Fashion & Style

Caring for leather shoes

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leather boots
TLC keeps leather looking good
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Caring for leather shoes and boots makes them last much longer

People put on their footwear and go and usually donít give much thought to caring for leather shoes, which do need some TLC on occasion.

Leather can crack and curl and the inside of the footwear can get wet. Humans produce as much as ľ cup of moisture in their feet on a daily basis and as much as Ĺ cup if they are physically active, such as when engaging in a rigorous sport.

This moisture goes into your shoes and can cause it to wrinkle and crack. When the lining of the shoe becomes wet the longevity of your footwear is decreased significantly. If you have paid big bucks for your footwear you donít want to ruin them in short order so you need to do what needs to be done to safeguard your footwear.


When a shoe is worn a lot it can lose its original shape. If you rotate your shoes and donít wear the same pair every day they will last longer.

If you add a rubber sole protector this extends the life of the shoe. The protector is a barrier between your footwear and the weather and prevents them from wear and tear. Get protective soles that are skid proof and water resistant.

When you are slipping into your footwear, use a shoe horn because this saves the heel counter and collar from unnecessary wear.


To maintain your shoes, conditioning and polishing with a lotion needs to be done. Use a soft cloth for this procedure.

Use leather cleaner, which removes the dirt. However, you should never use a cleaner that contains a detergent or acid because this is going to age and ultimately destroy your footwear.

Saddle soap and water can be used effectively but you must make sure that the soap is completely rinsed off because when residue is left behind this damages the shoe.

Soap strips the shoes of its natural oils, just as soap strips human skin of its moisture which causes the leather or a personís skin to crack. This is not your objective.

While the shoe is still a little bit wet apply a leather conditioner, which puts back in the natural oils that may have been stripped when cleaning. A good conditioner contains lanolin.


After you have cleaned your footwear, set it aside for a day and let it dry. Ideally, the shoe should be put on a shoe tree because this helps maintain the shape.

A good shoe tree to use is one that is made of cedar. This type of tree draws the moisture out of the shoe which extends its life. In the process, the natural memory of the footwear is restored and, additionally, wrinkling and cracking is prevented

The next day, you can apply wax or polish to the shoe and then buff it so that it shines.


If you want your shoes to last, keep them away from direct heat. Heat dries out leather and causes it to crack. If the shoe gets really hot it will actually cook and become rigid and brittle.


Wax or oil your footwear in the event that itís going to get wet and it will if you go outside. Itís inevitable. When oil or waxing is done this makes the footwear repel water.

When shoes get wet they get weak and stretch and they may also shrink.

Wet leather should be dried ASAP in dry air at an indoor temperature of between 70 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If the shoe isnít dried properly it will become moldy and stinky. This is permanent.

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