Looking After Leather Shoes

Leather boots and shoes are comfortable, stylish and are a cornerstone of men’s fashion but it’s important to look after them.

So make them look good, make them last longer and make them comfier with these clever tips.

New shoes

As Paulo Nutini says ‘I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right’, and if you want to keep that great feeling look after your new shoes.  Start by looking after your new leather shoes before you put them on, it’ll mean less work later on.

Condition your shoes (see below) before you wear them outside. Doing so makes them even comfier from the start and will make future care easier. Start loving and caring for your shoes the minute they leave the box, and they’ll love you back.

Clean up your act

Have you stepped in mud too many times? Are your boots looking scruffy? If so, it’s time to smarten them up. But don’t jump straight in with a wet cloth and polish.

You need to prepare your shoes for cleaning, with these simple steps:

1. Remove the laces, it’s easier to clean these separately.

2. Clean off any mud and debris with a rag or a damp cloth.

3. Let your footwear dry. Now you’re ready to condition and polish your boots.


Conditioning your boots and shoes will make your leather last longer. It’s pretty simple, just get a cloth and rub small amounts of the conditioner into the boot.

You have 3 options when it comes to conditioner.

1. Dubbin – with a distinct smell and a yellow tint, it’s a great buy that lasts ages and will also help to waterproof your leather. Easy to find in shoe and outdoor shops.

2. Traditional conditioner – there is a lot on the market and all claim they are the best. Do some research and find the product that suits your budget and needs.

3. Vaseline – my personal favourite. Use like you would any conditioner, but don’t double dip, then you can use it on your lips too!

Shine on/Shine off

Get two brushes. A shine on brush, and a shine off brush. Get some polish. Then watch this ‘idiot’s guide’ featuring the wonderful James May.

Keep them tidy!

Treat your shoes regularly. The moment your boots look a little bit sad, cheer them up with conditioner, polish and care.

Here’s some I polished earlier:

Mens polished oxford leather shoes

Polished shoes