How to Protect Leather Shoes? – A Detailed Guide

What methods should I follow to protect my leather boots from damage? Leather shoes are quite sensitive to chemicals and water. I don’t doubt their versatility and durability, but leather work best for only those who take full care of the

People who don’t maintain and prepare their shoes regularly end up spoiling their footwear. Boots age quickly if we don’t repair and maintain them from time to time. It is essential to polish shoes periodically.

This guide will explain several techniques to protect your leather shoes. These methods work magically with my leather shoes, which are still in new condition.

how to protect leather shoes

How to Protect Leather Shoes?

  • Clear the dust from the leather shoes with a dusting cloth. Remove the stains by applying a vinegar solution.
  • Polish them with a hairbrush. Rub them until they look shiny.
  • Use beeswax or waterproof spray to make them protective against the water.
  • Lastly, insert these boots in the shoe tree.

Different Methods of Cleaning the Leather Shoes

To help you, here are the four common methods of protecting and cleaning leather footwear.

  • Cleaning of the leather footwear
  • Polishing the leather boots
  • Waterproofing them for harsh or snowy weather
  • Storing and caring

Method 1. Cleaning of The Leather Footwear

Here is the list of material that is needed for cleaning the leather boots:

  • Soft Cloth
  • Soft Brush
  • Soap or other detergent solution (but not harmful)
  • Vinegar(Leather shoe cleaner)
  • Water

Clearing the Dirt

Take a dry cloth and rub it off gently on your footwear until all the grime and dirt are removed. Try to wipe off all the loose mud and excessive salt from your adorable leather boots.

Use a Cleaner on Them with A Cloth or The Brush

Most cleaners have an applicator tool for rubbing it on the shoes. But if there is no tool, you can use a soft cloth or brush to apply it on them. Also, dip the brush in the water when applying soap on them.

You can also try laundry detergent instead of soap. Avoid using sponges because they may spoil the leather of your footwear.

Use Vinegar Solution for Dealing with Salt Stains

Mix the double amount of the water with vinegar. Rub the vinegar cleaner onto the salt stains with a brush. In this way, this mixture will remove all the white residues from the boots.

Dry Them at A Room Temperature

Place your shoes in a cool area to dry them out. Avoid using heat for drying. This method should be done before applying the polish or spray.

Method 2. Polishing the Leather Boots

Things Required

  • Leather boot conditioner
  • Shoe polish
  • Horsehair brush
  • Cloth

Removing the Laces from The Footwear

Firstly, untie the laces of your shoes because they don’t let the conditioner spread properly on the entire shoe. Pull the laces one by one from the eyelets. Continue doing it until all of them are removed.

Conditioning the Leather Boots

Try to condition your footwear at least after 25 wears. When the leather boots dry out, they are more likely to crack. Start rubbing the conditioner in a circular motion, and ensure that you have applied it on the whole shoe.

If you live in an area where the climate is very harsh and snowy, condition your leather after five to 10 wears.

Applying the Polish

When you notice that your shoes are losing their shine, apply the polish to give them a new and shiny look. Use the horsehair brush to apply the leather shoe polish on them.

Wax-type polish is better and more effective than cream-type. If your footwear is white, apply white leather polish to them.

Give a Shiny Look

I began to rub the cloth on the sides of the shoes for more shine. It will help you in hardening the wax. Polish-on leather boots almost last for seven days.

Method 3: Waterproofing Them for Harsh or Snowy Weather

Required Material

  • Beeswax
  • Brush
  • Blow dryer
  • Galoshes

Apply the Beeswax to Waterproof the Footwear Completely

Beeswax creates a barrier between the rain and the shoes. Start applying the wax with a clean cloth and rub it from the toe to the bottom. Then take off the extra wax from them and keep them in a dry area.

It is enough to use beeswax after one season. You don’t have to apply it every month. Some of the boots have applicators for spreading the wax on them.

Try Cheaper Plain Beeswax

Begin melting the plain wax until it has covered the shoes fully. Use the blow dryer to reduce the thickness of the wax. Again, rub the wax with a clean cloth or brush. This is quite a common and popular method of boot cleaning.

Try Waterproofing Spray on The Boots

Leather protector spray doesn’t leave thick layers. So it is great for a smooth finish. Spray the leather footwear from 15 to 19 cm away from your boots. Let the spray dry before wearing the leather shoes.

This item only lasts a little, so you must apply it many times.

Put on The Galoshes or Rain Covers in Wet Weather

If you want to protect your shoes from moisture and salt, then it is good to put galoshes. This technique is very beneficial, especially for those people who have to walk a lot even in the rain.

