Whether you’re rocking a new pair of leather boots for the winter or some patent leather pumps in the office, you’ll want to know how to properly take care of them.
Getting into good leather shoe-care habits is important because it will hopefully extend the life of your shoes, giving you more bang for your buck. It’ll also keep them (and you!) looking great as long as you’re wearing them. If you aren’t sure how to take care of your leather shoes properly, take a look at these tips:
Out of all the different materials shoes are made of, leather is one of the most susceptible to water damage. Real leather can stain, crack or simply wear out faster when exposed to a lot of moisture, so it’s a good idea to waterproof new leather shoes immediately after buying them. You can buy waterproofing sprays from almost any store that sells shoes. Simply spray and let your footwear dry overnight. Even if they are waterproofed already, the solution will likely have worn off by the time the shoes make it from the factory to the store, then finally to your home. Follow up by waterproofing your shoes once per season, or about every three months.
Let’s face it, though: Every pair of shoes is going to accidentally step into a puddle or become victim to inclement weather at some point. If your leather shoes do get soaked, simply wipe them down, lay them flat, and let them dry in a room-temperature space overnight. Avoid using a blow dryer or another source of heat, since these can actually cause the leather to shrink or crack in some cases.
Clean them regularly
To keep your leather shoes in tip-top shape, a cleaning routine is important. Simply wiping them down with a soft, slightly damp cloth will clear the leather of most dirt and grime from day-to-day wear. If the shoes become really dirty from mud or salt clean them as soon as you can to avoid stains.
Tossing your leather booties on the bedroom floor after a long day isn’t going to hurt them, but having a proper storage spot will likely help your footwear look better for longer. Keep them in a room-temperature area that isn’t exposed to constant sunlight for best results. Being in a heated area can shrink the leather over time, and direct sunlight can fade the shoes’ color, leaving them looking patchy.
Know how to polish
Scuffs and scrapes are normal parts of daily wear and tear, so don’t worry too much if your shoes look a little worn after a few weeks. A good polish can almost always make them look new again. Store-bought leather polish is very effective, but you can even buff out scuffs using some household items. Try using petroleum jelly or hair conditioner! Clean the shoes first with a damp cloth and let them dry. For the jelly, spread it over the leather and buff it off using a dry cloth. For conditioner, simply rub it gently into the dry leather.