Stuarts Style Tips: How to Take Care of Your Leather Shoes

So you’ve bought a pair of leather shoes. Good choice. Here at Stuarts London, we know that a good pair of leather shoes (or boots) are a classic sign of a dapper gentleman. There’s one sure way to lose your edge though, by ignoring the condition of the shoes. You might not fancy the fuss, but if you don’t want the leather to dry out, crack and fall apart, you’d best start taking proper care of them before you end up embarrassing yourself next time you leave the house! A proper man knows how to upkeep his look and looking after leather is one of the best crafts a man can learn.

There are four key steps to taking proper care of leather shoes.

Clean. Condition. Polish. Weatherproof.

Easy stuff, but you’ve got to have the right tools for the job at hand too. Kit yourself out with the following:

  • Newspaper
  • Gloves
  • Soft Cotton Cloth (or old t-shirt)
  • Soft Shoe Brush
  • Shoe Cleaning Gel
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Shoe Polish
  • Leather Protectant

Now remember, before you dive in, remove the laces and put down some newspaper to limit the damage on your worktops. This stuff can stain.

Ready? Good. Let’s start with CLEANING

  • Remove any surface dirt with a soft shoe brush
  • Apply the shoe cleaner (which could be a gel, foam, spray, liquid or cream)
  • Leave the shoes to dry
  • Shine with a soft cotton cloth (an old t shirt will do so long as it’s cotton)


  • Look for a natural conditioner so it soaks into the leather rather than sitting on the top
  • Cover the entire shoe in the conditioner
  • After a couple of minutes, wipe away the excess

Then you need to POLISH.


This part comes with a warning. Some shoe polish contains toxic chemicals, so be sensible about it and polish shoes in a well ventilated area and wear some gloves for protection. Dizzy spells and chemical burns won’t add anything to your look.

  • Match the colour of the polish to your shoes.
  • Rub the polish into the shoe with a soft cloth
  • Once the polish is dry, shine your shoes by  buffing them with a soft cloth


  • Looking for practicality? Going to be stepping in some muck and puddles? Choose a beeswax coating for a protective layer.
  • Just maintaining the appearance? Use a spray-on protectant to guard against everyday rain showers.

That’s it! Done. You’re ready to head out and impress. Make sure you keep it up though, if you wear these shoes a lot, set aside time once a week to look your best. The less you wear them, the less often they’ll need a full clean, condition and polish.

Fancy another pair? Check out Grenson and Wolverine 1000 Mile for a few lessons in some serious footwear style.

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