Caring for leather shoes: tips for long-lasting beauty

Caring for leather shoes: tips for long-lasting beauty
30 January 2024 Marlonne & Marina
Marlonne and Marina
In Styleguide
Caring for leather shoes with wax and a brush

Caring for leather shoes is not just a question of aesthetics, but above all of longevity and comfort. High-quality leather shoes such as Loafer, Low shoes and Chelsea boots deserve special attention. Here are the reasons:


  • Longer shelf lifeRegular care preserves the elasticity of the leather and prevents premature cracking


  • Weather resistanceWell nourished leather is water repellent and keeps your feet dry.


  • Aesthetics preservedLeather wax ensures a lasting shine and a supple surface so that your shoes still look like new even after years.


  • Comfort: Well-maintained leather adapts better to the shape of the foot and is therefore more comfortable to wear.


Unkempt leather shoes, on the other hand, become brittle, the material cracks and they lose their shape. Stains and watermarks can set in - the shoe looks worn out more quickly and is more likely to break. With the right care routine, you can avoid these problems and wear your high-quality shoes for many years to come.


Different types of leather shoes and their specific care

Not all leather is the same. Different Leather types require customised care methods to maintain their quality and appearance. The following types of leather are most commonly found in shoes:


Smooth leather

Smooth leather is characterised by its smooth surface and is one of the most popular types of leather for shoes. Care includes:

  • Regular cleaning
  • Apply shoe polish or wax to nourish the material and protect it from external influences.
  • In some cases impregnation spray


Suede leather

Suede, also known as suede, has a velvety surface and is particularly susceptible to stains and wear. The care of this material includes:

  • Use of special brushes for cleaning
  • Use of foam cleaners to remove stains
  • In some cases impregnation spray


Suede leather

Suede is similar to suede, but has a rougher texture. The care of this material requires:

  • Special brushes for cleaning
  • Sprays to refresh the colour and protect against moisture.
  • In some cases impregnation spray


Patent leather

Patent leather is a leather with a lacquered surface, which is covered with a shiny and smooth film. Patent leather often only requires a damp cloth for cleaning. When using waterproofing sprays, make sure that they do not contain solvents. This can attack the lacquer coating and leave matt stains.

  • Clean with a damp cotton cloth and warm water
  • Special care to nourish the patent leather
  • In some cases impregnation spray
  • No brushes!


The need for customised treatment is based on the fact that every material reacts differently to moisture, dirt and mechanical stress. The reaction to care products also varies. Careful selection of the right products is crucial for maintaining the appearance and longevity of your leather shoes.

It is generally advisable to test new care products in a small amount on a non-visible area of the shoes to see how the material reacts to the product.


Step-by-step guide to caring for leather shoes

Proper care of your leather shoes is crucial to prolonging their life and keeping them looking their best. A comprehensive routine includes cleaning, conditioning and waterproofing. Here is a detailed guide:

  1. Preparation

Before you start, remove coarse dirt with a soft brush. Remove the laces so that you can reach all areas of the leather.


  1. Cleaning leather shoes

  • Dry cleaningBrush the shoe thoroughly to remove dust and dirt.
  • Moist cleaningUse a slightly damp cloth to gently clean the leather.
  • DryingAllow the shoes to air dry, but not in direct sunlight or next to a heat source.


  1. Grease leather shoes (conditioning)

  • Selection of productsChoose a suitable leather cream or wax. We usually recommend beeswax-based products to our customers. There are coloured or colour-neutral products.
  • ApplyApply a small amount of the product to a clean cloth and massage it into the leather in circular movements. If necessary, also use a brush.
  • Allow to take effectGive the leather time to absorb the care products before you put the shoes back on. It is best to leave the shoes to soak in overnight.


  1. Impregnating leather shoes

  • Protection from moisture and dirtWaterproofing spray protects against water and facilitates future cleaning processes.
  • ApplicationSpray the waterproofing agent evenly onto the cleaned and conditioned leather, keeping a distance of about 30 cm. You do not need to completely soak the shoe in the spray.
  • DryingAfter treatment, the shoes should be allowed to dry thoroughly again.


Caution: With chrome-free tanned leather, an impregnation spray may attack the leather. Clarify this in advance or test the spray on a concealed area first.

This care routine not only preserves the appearance of your leather shoes, but also makes them more resistant to daily wear and tear. Regular use of these methods will significantly extend the life of your valuable shoes.


