and elbow grease in order to give your leather shoes the care and maintenance that they deserve. That way, your pair or pairs will look sharp and serve you effectively for a very long time.

1. https://www.clarksusa.com/us/customer-service/shoe-care
2. https://www.jackthreads.com/jtedit/2015/05/21/style-basics-101-how-to-properly-care-for-your-leather-shoes
3. www.luxury-insider.com/features/2012/guide-how-to-care-for-leather-shoes

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