How to Get Rid of Wrinkles on Leather Shoes

Have you ever gotten a new leather shoe and noticed how it got all wrinkled after just a few days? It’s no wonder. Leather is very delicate, and over time the material will become dry and brittle. This can lead to wrinkles that make your shoes look old and unappealing.

However, there are some simple methods that you can use to get rid of wrinkles on leather shoes. In this article, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of wrinkles on leather shoes. We’ve also included some advice for preventing wrinkles on leather shoes. 

Note – It is always a good idea to test out the method on a small spot before applying it to your leather shoe. This will ensure that you don’t end up changing the color or texture of the entire leather shoe.

How to Get Rid of Wrinkles Using an Iron

Using an iron on white leather boots.

Materials Required:

  • An Iron
  • Cotton rags or cardboard inserts
  • Cotton cloth
  • Warm water 


Step-1 Remove the shoelaces from your shoes. Shoelaces are made of fabric and may get scorched by a hot iron.

Tip – Consider washing your shoelaces so they’re clean when you replace them after getting the wrinkles out of the leather.

Step-2 Stuff your shoes with cotton rags or cardboard inserts. This will keep the toe box in shape and make it easy to iron out the wrinkles. Make sure to stuff your shoes as tightly as you can. We recommend using shoe trees to maintain the proper shape of the toe box. You can purchase a shoe tree for $9.27 on  

Step-3 Take your iron and set the temperature between 60 to 80 °F (16 to 27 °C). Let the iron heat up completely before using it. Be careful not to overheat the iron as this will damage the leather. 

Step-4 Moisten a cotton cloth with warm water and place it over the wrinkled area of the shoe. Make sure not to drench the cotton cloth with water, as this will leave water stains on the leather. The damp cloth will protect your shoes from too much direct heat. 

Step-5 Iron the cotton cloth placed over the shoes for a few seconds at a time. Use the iron in a gentle, circular motion on your shoes. As you iron, lift the cotton cloth to check your progress and make sure there is no damage. Add a little more water to dampen the cotton cloth if it starts to dry out. The combination of moisture and heat softens the leather and begins to minimize wrinkles. 

Step-6 Once you are done ironing your shoes, remove the damp cotton cloth so the water does not soak into the leather. Keep the cotton rags/cardboard or a shoe tree in the leather shoe while it cools so that the toe box retains its shape. Allow the shoes to air dry for a few hours before wearing them. 

You should avoid using newspapers as the ink could stain your leather boots. Make sure the moist cotton cloth is folded to have at least two layers before placing it on the leather boots. 

In case your shoes still have wrinkles, repeat the process again. We do not recommend this method on a daily basis as the heat can harm the leather. You can use this method once every 2 weeks. 

Using a Heat Gun or Blow Dryer

Using a blow dryer to remove wrinkles on black shoes stuff with a shoe tree.

Materials Required:

  • Heat gun or blow dryer 
  • Shoe trees (can be purchased on for $9.27)
  • Leather oil or conditioner


Step-1 Remove the laces from your shoes. The laces are made of fabric and may get damaged by the heat. 

Step-2 Place a shoe tree inside your shoes. Basically, this fills up the space inside the leather shoe, allowing it to mold to the shape of the foot.

Step-3 Turn on the blow dryer or heat gun and set the temperature to the lowest setting. Make sure the device is at least 6 inches away from the leather shoe. Move the device back and forth several times to warm the leather. If the leather does not feel warm when you touch it, turn up the heat on the device.

Tip – Move the blow dryer or heat gun continuously to prevent constant exposure to heat at one spot, which can burn the leather.

Step-4 Turn off the blow dryer or heat gun and massage the leather against the shoe tree. This will get rid of wrinkles and mold the leather shoe back to its original shape.

Step-5 Allow the leather shoe to air dry once you are done massaging. Make sure the shoes are completely cool before removing the shoe trees.  

Step-6 After the shoes have cooled, apply some leather oil or conditioner to prevent the leather from becoming dry. Additionally, a leather conditioner or polish can prevent color irregularities caused by direct heat.

