How to Care for Your Shoes

Smooth Leather

Smooth leather shoes will benefit from leather protection, cleaning and conditioning products, such as waterproofing spray, saddle soap, leather lotion and shoe creams.

We encourage customers to try any new product in a small area to ensure it doesn't affect the finish before applying to the whole shoe. With a brightly colored shoe, it's always best to start with the most gentle cleaners and work up to stronger ones. If the color of the shoe begins to come off on the rag you are using, stop and try a different method. 

Leather lotion is usually the most gentle cleaner. If it is not effective at removing dirt in scuff marks, you can try using a hand wipe or a white vinegar dampened rag. A general rule of thumb is if a cleanser is gentle enough for your skin, it should be okay to use on smooth leather. These same methods can also be used to wipe out the inside of a shoe from time to time. 

(While stronger spot removers do exist for leather shoes, we encourage customers to use caution, as the stronger the cleaner the more likely it is to damage the finish.) 

Shoe creams are shoe polishes that nourish the leather as they renew color and luster. Meltonian and Tarrago are two shoe cream brands we use in the store that come in a wide range of colors. 

In extreme cases when the finish has been completely worn away or deeply scratched, leather paint can be used. Angelus makes a wide variety of shoe paint colors. Be careful to find a matching color and use sparingly. Alternatively, you can consider their leather spray paint to completely re-color the shoe. 

Metallic Finish Leather

Metallic finishes are the most fragile and can show scuffs more easily than other finishes.  As such, extra care should be taken with these shoes to avoid damage. Contact with lacquer, perfume, and anything containing alcohol and derivatives can cause damage to the finish. 

If scuffs should occur, you can try removing them by gently rubbing with a clean cloth and leather lotion. Plain white vinegar on a soft cloth may also help remove dirt in a scuff. 

Metallic shoe cream can help rejuvenate luster. 

Metallic leather paint and metallic nail polish can be used very carefully to fill scratches where the finish has been completely removed. Be careful to find a matching color and use sparingly. You can also try metallic leather spray paint to recolor an entire shoe if it has been well-worn. 


Nubuck and Suede

Nubuck and Suede shoes will benefit from leather protection, such as waterproofing spray, and gentle cleaning with a soft brush. You may try using suede and nubuck cleaning products, though in most cases, light brushing is as effective. We encourage customers to try any new product in a small area to ensure it doesn't affect the finish before applying to the whole shoe. 

Three sided brushes with different levels of brush stiffness are designed specifically for cleaning suede and nubuck, but you can also use a soft old tooth brush, and a stiffer wire brush if necessary, if you already have those at home. 

For marks on white nubuck, a nubuck eraser can work wonders. 

Three sided brush for cleaning suede and nubuck. Nubuck Eraser


Re-Mix canvas styles can be sprayed with a fabric protection spray to help prevent stains from setting.

We recommend spot cleaning with a damp cloth for any dirt or stains. 

Some customers have had success washing them in a machine or hand washing by submersion using a gentle detergent for wool or silk. While we can't endorse this method, if you decide to try it, make sure to remove excess water by squeezing with a dry towel and fill the shoes with paper to dry, so that they maintain their shape. 

Older Post Newer Post