Special tips for the care of suede shoes

Suede, also known as suede, is characterised by its velvety surface. This material gives shoes a special aesthetic, but it can present challenges when it comes to cleaning and care. It is therefore important to know how to Suede leather can treat.


Why is the care of suede shoes so challenging?

Suede is particularly susceptible to stains and water damage. Its rough structure attracts dirt particles and absorbs liquids quickly. Without the right treatment, these factors can severely impair the appearance of your shoes.


How do you remove stains from suede surfaces?

To remove stains:

  1. Carefully brush off the dry dirt.
  2. Use a special suede eraser for stubborn stains.
  3. If the stain is still visible, moisten a sponge and apply a small amount of suede soap.
  4. Rub the sponge carefully over the stain.

Remember to allow your shoes to dry completely afterwards.


How do you freshen up the surface of suede shoes?

Over time, suede can lose its velvety lustre. To restore it:

  1. Use a special suede brush to straighten the fibres.
  2. Spray your shoes with a suede renovator spray to refresh the colour.
  3. Leave the shoes to dry.

It is important to always be careful and patient when caring for suede shoes. Avoid over-wetting or over-brushing your shoes as this can damage the material. However, with the right techniques and products, your suede shoes can look and feel great for a long time.


Recommended products for leather shoe care

The right choice of shoe care products is crucial for the preservation and appearance of your leather shoes. Here are the essential products that no shoe care kit should be without:

  1. Shoe polish

It moisturises, refreshes the colour and makes the leather supple. Make sure you choose a cream that matches the colour of your shoes. Or buy a colourless shoe polish.

  1. Hard wax

After applying shoe polish, hard wax provides an additional protective film and makes your shoes shine. It is particularly useful for areas subject to heavy wear.

  1. Waterproofing spray

To protect your leather shoes from water and dirt, a waterproofing spray is useful. It forms a water-repellent barrier and should be used regularly.

  1. Leather soap

For thorough cleaning, we recommend using a special leather soap that removes dirt without damaging the material.

Often, however, simply greasing your leather shoes regularly with a good shoe wax is enough!


Tips for selecting high-quality products

High-quality products can significantly extend the life of your leather shoes. Here are some tips for quality assurance:


  • Check ingredientsNatural ingredients such as Beeswax are often better for the leather and more environmentally friendly.


  • Feedback from other customersOnline reviews and testimonials can help to assess the effectiveness of the products.


  • Use counsellingSpecialist staff in shoe shops can give you valuable tips on which products are best suited to your shoe type. Simply drop by our shop and let our staff explain the process to you in detail.


Vegan alternatives for leather shoe care

If you want to avoid animal products when caring for your shoes, you can now find a wide range of vegan leather shoe alternatives. Brands such as Buffalo have specialised in producing fashionable and sustainable shoes that do not contain any animal ingredients. These shoes are often made from artificial leather, which is made from synthetic or plant-based materials.

For the care of vegan imitation leather shoes it is important to use products that have been specially developed for the needs of these materials. Here are a few points on vegan shoe care:


  • Use Cleaning agentswhich are free from animal ingredients and suitable for artificial leather.


  • Choose Care creams and spraysthat are explicitly labelled as vegan.


  • Make sure that the Waterproofing spray is vegan to protect your shoes from moisture and dirt.


The selection of vegan care products is constantly growing and offers a good alternative for anyone who values ethically responsible fashion. These products can be used to effectively clean and protect vegan shoes so that they stay beautiful for a long time.

Again, test the care products on a small area first before rubbing/spraying the entire shoe with them.


Have it done by a professional: service by a shoemaker

Sometimes the best decision is to turn to a Shoemaker to ensure the durability and appearance of your leather shoes.

Why go to a shoemaker?

A shoemaker has the necessary expertise to professionally assess and treat material fatigue and signs of wear. They also have years of experience in what works and how to restore a shoe to its former glory.

He can also glue areas that are coming loose, sew cracks and much more. The price of such a shoe service can range from around CHF 15 - 30.

We also work closely with our neighbouring shoemaker Fera together to carry out repairs and services.



Whether loafers, boots or low shoes, the basic principles remain the same. Clean, condition and waterproof your leather shoes regularly to keep them in top condition.

Especially before the winter months, it makes sense to take care of your shoes once again, as salted roads after snowfall are particularly hard on the leather.