How to Care for Leather Shoes

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a pair of shiny leather shoes and having them turn dull and tough.

All Mephisto shoes are made from high quality European sourced leathers, meant to last the test of time while remaining comfortable and stylish. However, we are often guilty of tossing our shoes into a dark dry wardrobe, not to be seen again until the next wear.

Improper storage and care of your shoes can cause them to become stiff and uncomfortable, as the air sucks the moisture out of the leather’s pores.

For shiny and polished footwear all year round, follow these simple steps.


Just like clothing or bedding, leather should be cleaned after it’s been worn.

After wearing your leather shoes for the day, wipe them down with a soft cloth or brush. This helps to remove invisible dust particles or dirt that would get trapped inside the conditioning product and discolour your shoe. Dusting also helps to restore shine and maintain cleanliness and general foot health.

Black leather lace-up with a cleaning brush alongside it.


Imagining not conditioning your hair for weeks on end, it’d look pretty dirty after a while wouldn’t it? The same thing happens to your leather shoes when they’re left in a wardrobe for prolonged periods. Conditioning your shoes helps to increase their lifespan and keep them looking new and fresh.

It’s important to pick leather conditioner with a creamy consistency, as these nourish and more easily penetrate the leather’s pores.

Less is always more when applying leather conditioner. Start with a pea sized amount and apply more if needed. Too much conditioner blocks the pores of the leather and prevents the product from adequately sinking in.

You can apply your leather conditioner using a cloth or brush, both will have the same affect. If you’re using a cloth, ensure that it’s a different cloth to the one you will use for polish later on.

Leave your conditioner to set and sink in for 10 to 20 minutes and wipe off with a clean cloth or brush.


Everybody loves a bit of dazzle and shine in their life, and your shoes do too! There is often confusion on whether you just need to condition or polish your shoes, and at Mephisto we like to do both.

Polish helps to add colour and shine to your shoes, while conditioner nourishes the leather.

The same philosophy applies to conditioner as well as polish, use it sparingly and add to the quantity later if needed. Too much polish may run the risk of darkening your leather.

Shoe polish, a shoe cleaning brush and a buffing sponge against a wooden background.

Allow your polish to dry for 20 minutes and then use a cloth to wipe off any excess polish. This helps the product to sink deeper into the shoe while giving the leather an even and consistent look.

Finally, buff you shoes with a sponge or cloth. Use quick brisk back-and-forth movement to add that sparkling shine all leather lovers strive for.

For further tips and tricks on how to care for your leather shoes, read below!

Mephisto's Top Tips for Leather Care

·      If your shoes get wet, stuff them with a small towel or newspaper to soak in the moisture and leave them to air dry. Do not leave in the sun or near a fireplace as this will cause the shoes to crack and harden.

·      Use a shoehorn to prevent the heel counter from weakening.

·      Laces can be cleaned with warm soapy water and hung to air dry.

·      When using shoe polish, it’s a good idea to put down some newspaper or old rags, as it tends to get everywhere and can stain.

·      For shoes worn infrequently, still treat them at least once a year. This reduces the chances of them malfunctioning or breaking during occasional wear.

·      Always wear socks with closed in shoes. Even on a cold day your feet will perspire, and without adequately drying the shoe, your shoes are at risk of hardening.

·      Store a lavender sachet in your wardrobe to prevent moths and other creepy crawlies from living in and/or consuming your shoes.

Now that you’re an expert on caring for leather shoes, it’s time to buy a new pair!

Shop online or visit your nearest stockist


Leave a Comment

Please note, comments are moderated and will be removed if deemed offensive.

* Required Fields

  1. captcha code