Leather shoes are a very heavy investment to make but define rich class and quality in a man. However, to maintain the quality and help the shoes last longer, you need to take proper care of your leather shoes. It may require you to invest some time and efforts but is surely worth in order to make them stand apart and keep them clean, spic, and span.
Therefore, we enlighten you with some different types of leather and how can you maintain and take care of your shoes using the tips mentioned below.
Caring for Leather Shoes
Leather shoes are quite a task when it comes to maintaining. Especially with a range of exclusive shoes available online, it can be very difficult to understand the different types of leather and how to maintain them.
Read below to know the different types of leather shoes available and how to take care of them:
Different Types of Leather
While not many salespeople and online portals might tell you this, you would surely want to know the different types of leather that are available and what best suits your attire. Bonus, we also tell you how to maintain them to up your style game and make them durable:
Pull Up Leather
Pull up leather is known to be one of the most durable and finest forms of leather as it does not scrape and leave a mark easily. It’s neither too glossy nor too matte, just a perfect dapper-looking leather finish that matches with any pair of formals or even casual attire.
Caring Tips: To wipe any stains or dirt off the feet, you can use a microfiber cloth along with a leather polishing cream or conditioner and beeswax to give that lustre. Don’t forget to use the brush to remove small amounts of dust.
Vegetable Tanned Leather
For someone who has a very classy way of dressing, they would prefer the Vegetable Tanned Leather shoes that have a woody or cinnamon-like colour. It often looks handpainted and if kept carefully can also give a very rustic look over days of use and care.
However, you require some special amount of maintenance to keep the looks intact and remain extra careful to not expose them to wet or dampened surfaces.
Caring Tips: Use a special horseshoe hairbrush else other types of brushes can eave scratches on the shoes and you can also wipe it using a microfiber cloth at times. Make sure it is dry. Any leather conditioner that does not contain wax oil is also a good way to maintain it as it gets completely absorbed instead of just giving the shine. In the end, you can use slight amounts of beeswax oil to give it the shine and luster.
This type of leather has a very matte finish and may require some special bleaching or extra care before you move out wearing these pair of shoes. The bleach looks give it a special texture and you need to make sure to not wear that off. Do not wear these shoes regularly and preserve them for occasional wear.
Care Tips: You would need a special suede brush as other types may wear out the bleached finish. If you get your hands on a piece of crepe rubber, that is even better, and use a special suede cleaner to remove the dust and stains off. In the end, before moving out, use the protective suede spray.
Chamois leather looks extremely soft and almost feels like a blanket but you may not want to wear them in areas having water. It looks more or less like suede leather and being very delicate, one needs to be extra careful while maintaining these pair of shoes.
Care Tips: To keep the shoes intact and maintain the fluffy texture, you can always use a lint roller and roll it in one direction to settle the fibers of the shoe. Use the same brush as a suede brush along with a protective suede spray and suede cleaner. A piece of crepe rubber is also helpful.
Classy, rich, and sassy is what you would call these types of leather. However, maintenance is a headache at times as they are too sensitive to scratches and scuffs and need extra attention. One needs to be extra cautious to not spoil these pairs as they don’t come cheap and are difficult to maintain.
Care Tips: Invest in a good leather care kit for these shoes. You can use a Chamois cloth or patent leather cleaner and a protective spray at the end for the gloss.
Calf Skinned Leather
This type of leather looks quite rich and ethnic and requires high shine and good maintenance to ensure that the shoes last longer. They have the laces buffed up and look like a cowboy-style shoe giving a very rustic touch. These work with a pair of rugged clothes or a rustic formal attire.
Care Tips: For Calf Skinned Shoes, you may need some wax polish along with grease and rub the grease with a tiny piece of cloth for that shine over the shoe. Don’t soak it in the grease, just move them in circles, lightly enough to give it the gloss.
These shoes have a very scuffed texture and it feels soft and grainy to move your hands over the texture and material of this kind. They don’t require too much maintenance unlike other leather types and are fairly easy to clean with a wet cloth or an oil-based conditioner. For best results, you can also use a wax-based polish
Care Tips: Materials for care are easily available, you need a microfibre cloth, a leather cleaner or conditioner, and a polish made of beeswax that suits the colour.
