Leather Shoe Care Basics - Here's How to do it Right
Leather shoe care can seem daunting, but leather is incredibly durable when given just a little love. Proper care for leather shoes (whether dress shoes, boots, or casual sneakers) really comes down to two main concepts: keep them clean and keep them dry. Just a few simple steps will greatly improve the longevity of your footwear.
Here are leather shoe care basics to follow to get the most out of them.
1. DON’T WEAR YOUR SHOES EVERY DAY
Leather needs to breathe, just like your skin. You should always have at least two pairs of shoes in your regular rotation to avoid having to wear the same pair every day.
Your feet sweat throughout the day (facts are facts), and the leather absorbs that moisture. Damp leather is more susceptible to stretching, scuffing, creasing, and staining. Wearing them every other day gives them adequate time to dry, increasing the longevity of your footwear by a significant amount.
2. CLEAN THEM AFTER EACH WEAR
Keep a shoe brush or microfiber cloth handy and give your shoes a quick clean after each wear. This will keep any dirt or grime from being ground into the leather as time goes on, saving you from having to deal with staining later.
3. STORE LEATHER SHOES WITH A SHOE TREE IN THEM
A cedar or poplar shoe tree is perhaps THE most important part of shoe care, and it’s usually the most overlooked step. Leather is porous, so it absorbs moisture and odor, eventually causing it to break down. A shoe tree absorbs that moisture and odor while keeping the shoe’s proper shape to prevent creasing. You can extend the life of your shoes dramatically with just this single step alone.
4. AVOID INCLEMENT WEATHER
This should go without saying, but, if possible, avoid wearing leather shoes in a downpour, and try not to traipse through salt- and snow-covered sidewalks in the winter. Water can stain even waterproofed leather shoes, and leather soles become more vulnerable to abrasive surfaces like concrete when wet.