How to keep your leather shoes beautiful

How to keep your leather shoes beautiful

Vanessa Kim
Zurich, on 22.04.2021
Translation: Octavia Hurst
As soon as you unpack your new shoes, you want to wear them. I feel the same way. However, there are some reasons why you should be patient.

Patience isn’t one of my strengths. That’s why I only practise it in exceptional situations. One such special case is when I have shoes that I need to prime before wearing them for the first time. Especially in times of fast fashion, I want to enjoy them as long as possible. In unpredictable months such as April, when wind and rain meet sunshine in equal measure, I need to properly care for and protect my shoes.


Before you wear new shoes for the first time, make them weatherproof and stain-resistant with a waterproofing spray. Spray this onto the shoe from about 30 centimetres and let it dry for half an hour before sealing with a second coat. It’s important that you repeat this process every six to eight weeks during wet or unpredictable months to maintain the protective layer and shield your kicks from moisture. When buying a waterproofing spray, check what type of leather you need it for and that the colour is neutral. It would be a shame if you spattered light suede shoes with a black tinted spray and ruined them.

To avoid inhaling toxic aerosols and stains when waterproofing, spray your shoes outdoors.
To avoid inhaling toxic aerosols and stains when waterproofing, spray your shoes outdoors.


If your shoes are new, skip this point. If not, you need to clean shoes from coarse dirt before care. Only then can the leather absorb the nourishing ingredients. After all, you put cream on your face after washing it, right? It’s the same with shoes. Use a cleaning brush or damp cloth to get rid of coarse dirt on smooth leather shoes. If your model is suede, use a special suede brush instead. Brush solely in one direction.

Reinigungstuch Mikrofaser (1x)
Central Square Reinigungstuch Mikrofaser (1x)
Suede leather brush (1x)
Quantity discount
5.35for 3 Pieces
Bama Suede leather brush (1x)


To keep smooth leather soft and shiny, you should treat it with shoe polish occasionally. They come in neutral and tinted versions to also refresh the colour at the same time. Apply a thin layer of it to the shoe and work it into the leather with a soft cloth. Don’t leave out any spots and wait until the whole thing is dry. To buff the surface, use a polishing brush with soft, rounded bristles or a shining cloth. Your movements must be gentle, but brisk.

1909 Supreme Cream de Luxe (100ml, 1x)
Quantity discount
Collonil 1909 Supreme Cream de Luxe (100ml, 1x)
Rauleder Pflege (75ml, 1x)
Quantity discount
7.40for 3 Pieces
Pedag Rauleder Pflege (75ml, 1x)
Leather & Lacquer (125ml, 1x)
Quantity discount
Pedag Leather & Lacquer (125ml, 1x)

If your shoes are suede models, foam is the best choice. Apply this to a brush before cleaning and spread it on the shoe. You then remove the residue with a damp polishing cloth.

For patent leather, on the other hand, I recommend using a shoe oil or special patent leather product so that the material doesn’t crack over time. Watch out: to avoid damaging the shiny lacquer layer, don’t use a shoe brush, instead use a damp cotton cloth.

Generally, I recommend cleaning your shoes every two weeks with a cleaning brush – in case of patent shoes use a damp cotton cloth. This will prevent loose dirt from soaking into the leather and sticking there the next time it rains. If you follow this tip, you’ll have to clean your shoes less often.

If you brush out your leather shoes regularly, they will stay beautiful longer.
If you brush out your leather shoes regularly, they will stay beautiful longer.

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Vanessa Kim
Vanessa Kim
Editor, Zurich
When I’m not exploring the depths of the sea as an open water diver, I enjoy plunging into the world of fashion. On the streets of Paris, Milan and New York is where I keep my eyes peeled for the latest trends. And I’ll show you how to take them from the catwalk to your everyday life.

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