How to Take Care of Leather Shoes
After knowing the different types of leather materials available in shoes, here is a set of tips that you can apply to care for your precious leather pair:
Invest in quality leather
Before buying a pair of leather shoes, one of the most decent suggestions anyone can give you is to look for a quality pair of shoes. Now that is not only determined by the price but other features like attention to detail, the leather type, and finish, the design of the shoe, the compatibility with your leg, etc.
All these features help the shoe to last longer and help you to take better care of your leather beauty.
For certain cases, the price may also be an essential factor as the more you play, the better quality and craftsmanship you get in your shoe, and the easier they are to care for.
Rotate shoes daily
Just like you, your shoes need a daily breather too. Leather shoes indeed look stylish but you don’t need to wear them every day. Sometimes, excessive use too can wear them off quickly for which you need to rotate and wear them to maintain and make them last longer.
Keep a pair of 2-3 shoes handy so you can use each one for a different day and increase the lifespan and overall maintenance of the shoes. This works especially for the suede type leather that is not meant for all occasions and surfaces and is best worn for special occasions.
Use Cedar shoe trees
This is one of the most helpful investments for leather shoes. You may particularly want to choose cedar shoe trees over plastic ones as they help in retaining the shoe shape after you have worn them and are absorbent. Placing them within your pair of shoes absorbs the moisture that may persist due to sweat and the natural woody scent also helps in deodorizing your shoes, eliminating odor and any foul bacterial smell or sweat. Keep them inserted within the shoes after every use.
Use a Shoe Horn
Shoe horns help you in easily inserting your feet and heel within the shoes so that you don’t wear out the back of the leather shoe and the surface remains intact. This prevents your shoe from spoiling easily and the corners remain intact. Simply keep them at the surface from where you insert your heel inside the shoe and slip in your feet easily without any twist or twitch.
Avoid Bad Weather
You could be tempted to wear your best pair of leather shoes but wearing them during rains or snowy seasons is not a good idea. Leather and moisture don’t go quite well together and it is best to not expose them to wet and moist areas. Preserve them for dry occasions and use a regular pair of all-season shoes instead.
Note: If at all your leather shoes get wet, DO NOT use a hairdryer or heater as it can crumple the leather and completely remove the moisture out of it making it too dry. This is not good for the leather.
Tip: You can always use paper crumbles or paper towels to absorb the moisture and allow it to dry completely before they are ready to use again.
Maintain Shoe Care
If you want to preserve and maintain your leather shoes for long, you can always invest in a leather shoe care kit. It generally consists of:
- Leather Cleaner
- Leather Conditioner
- Leather Shoe Polish
- Leather polish applicators
- A brush
- A microfiber cloth
If there are any old layers of polish or dirt stuck on the shoe, gently wipe it with a soapy cloth or microfiber cloth and then apply the new layer of polish or conditioner. For mild cleaning, using a brush would suffice that is soft and does not leave any scratches on the surface of the leather shoes.
The leather conditioner helps in rehydrating the leather and a leather shoe polish helps in giving the gloss as per the colour. Make sure to use a different brush or cloth for a new pair of shoes to not dirty them or mix up layers and contaminate your various pair of shoes.
Tip: There are different suede and nubuck leather shoe care kits available that come with special applicators and specific polishes that help in maintaining your shoes. There are specific brushes also available that come with hard and soft bristles for different leather types as well as specific suede leather erasers to eliminate the dust and stains of the surface.
Use a dust bag for storage and travel
While carrying your favourite pair of leather shoes, maintenance is also important for which most high-quality leather shoes come with a dust bag or shoe horns as well. This keeps your shoes and other luggage protected as well while not letting any scratches or marks spoiling your shoe.
Leather shoes are the best to wear with any attire but are the toughest to maintain from several types of shoes. Luckily, you don’t have to worry anymore as these tips above not only help you choose the right type of leather as per your style but also help you care for your favourite leather pair.
Keep them ready for your most suited occasions and make them durable with our handy tips. Don’t forget to tell us which tip worked best for you and your leather shoes through the comments section below.
I am a registered professional nurse with experience of 10+ years under my belt. I graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Since then, I have been beneficial for various rehabilitative and critical medical situations. I work with Feetfitness.com Team with researching foot problems and assists them by providing my expertise in the best footwear for different medical conditions. I am also instrumental to the group by helping in test, compile, and present the best footwear for professionals & everyday uses