You can eliminate wrinkles with a heat gun or a blow dryer, but this method is riskier because direct heat might permanently damage the leather. As the heat can darken the leather, this method may be more effective on darker shoes than lighter ones. Additionally, overheating the heel counter and toe box can cause them to lose shape.

Repeat the process if the leather is still wrinkled. Because the heat can damage the leather, we do not advocate using this method on a daily basis. This method can be used once every 2 weeks. 

How to Remove Wrinkles Using Leather Oil or Conditioner

Applying shoe polish on the entire shoe.

Materials Required:

  • Shoe trees (can be purchased on for $9.27)
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Leather oil or conditioner (we used Lexol leather conditioner which can be purchased on for $6.67)  


Step-1 Insert the shoe tree into your leather shoes. 

Step-2 Apply the conditioner or oil directly to the wrinkles on your shoes. 

Step-3 Massage the leather with a soft cotton cloth against the shoe tree. This will soften the leather and help in the removal of wrinkles from the leather. 

Step-4 If there is any excess conditioner or oil on the leather shoe, use a clean, soft cotton cloth to remove it. Allow the shoes to air dry before wearing them.  

While this method works beautifully on small, new wrinkles, don’t expect miracles if you try it on older, deeper wrinkles. You can use this method to prevent more creasing from appearing on your shoes.

We recommend using a conditioner or oil on a daily basis.   

Using Rubbing Alcohol

Wearing white leather sneakers.

Materials Required:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water 
  • Spray bottle 
  • Leather conditioner (we used Lexol leather conditioner which can be purchased on for $6.67)   
  • Shoe trees (can be purchased on for $9.27)
  • Soft cotton cloth 


Step-1 Pour equal amounts of water and rubbing alcohol into an empty spray bottle.

Step-2 Insert a shoe tree into your shoes to fill the empty area and allow the shoe to adapt to the shape of your foot. 

Step-3 Spray the solution directly onto the wrinkles on your leather shoes. Do not spray excessive amounts of the rubbing alcohol mixture as this will dry the leather. Don’t leave the solution for more than a minute.  

Step-4 Using your hands, massage the leather in a circular motion against the shoe tree. This will help to soften the leather and remove wrinkles from the leather shoes. 

Step-5 Use a soft cotton cloth to gently wipe away the excess solution. Let the leather shoe air dry completely.   

Step-6 Once the shoes are dry, apply leather conditioner. This will remove any color or texture changes caused by the rubbing alcohol mixture.

This method works well on wrinkles that are relatively new to moderately old. However, it’s important to remember that rubbing alcohol dries out leather, which may ultimately cause more wrinkles in the future.

This method can be used once a week to remove wrinkles from your shoes. 

How To Prevent Wrinkles on Leather Shoes

While wrinkles on leather shoes aren’t the most attractive sight in the world, they are actually quite a very common problem. Though you cannot prevent your shoe from getting wrinkles completely, there is still something you can do about it. 

Here are some tips to prevent wrinkles on your shoes – 

  • When you are not wearing your shoes, use cedar shoe trees to maintain their shape and tighten the leather.
  • Wear your leather shoes with a shoehorn to avoid damaging the heel counter and backstay or over-flexing the leather shoe.
  • Use leather shoe crease protectors, which are flexible inserts that you may fit into your shoes to reduce wrinkles. Before wearing your shoes, place the shoe crease protectors in the toe box.
  • Make sure you wear the correct shoe size. You should wear shoes that fit well to your feet, leaving them enough room to breathe but without gaps.
  • Avoid bending or crouching while wearing shoes made from leather. If you are putting too much pressure on the toe box, you increase the chances of getting wrinkles. 

The Bottom Line 

Leather is a durable material, but it can still become wrinkled over time. Fortunately, you don’t need to throw away your favorite pair of shoes just because they have wrinkled.

The iron and heat gun or blow dryer methods are both the best ways of removing deep creases on leather. However, this method can burn the leather if it is not used carefully, and should not be used on a daily basis.

The rubbing alcohol method and leather conditioners are effective ways to remove small wrinkles from leather. These methods can be repeated once or twice a week. Rubbing alcohol, however, may damage your shoes if used too frequently.

We hope this information has been helpful. Make sure to check out our other blogs for more information about caring for your shoes. 

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