A pair of leather shoes can be a staple of any person’s wardrobe. They’re reliable, they’re comfortable, and with a huge range of styles, they can be made to go with pretty much anything.
Unlike other shoes, though, leather shoes cannot be simply left in the shoe cupboard or on the floor of your bedroom. Leather shoes need to be taken care of in order to keep the entire shoe looking perfect.
What can you do to care for black leather shoes?
There are a number of things that you can do to keep your leather shoes looking spot on. These will not only improve the appearance, but it will also help to maintain the leather shoes, meaning that you’ll get more life out of your leather.
The best ways to maintain your black leather shoes are:
- Using a quality shoe polish, polish your leather shoes after every 6 wears
- Make sure that you clean your dress shoes regularly
- Try to avoid wearing dress shoes, suede shoes or any other kind of leather shoe in bad weather
- When you store leather shoes, use shoe trees or other shoe storage ideas
- Try not to wear your leather shoes on a daily basis, as you need to let the shoes dry out
- When you store leather shoes, you should keep them in a dust bag
- Apply black leather shoe dye when they start to look worn.
How to clean leather shoes
One of the key ways to maintain black leather shoes is to make sure that you clean them regularly. Dirt and dust can cause damage to leather shoes, so you should do your best to avoid that by keeping on top of your leather shoe care.
To clean finished leather shoes, you should:
1. Dust the shoe
Using a microfiber cloth or a brush, you should dust the shoe carefully. You need to try and remove dirt from every crevice to keep the shoe looking good. If you can’t get into all the little details, try using a cotton bud.
2. Clean the leather shoes
Using a mild soap and a damp cloth, gently wipe the leather shoes. You should make sure that the cloth is only damp, you do not want it to be dripping when you are cleaning leather shoes, as wet leather shoes will stain or become damaged.
3. Wipe away excess moisture
Once clean, you should wipe away any excess soap and moisture using a soft cloth. You can then move onto aftercare.
To clean unfinished leather shoes, you should:
1. Dust the shoe
Like with finished leather shoes, you need to dust the shoe down before you begin to clean it.
2. Using saddle soap, clean the leather
Use a saddle soap lather and gently rub it across the leather dress shoes. This will help to clean and protect your shoes.
If your leather shoes have salt stains or water stains, you can try cleaning with a mixture that is two parts water and one part vinegar, carefully wiping it on the stains of the shoe until the stains are gone.
3. Dry naturally
Leave the shoes to dry naturally, as the saddle soap will form a protective layer across the shoe that will aid in your leather shoe care.
To clean suede shoes, you should:
1. Dust the shoe
Remove dirt and debris from the shoe before you begin to clean.
2. Use a suede cleaner to clean the suede shoes
Using a specialist suede cleaner and a rubber suede brush, carefully and gently clean the leather shoes. If there are stains on the suede you can steam clean them by repeatedly boiling the kettle.
Just make sure to wipe down the extra moisture with an absorbent cloth afterwards. Suede will absorb moisture otherwise, which can damage it. If you have greasy stains on the suede, you can use talcum powder to help remove them.
Aftercare for leather shoes
After you’ve applied saddle soap, suede cleaner and whatever else, you need to do some leather shoe care. This involves two steps.
For unfinished and finished leather, you should condition the shoes properly. This can be done with a good leather conditioner. You should do this with a microfiber cloth or soft cloth and leave the leather conditioner to soak in before buffing it out. This should be done monthly.
You can also apply resin or spray to the shoes to protect them. Be sure to check the resin or spray before you purchase it to ensure it is suitable for your shoe.
How to use shoe polish or dye to care for black shoes
Black shoes sometimes lose their colour and shine. As much as saddle soap will help to clean them, saddle soap isn’t always enough. What you can do to help, though, is to use leather wax polish. Leather shoe polish helps to maintain the shoe, and should be applied reasonably regularly.
To apply shoe polish, you should use a horsehair brush and apply it in a circular motion. Once applied, leave the shoes to air dry and then use a shoe shine brush to buff the shoe polish layer until it’s matte. To dye leather shoes is a more specialised task which is detailed well in this article entitled “how to dye leather shoes”.
How to choose between shoe trees
If you’re looking to purchase some shoe trees for your leather shoes, you might be wondering what type is best. The answer is that it doesn’t really matter. Any shoe tree is better than none at all, and as long as the shoe trees you buy fit the size of your shoe, they’ll work just fine.
You can find all sorts of shoe trees online, and there are lots of different types of shoe trees out there. You don’t need to buy the most expensive shoe tree, though, to do adequate shoe care!