How to Protect Leather Shoes from Fungus? (Essential Guide)

Is there any way to protect my gorgeous leather shoes from fungus?

Fungus mostly grows in hot weather, but that is not the case every time. Fungus shoes look ugly and spread spores to certain parts of the house.

It is necessary to remove the fungus in leather shoes on time. My shoes also became moldy a few days ago, and I was worried I might have to throw them away. But then I tried different methods to get rid of the fungus, and it worked.

In this article, I will explain different methods to protect leather shoes from fungus.

how to protect leather shoes from fungus

Protecting leather Shoes from Fungus

  • Try to keep your leather shoes wet and avoid wearing wet socks
  • Place your leather footwear in a ventilated area and use a dehumidifier in your house
  • Avoid using plastic bags and clean them regularly
  • Develop a habit of inspecting your footwear daily for fungus

Can You Protect Leather Shoes from Fungus?

Leather shoes can be protected from fungus by applying different shoe products on them. You cannot wear your moldy shoes again; use a soft bristle brush to clean them.

If you find your footwear moldy, treat them as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will be ruined permanently.


The following are the main reasons for fungus in shoes, which will help you to determine the things that lead to mold on leather shoes.

  • Moisture
  • Filthy Closets
  • Trapped Humidity
  • Wooden shelves


If you accidentally wet your shoes in the rain, then fungus accumulates in the damped areas of your shoes. So, after coming from the gym, make sure to place your shoes in an airy place.

Filthy Closets

There are chances that fungus is already grown in your wardrobe. If you put your shoes in a dirty closet, it will eventually make them dirty. Clean your closet regularly not to let this happen.

Trapped Humidity

Plastic bags are more likely to trap humidity. Moisture is the main factor that causes fungus growth. That’s why it is suggested not to place them in plastic bags.

Wooden shelves

Wooden shelves are not resistant to fungus, so it is better to replace them with wires. Otherwise, you will end up forming mold in leather shoes.

Methods to Protect Leather Shoes from Fungus

Here are some techniques to protect footwear from fungus.

  • Keep your footwear dry
  • Avoid wearing damped socks
  • Store them in a well-ventilated place
  • By using dehumidifier
  • Avoid using plastic bags
  • Clean them regularly
  • Keep inspecting your shoes for fungus

1. Keep Your Footwear Dry

Leather shoes are built with porous material that allows water to seep easily. This makes a suitable environment for fungus growth.

Stuff your shoes with cedar shoetree because it is known for absorbing moisture. Besides this, cedar wood is also beneficial in protecting your shoes from fungus. You can also put on cotton rags and ensure that your shoes are fully dried.

2. Avoid Wearing Damped Socks

Wet socks make contact with your shoe insoles. Before wearing your socks, remember to dry your feet for some minutes.

If your feet still become sweaty, then try putting on nylon socks. Always bring extra pair of socks with you, especially on rainy days.

3. Store Them in A Well-Ventilated Place

Well-ventilated storage is another factor in preventing fungus on shoes. No ventilation creates a favorable place for fungus growth. I usually place my leather shoes in an open closet near a window. You can also put them in an airy shoe rack or fabric bags.

The interesting thing about these bags is that they come with small holes for ventilation.

4. Using a Dehumidifier

If you live in a humid area, taking extra precautions against fungus is necessary. A dehumidifier works amazingly to reduce moisture and absorb humidity.

In this way, it decreases the chance of fungus on your charming leather footwear.

5. Avoid Using Plastic Bags

Placing leather shoes in plastic bags after wearing them is a terrible idea. As I have mentioned above, plastic bags are good at trapping moisture and do not allow air circulation. As a result, the fungus spread rapidly.

If you still want to use plastic bags, make small holes for proper airflow and put silica gel packets on the inner side to absorb extra moisture.

6. Clean Them Regularly

One of the easiest and simplest methods is cleaning leather shoes regularly. First, I wipe away the dust from the insoles and then other parts of the shoes. Then, I use the soft brush to clear the caked-on dirt.

Once all the dirt is removed, I apply a leather conditioner to the shoes to make them last longer. It helps in restoring the original look of your footwear.

Many other leather shoe care products are also available in the market, like shoe cream, wax, and polish, to make them look new.

7. Keep Inspecting Your Shoes for Fungus

It is also important to check your boots regularly. Make sure that there are no signs of fungus on the leather footwear.

If you notice any fungus signs, place your shoes in the sunlight for a few minutes. But do not leave them for a longer time.


Take the following preventive measure to stop the fungus growth:

  • Wash your feet daily with soapy water and allow them to dry completely. Otherwise, moisture will take place in your leather shoes.
  • Clean your socks regularly because build-up moisture and sweat provide the perfect breeding area for mold growth
  • Choose those socks that are made with antifungal material. Cotton material socks get wet easily, so avoid wearing them.
  • Don’t wear the same leather boots again and again. Instead, keep rotating them to make them durable and resistant to fungus.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Leather Shoes from Getting Moldy?

Silica gel is quite effective in absorbing the extra moisture and protecting your shoes from getting moldy. You have to put a pouch of gel in your shoes when you are not wearing them.

Will the Fungus Grow on Leather Shoes?

Fungus grows on leather shoes when they get wet in rain. Soles of footwear are more vulnerable to fungus due to more dirt build-up than other parts of shoes.

Why is Mold Growing on My Shoes?

Moisture, trapped humidity, dirty closet, and wooden shelves are the main causes of mold growth.

How Long Does It Take for Shoes to Mold to Your Feet?

Shoes take almost three to five days to mold to your feet. Try wearing your footwear for a few hours the first day, then increase two more hours the next day.


Leather shoes are not immune to mold or fungus, so you can’t completely avoid them. But if you take these preventive measures, you can reduce fungus’s growth.

Follow these methods carefully to get rid of the fungus and increase the lifespan of your gorgeous leather shoes. Thank you for hanging on with me!

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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