Maintenance of Leather Shoes

In our leather shoes care guide we explain how to care for your shoes to keep nice… as long as possible!

Maintenance of leather shoes is very important, but there are also some things to avoid. In this article I deals with 10.Loan?

You just bought a pair of leather shoes – maybe they are even made in France if you have trusted the right home  ;).


You enter a broad and exciting territory… but expensive! Finally not so much if you think about a bit but is not the question of the day…

They are there. You hardly dare wear them for fear of damaging them . Never fear!

Note: I have written an interview in a free pdf guide, illustrated that fits on a sheet that you can download here. That way, if in doubt, you can print it and have it on hand when you shine your shoes.

“You don’t need to get out of St Cyr to find out how to care for a pair of shoes”.

Let me a little aside: If you only buy cheap leather shoes (less than €100 / €150) it is likely that they are not even manufactured with leather (probably of the crust or a faux leather).

I will return in a future article, but in this case despite all the goodwill in the world will not make them last.

They are doomed to die very quickly. You cannot do anything about it.

If your shoes cost you between € 150 and € 300, the need for maintenance and to avoid certain mistakes will depend on your nature.

If this amount corresponds to your annual budget and that you renew your pair, to follow a trend, for example, then maintain them is not essential.

Unless you want to keep them longer!

You buy shoes at € 300 or more, you see as an investment and you want to keep several years so there you can’t cut!

Must maintain them and avoid making the mistakes listed below.

Anyway, back to this beautiful pair you bought.

If you do it regularly (and no matter how of course) she will last and patina with time.

This will give him something unique, something that only quality products, that last, may have.

The leather will take over the ports and the stroke / cream / Shoeshine, a shade and highlights that will make it unique.This is also where maintenance of shoes is interested!

It takes time, that your shoes live and nothing else.

So boys!

You don’t like throwing money down the drain.

So the question to last in time the pair that you just bought will soon arise and should not wait 6 months for care.

Maintain it is one thing but that’s not all!

There are some things to avoid but also to banish beliefs as completely false.

We all-I the first-made this mistake.

To believe that putting the price into a beautiful object would be sufficient for it to last long.

Well nothing is less sure.

Sometimes, even when we want to do, we are not mistakes that can have serious consequences!

Then, when it comes to shoes, assume that:

  • even the most beautiful of the pairs;
  • made with a unique leather;
  • by artisans recognized;

will not last long if you abuse her and you don’t care.

Quality leather shoes are not magical objects from another planet: take care and maintain them regularly if you want to keep for as long as possible!

It is also valid for other parts, such as leather belts , for example.

This is so the 10 mistakes to avoid when the maintenance of leather shoes.

1 / put the same pair of shoes every day

Did you put the same underwear every day?


So here I can’t do anything for you!

For the others, well the same logic applies for your shoes!

Whatever you do, and even if you won’t admit it, you sweat feet, it’s a fact!

More or less to different people and worn shoes, but no matter.

This sweating is, among other whatnot, acid.

So she attacks the leather.

You may, in addition, to wear your shoes in wet weather.

Leather is a living material and therefore let him breathe!
Note: actually this term is a misnomer; leather has nothing alive.
This is simply to say that leather is a permeable organic matter in the sense where leather exchanges with the external environment and the products that you apply.
Agree it’s a living matter is simpler!

She must be given time to rest, to evacuate sweat and other debris accumulated after a day in port.

Your shoes don’t will be better, your feet too!

Thus, the generally accepted rule is: port 1 day / 2 days of rest.

The ideal is to have a minimum of 3 pairs of shoes with which you can set up a rotation.

A few decades ago were advised even to men to have 7 different pairs. One for each day of the week!

You only have a pair of shoes?

Then you have to renew every year at best.

Otherwise, you know the way to find your happiness and expand your collection of shoes!

In the event that I am giving you a link, you never know: shoes Jacques and Demeter.

