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The Dos and Don'ts of Leather Shoe Care

A nice pair of authentic leather shoes (and boots) is a staple in many people's wardrobes. From everyday work wear to your night-on-the-town fashion statement, leather shoes can be dressed up or down to bring an outfit together. With this, the condition of the leather footwear not only determines its lifespan and durability, but says a lot about your outfit overall. It can make or break your entire appearance. If your leather shoes are dull, visibly worn, or damaged (including scuffs, scrapes, rips, or dirt), you may give off the impression that you are attempting to dress more casual. If your leather is polished, clean, and well-maintained, your outfit may appear more put together, professional, or even more luxurious.

As always, we recommend you maintain your leather footwear regularly in order to prolong their lifespan and keep them in good condition. We also just want you to look your best! With that being said, we understand how difficult it can be to keep up with your leather shoes or know the proper way to go about it. In this day and age, good advice on how to maintain your leather shoes can be hard to come by and is becoming more rarely spoken about as fast fashion persists. That's why we've created this list of dos and don'ts of maintaining leather shoes and boots that will keep you looking sharp and your shoes in their best shape!

When it comes to wearing your shoes...

  • DON'T wear the same pair of leather shoes every day.

  • DO invest in a second or third pair.

It's important to remember that even your shoes need a break! Give your leather shoes a chance to breathe, because the more you wear them, the more you wear them. Wearing your favorite leather shoes to work every single day increases their exposure and decreases their longevity no matter how much they are maintained otherwise.

  • DON'T wear your leather shoes or boots in wet weather.

  • DO bring a change of shoes in wet weather.

When possible, we always recommend wearing a pair or water-proof or resistant shoes or sneakers outdoors and change into your nice leather footwear once you've reached your destination. Since the weather cannot always be predicted, we recommend weatherproofing your leather shoes and boots to lessen the potential damages that may occur if you get caught in inclement weather. You can either do this at home or bring them into our shop to be done professionally.

When it comes to cleaning at home...

  • DON'T soak leather shoes and boots in water.

  • DO use warm water for light cleaning and soft cloths.

When it comes to soaking dirty shoes, we recommend sticking to cloth materials. With leather, you risk permanent water damage and staining with a complete soak. We recommend wetting a soft cloth with water and rubbing the area lightly. Warm water is less harsh on leather and will ensure that your shoes aren’t left looking raw. A soft cloth is also recommended because any harsh brush or material could leave the leather scuffed and scratched.

When it comes to polishing at home...

  • DON'T apply before cleaning.

  • DO use the proper color or shade of shoe polish.

Using the correct shade of polish will ensure that the leather looks its best aesthetically and keeps them looking authentic. If you use the wrong shade, it could also unintentionally dye the leather over time. Along with this, applying polish before the shoes have properly been rid of dirt, mud, and moisture can also have an effect on the evenness of the polish application and overall appearance.

If you are unsure of how to properly choose a color or apply the polish, always consult a professional. Our expert cobblers are here to help your shoes look their best, so always feel free to consult us or have us properly clean the leather before doing anything.

When it comes to drying your shoes...

  • DON'T wear your shoes before they are 100% dry.

  • DO allow the leather to dry at room temperature.

After being caught in the rain or cleaning your shoes with water, it is best to allow your shoes to dry naturally in a room temperature climate before wearing them again. This is extremely important due to leather becoming weaker when wet. Wearing leather shoes and boots before they have had time to dry completely could lead to tearing and separation from glued seams and soles. Along with this, blow drying or heat-drying your shoes could lead to cracking and stiffening of the leather. This type of damage is, for the most part, irreversible.

When it comes to storing your shoes...

  • DON'T stack shoes on top of each other

  • DO keep your shoes in a cool and dry place.

How you store your footwear can drastically effect the appearance and lifespan of your leather shoes and boots. Keeping your leather footwear in a cool, dry place prevents any weaknesses. This includes cracking from heat and moisture buildup. We always recommend you store footwear in their original boxes or on standard, open shoe racks. This will also ensure that your shoes maintain their original shape and don't become squished or deformed.

By changing your shoe routine and habits with these easy dos and don'ts, you will notice significant differences in the longevity and appearance of your leather footwear. This list of tips will also help keep your outfits looking put together and more complete. These tips are necessary, if not crucial when it comes to maintaining your quality leather shoes and can be done without taking too much time out of your busy day! As always, if you have a question regarding at home shoe care, do not hesitate to reach out to us on Instagram or calling our shop!

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