How to care for leather shoes

Your favourite pair of shoes is looking worse. You want to fix the cracks in the leather and make them look as good as new again, but you have no idea how. Luckily, caring for your leather shoes is simple – as long as you know what you’re doing. Read on to find out more about maintaining leather shoes.

How to care for leather shoes

Leather shoes need to be conditioned and polished regularly in order to maintain their luster. Conditioning leather shoes will help them look shiny and new for a long time. Here’s what you’ll need: Once you have these things ready, follow these steps:

1. Use a soft cloth or brush with some saddle soap and gently rub the shoes.

2. Polish the shoe’s surface by rubbing polish into the leather with circular motions until you see an even sheen start to form.

3. Buff out the excess polish from your shoes using a clean cotton rag or microfiber cloth, if necessary.

4. Repeat this process once every few months if necessary.

How to Polish Your Shoes With Wax

While conditioning your shoes is essential, you should also polish them. With wax polishing, you can give your shoes a shiny look without the need for conditioning. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. One or two soft cloths or brushes with some paste wax on them (hard or liquid)

2. One or two additional soft cloths or brushes for buffing out the polish (alternatively, you can use your hands if you’re willing to get them dirty!)

3. An old denim or cotton shirt (optional)

4. A buffer/buffer pad (optional)

5. Some horsehair shoe polish (optional)

Step One: Buff Your Shoes

Start by buffing out any scuffs or scrapes on the leather using a buffer pad.

If you don’t have a buffer pad, or if your shoes are very old and their surface has been completely scratched away, rub some paste wax onto your shoe and then rub it with a pair of old jeans or a cotton shirt.

Step Two: Apply the Wax and Polish

Apply a thin layer of paste wax onto your shoe with one of the cloths and rub it in. Rub some wax onto the other shoe as well before moving on to step three.

Take another clean cloth and buff out any excess wax from your shoes. Your shoes should now have a nice sheen to them.

If necessary, repeat this process until your shoes look shiny and new once again! Remember that you need to use a different cloth for buffing than the one you used for applying wax. If you fail to do so, then any wax left over on the other shoe will get rubbed into it when you buff it.

Horsehair Shoe Polish

If you feel that waxing your shoes is a little too complicated for you, you can opt to use horsehair shoe polish instead. Using this method of polishing is similar to using wax, but it does not require buffing. Horsehair shoe polish comes from the tail hair of horses, and it’s a good choice for polishing leather shoes. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. A soft brush with some horsehair shoe polish on it

2. One or two additional soft cloths or brushes for buffing out the polish (alternatively, you can use your hands if you’re willing to get them dirty!)

3. A cotton rag or microfiber cloth for buffing

Apply the Polish

Wrap a small amount of horsehair shoe polish onto one of your shoes using your brush. Repeat with the other shoe as well before moving on to step two.

Take another clean cloth and buff out any excess polish from your shoes. Your shoes should now have a nice sheen to them.

If necessary, repeat this process until your shoes look shiny and new once again! Remember that you need to use a different cloth for buffing than the one you used for applying polish. If you fail to do so, then any wax left over on the other shoe will get rubbed into it when you buff it.

All that’s left for you to do now is enjoy your brand new shoes!

How often should I condition my leather shoes?

Leather can be conditioned once every few months, depending on how often you wear them. If you only wear your leather shoes occasionally, then conditioning them once every 3-4 months should be sufficient.

If you wear your leather shoes daily, then you should condition them every 2-3 months. If you’re wearing your leather shoes in rough conditions such as rain and snow, then you should probably condition them more often than that.

Leather is a very absorbent material, so the more frequently you condition it, the longer it will last.

The main thing to remember when conditioning leather is to follow the grain of the leather, which means that if your shoes are smooth, don’t go against the grain. If you’re really not sure what the grain is, then gently pinch or pull on a small section of it and see which way it stretches. *Please note that the above advice is meant specifically for shoes made out of smooth leather. If your leather shoes have a pebbled or nappy texture to them, then you should not go against the grain when conditioning them.

Is conditioning my shoes necessary?

Conditioning leather is a relatively simple process that will help maintain the look and quality of your shoes.

If you want your leather shoes to look shiny and new for years to come, then you should definitely go ahead and condition them.

Conditioning is especially important for smooth leather shoes because it helps fill in the pores of the leather to enhance its shine. If your shoes are made out of nappier leather, then conditioning might not be as crucial because it will be more difficult for the polish to seep into the smaller pores of that type of leather.

Why condition and polish my shoes?

Conditioning your leather shoes helps fill in the pores of the leather, which is what gives it its shine. It also protects against cracking and premature ageing from being worn.

Using polish on your leather shoes helps protect the surface of them against scratches and water damage.

Will waxing my shoes help them last longer?

Waxing your leather shoes will definitely help extend their life. It creates a protective layer over the surface of the shoe to prevent moisture, dirt, and other things from damaging it.

It also helps prevent cracking and peeling by filling in the pores of your shoes.

The only downside to waxing is that it tends to darken and discolour leather, which can make them look older than they really are. If this is a concern for you, then conditioning might be a better option because it won’t darken your shoes as much.

Can I use shoe polish to shine my dress shoes?

Shoe polish is generally used for giving your leather shoes a glossy shine but can also be used for polishing up patent leather.

As long as the surface of your shoes is smooth, you shouldn’t have any problem using paste or liquid shoe polish on them to make them look shiny.

However, if your shoes are made out of pebbled or nappy leather, then you should not use shoe polish on them. If you do, it will cause the polishing to look blotchy and uneven when done because the grains in the leather won’t be able to soak up any waxes or oils.

What type of polish do I use?

There are many different types of leather shoe polishes available. If your shoes don’t have a smooth surface, then you should not use shoe polish on them because it will cause the grains in the leather to look blotchy and uneven.

If your shoes are made out of pebbled or nappy leather, then you should not use shoe polish on them.

In general, if your shoes are smooth and made out of oily or waxed grain leather, then feel free to use regular shoe polish to help protect and maintain their shiny appearance. These polishes usually contain a neutral colour that will darken slightly over time but still look natural.

If you’re looking to give your leather shoes a slightly darker, richer colour, then you can use one that has an aloe vera or carnauba wax base in it.

On the other hand, if your shoe’s surface is made out of nappier leathers, you should stick with conditioning them so that they don’t get darkened or discoloured.

Conclusion

The thing about leather shoes is that they need to be cared for. They have to be conditioned and treated so they don’t dry out or crack, which can also lead them to develop a musty smell over time as well as other issues. In this article we told you everything you need to know about caring for your leather shoes from the inside out, including how often should condition them and what type of shoe polish works best on certain types of leather. Any questions? Please write them below and we’ll make sure to answer them.

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