Not sure what to choose for your next purchase? Browse our article which gives details you on the different models of men’s shoes. This might give you ideas)

2 / Do not put shoe trees

Continue the metaphor of hygiene: should we take showers regularly? Should we wash teeth 2-3 times a day? etc.

The answer to such a question seems obvious to you?

Well it is the same for the use of’shoe for your pair of shoes .

You can’t put it on. It’s impossible!

For more information about this accessory we have written a guide on the shoe that I invite you to browse through.

In short, a pair of shoe trees will allow:

  • to evacuate sweat and moisture
  • to the leather to keep good form when it is wet by the rain
  • to avoid that the folds of wear mark too.

It’s good?

You are determined to buy a pair of shoe trees?


This is where things get complicated.

I’ll elaborate this point with some advice.

Indeed you will quickly see that there are as many as shoes shoe and all are far from complete, correctly, their role.

There are two criteria to properly choose a pair of shoe trees:


“Avoid the ‘ tensioners ‘: they tend to break the foothills and do not meet the shoe.”

How to store the form in this case?

Prefer shoe”full”: with a piston at the back and a side spring.»

They will allow to fill correctly the majority of your shoes and so to keep in shape and mitigate the folds of ease.

Note: there are custom-made shoe. Without any mechanism, they adapt perfectly to your shoes. Hervé Brunelle for example made of beautiful shoe. But cela at cost and is often reserved for custom-made shoes: If you are willing to pay € 1500 or more for a pair of shoes so a hundred more for a pair of shoe trees shouldn’t you cool and it’s even more than recommended!

The material:

Wood or plastic?


The only case where the shoe plastic can be useful is in travel / business travel.

Much lighter and cheaper they will help you out and avoid your shoes to be overwritten in your suitcase.

There is a shoe in various woods and finishes: brute, varnish, cedar, beech, etc. The raw wood is a no-brainer.

For the type of wood that is less certain.

Some scream foul marketing for Cedar whose only property is its strong natural smell that would hide the smell of perspiration.

I want to say that it is already a good thing.

And more given to the Cedar of the absorbent properties and fungicide action but opinions diverge.

If you are not convinced by the Cedar I understand you.

I am, also, a bit skeptical.

On the other hand, whatever the chosen wood it must be gross.

How wood can absorb anything if you coat it with a thick layer of varnish?

It seems obvious, but it costs nothing to remember.
Note: If you already have a varnished wooden shoe don’t. With a sand paper and a bit of elbow grease you can scratch the varnish layer!

You will find all this information, and many others, in our complete on the shoe guide I invite you to go.

3 / Shine his shoes without never to cream them and clean them.

Our newsletter subscribers meet here a picture – that it has blown me – I appreciate:

Wax without ever cream returns to wear makeup without never to clean the skin… And it’s not pretty!

The waxing is a dough that stays on the surface and the pores of the leather.

Even if some good quality polishes have nutritive properties they prevent the leather to breathe.

So yes, by applying Polish shine but the leather will eventually crack if you don’t do nothing.

Everything is explained in our care for leather shoes guide.

It takes, about once every two weeks for a worn pair regularly, clean the wax layers with a milk cleanser.

It will also open the pores of the leather to prepare to receive the cream better.

It was she who will nourish and moisturize the leather to prevent it cracking.

It was only after icing, if you wish, you can put the dough to wax for more brilliant!

In short: shining his shoes leather is not essential. It’s optional! While clean and get chip them is essential!

4 / Use the bad products

As for the shoe, there is a multitude of chemicals at various retailers.

Careful because behind promises all crazy with each other a bad product can cause damage.

Keep in mind to focus on natural materials and you won’t make mistakes.

Let’s quickly on the brushes: there are all sizes and at all prices.

So to make it simple just remember that it doesn’t help to buy a brand brush.

You’ll pay more for nothing.

Also, avoid brushes with sleeves in exotic woods.

Certainly they are more beautiful but are much more expensive and are not better.

For polishing brushes and brushes palot a brush in good shape in pure horsehair perfectly will do.

