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

Guess whose shoes?

You can tell a lot about a man, just by looking at his feet. But while most of us buy the best we can within our budgets – the celebrity A list can wear whatever they like.

So take a look at our selection of mens shoes worn by celebrities, and see if you can guess whose shoes they are.

(Hover your cursor over the images to reveal answers)

Smart oxfords

George Clooney

Image source: Andersphoto / Shutterstock.com

Could be anyone couldn’t it? A smart pair of Oxfords is the choice of shoe for all seasons. You can be sure that the guy who owns these is a consummate professional.

He’s slick, chic and his good looks cause many a female heart flutter. An ‘A list’ actor with a conscience, he cares deeply about human rights and is prepared to put his put his money where his mouth is. Last year, the actor was arrested for civil disobedience while protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington DC.

Still not sure who it is? Well should a perfect storm leave you battered and bruised, this guy is the one to patch you up.

Brown brogues

Daniel Craig

Image source: Shelly Wall / Shutterstock.com

Slightly scruffy brown brogues are a stylish choice but it’s hard to imagine that this British actor’s alter ego would be seen dead in a pair – way too informal.

But if he did, you can be sure he’d shine them until you could see your face in them. The owner of these shoes is known as much for his killer good looks as his acting ability.

In taking on his career defining role, this man provoked controversy by not seeming to be either tall enough, nor dark enough. In fact he’s blonde.

Quirky chukkas

Brad Pitt

Image source: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

One of the biggest hollywood stars ever. This man who hails from Springfield, Missouri has been a heartthrob since his first big film part in 1991.

Since then he has gone on to wow cinema audiences across the globe with wide ranging roles that have seen him age backwards, get shot in the back and catch trout (but not at the same time). Now he’s a dedicated family man with a whole brood of children.

Still not sure who this sex symbol in chukka boots is? Ask Thelma, or Louise.

Low-key sneakers

Denzel Washington

Image source: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Pushing sixty but looking good on it, no wonder the guy can still look good in a pair of sneakers. The African American actor is the son of a beauty parlour owner and a Pentecostal preacher.

His illustrious career has seen him play civil rights activist, Malcom X, South African anti apartheid legend, Steve Biko and the boxer, Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter. During the 1990s, the actor took roles in a string of highly successful thrillers, gaining a reputation as a ‘titan’ of the silver screen.

Need another clue? If the aircraft on which you were travelling were to come down – you’d want this guy at the controls.

Trendy two tone

Johnny Depp

Image source: DFree / Shutterstock.com

Somewhat eccentric, as indeed his choice of two tone ‘spectator’ wingtip mens brogues demonstrates, the wearer is well known for playing ‘iconic loners’ – roles that very much suit his character.

The actor has collaborated with filmmaker Tim Burton on several occasions – at least two centering around food – both sweet and savoury. Something of a buccaneer, he has stolen many a woman’s heart.

Definitely a ‘cut’ above, should your hair or beard need a bit of a trim – don’t go anywhere near him.