Leather Shoe Care 101: How to Clean Your Leather Shoes

by Admin

It doesn’t matter if your leather shoe is made out of cow leather or alligator leather, there are special leather shoe care instructions to follow.

Do you feel like everything in this world is increasingly made of plastic?

Even though this material is incredibly useful, it can lead to products appearing cheap and having short lifespans.

Not even your shoes are safe from plastic. Except, of course, if you choose the refreshing, classic style of real leather shoes.

Owning leather shoes isn’t without its responsibilities though. Proper care and cleaning are essential. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about proper leather shoe care.

Important Considerations for Leather Shoe Care

Whether you’re donning alligator shoes or standard cow leather boots, caring for them correctly can ensure that they last as long as possible.

Leather Needs to Breathe


Leather requires proper ventilation so it doesn’t rot or mildew. Be sure you aren’t sealing your leather shoes up with products that prevent airflow from passing through and evaporating moisture.

You’ll want to avoid storing or even transporting your leather shoes in plastic bags. Rather, opt for breathable fabrics. A pillowcase works great in a pinch.

Keep Away From Sunlight and Heat

If your shoes are wet, make sure you let them dry naturally rather than sticking them in front of the heater or out in the hot sun. While it may take longer for your shoes to dry this way, you run the risk of drying out and cracking your leather shoes if you try to speed up the process.

Always Test New Products First

Whether you’re applying leather shoe oil, leather shoe spray, leather shoe protector, or shoe conditioner, you’ll always want to test it out on a small area before applying to the whole shoe. After applying, wait 24 hours and make sure that the product doesn’t impact the aesthetics of your shoes in an undesirable way.

Keep Cedar Shoe Trees in Your Leather Shoes

Cedar shoe trees are the best way to store your leather shoes. Not only will they help your shoes keep their shape and reduce creases, but they will also absorb any excess moisture or odors left in your shoes after wear.

How to Clean Your Leather Shoes


One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your leather shoes is to regularly wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Shoes are always accumulating small abrasive particles that can wear down the leather. By wiping your leather products down weekly will help preserve them for the long haul. If your shoes have been worn in particularly rough conditions, wipe them down with a wet cloth right away when you get home.

If your shoes need more than a wipe down, you can either use soap and water to clean them or specific leather cleaning products. Just remember that you’ll need to let them dry out naturally rather than putting them in front of a heater or in the sun.

After your shoes are clean, you can choose to polish or condition your leather shoes. Polishing is really just an aesthetic action, while conditioning should be done every 1-6 months.

Keep Your Leather Shoes in Tip-Top Shape

Leather shoes can be an expensive investment, so it’s worth the time investment to keep them looking snazzy as long as possible! Tending to the needs of your leather products regularly is a worthwhile use of time. Give your leather shoes the treatment they deserve!

If you loved this article about leather shoe care, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

Leather Shoe Care 101: How to Clean Your Leather Shoes was last modified: by

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