Same goes for brushes crepe: prefer those natural crepe.
There is that for the brush to Welt I recommend home Sapphire (the model is patented at INPI) because its form is more convenient than a Badger brush.
Note: you can replace it with a toothbrush that will allow you to well to grease the thread of sewing

For the product maintenance, this is different.

I advise you to turn to the more well-known brands.

If they are used by so many lovers of fine shoes is not for nothing!

Personally Sapphire and more particularly the range gold – whose products are made in France by Avel society – has my favor because it contains that natural elements (waxes from bees, aloe vera, etc.).

After I have rarely used products from Famaco, in general a little less expensive, but the opinions are shared, so proceed with caution.
Note: randomly doing well the things we offer, in the “soft” part of our e-shop, theproducts Sapphire gold medal and brushes needed for the maintenance of your leather shoes. You can buy quality shoes and products that go with! She is not beautiful life?

What is sure is that we must avoid like the plague the products sold in supermarkets because they contain silicone.

The latter totally waterproof leather and no more cream / dough held.

In addition, as explained above, waterproof totally the leather of your shoes (close the pores) will do it crack.

Especially it is very complicated to get rid of the silicone.

So yes these products tend to shine anything and everything in a blink of an eye, but over the long term is not without consequence.

In addition, the right products, can allow you to achieve a patina on your leather shoes.

5 / in case of rain, dry near a source of heat

Your shoes have caught in the rain.

This happens.

Then already twisting the neck to the legend that says that the leather doesn’t like rain: it IS FAKE!

Leather resists water very well. This statement is valid also for the stock and velvet.

I do not jump in puddles but simply that if you do it right, then take the rain from time to time will not specific consequences on your shoes.
Note: during his tanning, leather is very often in tanks. If you are in the presence of a beautiful leather, tanned in the rules of the art, so the water has normally no effect.

And, in this case, the most important is drying!
Note: I invite you to read our article devoted to the leather shoes and rain to learn all about this subject.

You’re going to have to be patient.

Yet once, have several pairs of shoes is useful to meet timing.

I’ll not give you the address you know where to go to buy a second / third / fourth / etc. pair of shoes 😉

It dries slowly more is good for your shoes.

The close proximity to a heat source may dry out the leather and do crack.

Put, as soon as you remove them, the non varnished wooden shoe that will absorb moisture.

It is very important.

If you don’t do it, under the effect of water that dissolves collagen content in leather, they might badly dry and deform when the collagen will solidify.

In the case of shoes with leather soles put them on the bracket to allow the sole to dry also.

So count a dozen hours in general and massage your shoes with a little cream once they are dry.

6 / being obsessed by the folds of ease

When you see the constraints applied to the leather at the roll of the foot I don’t see how one can imagine that it is not normal that folds appear.
Note: in the case of custom-made shoes, the perfect match of form fit to the feet made that there are very few folds.

The real question is not whether creases will form.


It is rather the appearance of folds that can worry.

Fine and regular folds are formed at the level of the fold of the foot: normal.

Your shoes are similar to paper crumpled when you fold the foot: flee! (or change the size, it is possible that they are too big).
Note: the folds of ease are less marked on a Suede (full flower calf used flesh side) on a nubuck that is sanded side skin leather see split… In short a potentially questionable leather.

For more information on this subject I invite you to read my article on the folds of the leather shoes ease.

Be aware that it is possible to mitigate the folds of ease:

  • by putting a shoe in your shoes when you are not wearing them, you limit their appearance.
  • when maintaining your shoes: when you apply the milk cleanser and cream must iron the folds (like a shirt) with your fingers. With a powerful gesture in the direction of the shoe you will heat the leather and better penetrate the product.

7 / do not use irons and skates

We’re talking, of course, here, leather soles.

Looking to the right and to the left you will see conflicting information on the subject.

In fact everyone preaches to his parish: the pros and the antis are opposed.
Reminder: the pads are placed (stick) on the area of wear on the sole to protect it from attacks of different coatings on which you walk.
The irons are used to protect the sole especially sought during the roll of the foot.

