How to Keep Leather Shoes From Drying Out

Leather shoes are both stylish and durable, but they require some maintenance. Without the proper care, leather will dry out and crack over time. Properly caring for your shoes will not only keep them looking great but can also extend their lifespan.

There are several easy ways to prevent the leather from drying. In this article, we’ll give you four tips on how to keep your leather shoes from drying out.

Apply Leather Conditioner, Shoe Polish, or Wax on a Regular Basis

Applying cream polish to the leather shoe.

The first and most important tip for keeping your leather shoes from drying is to choose the appropriate type of shoe polish, conditioner, or wax. Make sure you use a product specifically designed for leather. These products will keep the leather supple and prevent it from drying out or cracking.

To avoid damaging leather, you should always test the shoe polish, leather conditioner, or wax on a small part of your shoes first. Ensure your leather shoe is free of dust and dirt before applying these products.

We recommend that you use shoe care products on your shoes after every 5 wears.

Avoid Using Chemicals and Detergents to Clean Your Shoes

Old leather boots with wrinkles.

Avoid using harsh chemicals and detergents to clean your shoes. Chemicals such as alcohol, acetone, bleach, or ammonia will dry out the leather and cause them to degrade over time.

Chemicals and detergents are too abrasive, so avoid using them on the leather. Some mild detergents will remove dirt and grime without causing damage, but you should still test it first on an inconspicuous part of your shoes.

Instead, it would help to always clean your shoes by hand with a soft cloth and warm water. If you are still using harsh chemicals or mild soap to remove stubborn stains, make sure to polish your shoes afterward.

Allow Your Shoes to Dry Naturally at Room Temperature

Black shoes made from leather with cedar shoe tree.

The best way to dry leather shoes that have become wet is to air dry at room temperature. Avoid using a hairdryer or any other heat source should when your shoes are wet. Direct heat can dry the leather and cause it to crack and ruin.

If you accidentally get your shoes wet, stuff some newspapers or cotton rags into them to absorb moisture. Leave your shoes in a cool and dry place until they are thoroughly dried out.

It would help if you never placed your shoes in front of a radiator or space heater. 

Store Your Shoes in a Cool, Dry Place

Brown dress shoes.

After you have worn your shoes for the day, you should store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid places near direct sunlight and other heat sources, such as radiators. A direct heat source can dry out leather.

Store them in an airy place like a closet or shoe rack with plenty of ventilation, so they don’t get musty and moldy. The air around shoes needs to circulate so that the leather can breathe. 

A fabric shoe bag is the best option if you want to store your shoes for the season. These bags have small holes on the sides and bottom to allow air to circulate. They also prevent mold and mildew. Placing cedar shoe trees is also recommended when storing shoes.

The Bottom Line

Many people know that leather shoes require some maintenance, but they don’t realize how much. The type of shoe care routine you follow will determine their condition and lifespan.

There are a few easy ways to prevent your leather shoes from drying out. From choosing the right shoe care product to properly storing shoes, these tips should help you keep your leather shoes from drying out.

We hope these tips help. If you have questions about caring for your shoes, please don’t hesitate to ask us. Our team is always happy to answer any questions you may have.

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