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Caring For Leather Shoes Is Easier Than You Think

It’s amazing how a shiny new pair of shoes can put a pep in your step. Kids love getting new shoes to show off to their friends or Grandma. We, as Mums, well, we just love to get a new pair of anything really! If I’m buying a new pair of shoes, I generally opt for leather as they tend to longer and I find leather shoes so comfortable. I tend to choose leather for the kids as well where practical.

The one thing with leather shoes though, is like a timber decking, whilst they look great they can take a little extra care to keep them looking that way. Most of us get away with a bit of polish here and there, but there is a process to caring for leather shoes so they look their best for years to come.

Don’t get stressed, the process is really quite simple:

  • Clean
  • Condition
  • Polish
  • Preserve


It may sound obvious, but cleaning your shoes with a damp cloth and mild soap will help to protect the leathers from becoming worn. Dirt on the surface can cause damage to the skin and make your shoes look shabby quick. If your shoes are covered in mud, wait until it’s dry then wipe with a dry cloth first and follow with a damp cloth. A cotton cloth or dedicated shoe cloth is best to use.

Allow your shoes to dry and never place them over a heater or near heat as this will dry out the leather.


Just like you condition your hair to put the moisture that is lost back in, you need to condition your shoes in a similar way. Only a small amount needs to be used and you apply with a soft cotton cloth in circular motions. This protects the shoe and prevents drying and cracking.


A good shoe polish is a must when it comes to caring for leather shoes. Most of us grab the liquid polish from the supermarket which is ok, but the best polish to use is a good quality cream shoe polish. It will buff up nicely and leave a nice coating on your shoes. Match the colour to your shoes for the best result.


When you first get a new pair of leather shoes, it is good practice to waterproof them with a waterproof spray. This will help preserve the leather and also help to keep your toes dry! Reapply the waterproof or leather preserve as needed according to product guidelines.

How Often?

Whilst you don’t have to clean and polish your shoes every time you wear them, a routine of 4 -6 months is good practice. This will of course depend on how often you wear them. If you start to see your leather shoes looking a little worse for wear, it’s probably a good time to give them some TLC.

One last note, we all have our favourite pair of shoes that we wear practically everyday, but it’s a good idea to give your faves the day off occasionally. This will help them to air out and dry out. You may not think your feet sweat, but they do and the leather will absorb the moisture.