The first say that skate and an iron will allow of protect a sole leather.

It’s totally true.

Even for soles leather tanning plant and slow; degradation, when they are left bare, is quickly.

If you live in a humid climate and rainy so skating the role of raincoat for your soles.

That’s precisely what the antis blame him.

The skates don’t breathe not the sole and increase the risk of cracks.

In addition, they stiffen the shoes and make them less comfortable.

These are therefore two philosophies that opposed.

Personally, I advise to ask skates crepe (this isn’t actually the pancake but a soft rubber).

They harden under the sole and therefore feel almost not when walking.

Ask skates is inexpensive and extension space between two re-heeled.

The actual price is not negligible.

Attention : the installation of skates will create a difference of adhesion between the front of the shoe and heel (even if it is half leather).

If you want to avoid this you can ask your cobbler to ask a bonbout rubber on the heel thus giving optimum grip to your shoes.

For more information I invite you to read the article devoted to the essential Topy Skate .

For irons it is advisable to ask irons recessed screwed (not nailed) with screws in brass or stainless steel (to avoid that they rust in leather).
Note: the iron is necessary according to your approach. If you notice a rapid and significant at the end of your soles wear so you don’t have the choice!

There is no obligation: you can decide not to put anything on your soles, to simply skates, only irons or both.

It’s a matter of comfort to the market more than anything else.

Some emphasize aesthetics but I remind you that we are talking about the bottom of your shoes…

  1. Put too much Polish, cream, etc.

This seems self-evident and yet it is a very common mistake!

Do not put too much Polish, cream or milk!

Better to put little and repeat as often as needed rather than to put too much.

It is always easier to add a product to remove a surplus!

If you put too much cream volatile solvents will evaporate and you’ll find yourself with what is called a block.

The same if you put too much dough: you may clog the pores of the leather with the above-mentioned consequences.

9 / do not take 5 minutes after each port to brush them and put away them

You return from a long and exhausting day of work.

Worst you come in the middle of the night for a night a little drinking…

What do you your shoes? You take out them in a hurry and leave them in a corner.

Take 3 minutes to make things right.

Generally you remove them by blocking the foot to the heel with your other foot.

Bad practice. You sacrifice the foothills.

  • Time: 1 min to unlace them properly (I don’t speak of the boots which are longer to unlace but at least you don’t have the choice).

Then you push them into a corner, leaving them in the entry and you go do something else (read this article for example).

Second mistake: put the shoe immediately.

  • Time: 1 min (or the evening was very watered).

You do all this already? It is very good. But there are two very simple things and more to do:

  • put a quick brush. With a scraper will remove most of the dirt and dust before they are embedded in the leather.Time 30 sec.
  • put away them. We’re not talking thrown into a closet to hide them but put them back in their box correctly to avoid outside attacks like dust, moisture, exposure to sunlight, etc. time 30 sec.

Voila, it took you 3 minutes and yet I’ve been generous on the time.

10 / not trust his Shoemaker

At one time, there were everywhere, but like the rest of the shoe industry professions, they are less and less numerous.

I’m talking about those shoemakers, lovers of the beautiful shoes.

For economic and cultural reasons–people take less care of their shoes – they have to diversify their activities (keys, etc.) or close up shop.

In all cities however, remained very good shoemakers, carrying out high-quality work, to whom you can entrust your shoes with your eyes closed.

In this regard we have set up a guide of the best shoemakers / shops of France to find the right address near you.

Be sure to go see your Shoemaker, discuss with him on good practices.

Each has its own tricks and tips.

Who better than a passionate professional to guide you?

Go also in case of concern: you have applied a bad product? made a mistake?

Your cobbler can help make up for the damage!

This is so the 10 errors that, in my opinion, are the most common and the most important to avoid!

You do not have the necessary products for the maintenance of your leather shoes? We offer maintenance (with the bare minimum) kits and shoe trees at prices that you won’t find anywhere else (click on the image to be redirected to our e-shop)