Care leather shoes - a guide in 4 steps
Shoes made of genuine leather are a good investment - but you can only enjoy them for a long time if you care for them properly. Caring for leather shoes is not as complicated as many people might think. Whether smooth or suede leather, you should treat your shoes to a little pampering every two weeks at the latest. You will be rewarded with a shiny appearance and an all-around good wearing feeling. With our 4 simple steps, caring for leather shoes is child's play!
Leather shoes care - The material makes the difference!
Before you start, you should take a close look at the upper leather. Is it smooth or suede leather? This distinction is important, because the two types of leather require different care. You can recognize smooth leather by its slightly to strongly shiny surface. Rough or suede, on the other hand, has a velvety look and an open-pored structure that makes it more sensitive to moisture and dirt.
Step 1: Cleaning
Before you can care for your leather shoes, you should remove coarse dirt and dust. Depending on the degree of dirt, you can clean your shoes dry or wet. To remove wet dirt, it is best to use a damp cloth. For dried dirt, you can use a classic shoe polishing brush. Sensitive suede types such as suede, however, do not like hard bristles - a special velour or crepe brush is recommended here. For wet cleaning of both types of leather, you can use universal foam cleaner, e.g. from Collonil. There are also special shoe shampoos for extremely stubborn stains. However, you should only wet-clean suede in an emergency. After wet cleaning, the shoes should be allowed to dry thoroughly - but not directly on the heater (this damages the leather!), but at room temperature. In order for the shoe to keep its shape, you can stuff it with newspaper or use a shoe tree.
Step 2: Apply leather care
After drying, you can apply the care product. Smooth leather needs greasy care products like shoe polish, wax or oil to stay soft and supple. With shoe polish, you should either use a transparent version or test the color on a concealed area to avoid unattractive discoloration. The best way to apply leather care is with a shoe polishing cloth or a special brush. After applying the cream, you should start polishing immediately, otherwise the shoe cream will dry on. Rough leather, on the other hand, should never be treated with shoe polish or other greasy care products. These would cause the fine fibers to stick together and destroy the velvety look of the suede. Special colorless care products for suede are the best choice here.
Step 3: Polishing / Roughening
Directly after applying the care product, polish smooth leather shoes with a polishing brush or a soft cloth. When doing so, you should brush quickly and gently over the leather - pressing too hard would immediately remove the care product. If you can still see any care residue after polishing, you can easily remove it with an extra cloth. Rough leather is not polished after drying, but roughened with a crepe brush. You can also treat bumpy areas with a suede eraser.
Step 4: Impregnation
Taking care of leather shoes does not stop at polishing. Impregnation makes the surface of the leather water-repellent and at the same time protects it against rapid re-soiling. Rough leather shoes in particular benefit from regular impregnation, as this type of leather absorbs and stores a particularly large amount of water due to its open-pored structure. When impregnating, the rule is "often helps a lot" instead of "a lot helps a lot": The impregnation should be renewed after 10 wearings at the latest. Instead of one thick layer, it is better to apply two to three thin layers. The impregnation spray should not only be used after every cleaning, but also before the first wearing and after the shoes have been in the closet for a long time without being worn.
At Schuhdealer you can find everything you need for the care of your leather shoes - from useful products like shoe polish and waterproofing spray to practical accessories.