These galoshes are available in many colors and shapes. Choose what style looks elegant with your boots.

Method 4. Caring and Storing Them

Things Required

  • Shoe tree
  • Breathable Fabric

Take a Shoe Break Once in A While

Bear in your mind to give your shoes a break once or twice a week. No matter how much we try, frequent wear causes the leather to absorb dew, moisture, and sweat from the surroundings.

If you still want to wear leather shoes with your adorable outfit, try wearing a similar type of leath boots.

Place the Leather Footwear in The Shoe Tree

The shoe tree is necessary to maintain the shoe’s shape and absorb moisture. Its shape is similar to the human foot. You can also stuff newspaper in them to absorb moisture, but this is not a great choice for maintaining the shoe shape.

Place Your Boots in A Breathable Cloth

Air is needed in the leather to prevent moisture. Placing them in a plastic bag can cause moisture formation. That’s why I wrap the leather shoes in breathable fabric.

Protect Leather Shoes in Different Situations

Leather gets damaged by peeling, cuffing, and creasing. Is there any way to protect my leather boots from them? Of course, Just follow these tips and steps for amazing results.

1. Protect Leather Shoes from Rain

To protect your leather shoes from rain & getting wet, follow these simplest steps during snowy weather.

Use of Leather Conditioner

Leather conditioner is very convenient for increasing the lifespan of your gorgeous leather shoes. Not only this, but conditioner is also very beneficial in improving footwear’s flexibility.

Rub the leather conditioner gently on the surface of the shoes with a brush. Put them on after they are fully dried.

Applying the leather shoe protector spray

Apply a thin layer of waterproof spray to prevent the shoes from getting stains. This spray doesn’t allow the soaking of the water in the leather of your footwear. You can also use plain Max wax or beeswax in place of waterproofing spray.

Use of rain covers

I put the rain cover on my shoes before going out in the rainy weather. Their elastic PVC material provides an awesome grip on my feet.


To get rid of the extra moisture, dry them properly in a suitable place

2. Protect the Leather Shoes from Cracking

This is how I clean my Leather shoes to prevent them from cracking.

Cleaning and Conditioning of The Shoes

This step is quite easy and takes less time. Use a horsehair brush to remove the stubborn dirt from the gorgeous pair of shoes.

You can apply a leather conditioner or shoe cream to protect the leather from cracking. I mostly apply shoe polish on my white leather shoes.

Clear the Wrinkles Quickly

If you notice any wrinkles on your shoes, try clearing them with a heat gun or iron. This should be done as quickly as possible.

Storing Them in A Proper Place

Don’t place your leather footwear in a very hot temperature. Extreme temperatures and water can cause the cracking of leather shoes. Try to fit them on a shoe tree.

3. Protect Leather Shoes from Scuffing

Follow these tips to prevent the leather shoes from scuff marks.

Buy Low-Glossy Shoes

High types of glossy boots are more vulnerable to scuff marks and gather dirt quickly on them.

Protective Bumper

The bumper of the leather footwear work as a barrier to prevent them from scuffing. When your shoes accidentally hit any object, this will hit the bumper instead of the toe side of them.

Leather Boot Care Kit

I have a leather shoe care kit that I usually use to prevent the scuffing of my favorite footwear. Apply the wax or leather conditioner from time to time.

Soft Cloth

A hard cloth or brush can leave scuff marks on the leather. I suggest you clean it with a soft microfiber cloth.

4. Protect Your Leather Shoes from Creasing

To protect leather shoes from creasing you need to follow these steps.

Wearing and Conditioning of The Shoes

Develop a habit to condition your leather boots after every ten wears. Give a break to your shoes and skip some days of wearing the same pair of footwear.

Hang or Store Your Boots on A Boot Shaper

You can hang them vertically on the boot shapers. They don’t let the creases come on your footwear. I prefer doing this with my leather shoes.

5. Protect Your Shoes from Peeling

Looking for ways to prevent your leather boots from peeling?

Applying Petroleum Jelly

Wipe the dirt off the footwear and apply the petroleum jelly on the surface of them. Remove the extra jelly with a tissue or a soft cloth. Let the jelly stay on the surface for about 15 to 20 minutes.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Protect Leather Shoes from Scratches?

Apply the White Vinegar solution on the scratches, which will result in the swelling of the leather. Scratches will be invisible.

How to Care for Italian Leather Shoes?

Wrap your Italian leather boots in the acid-free bag. This will keep the dirt and dust away from your wonderful shoes.

How to Condition Leather Shoes at Home?

Leather conditioner is ideal for providing flexibility and softness to your boots. There is no need to worry about cracking or creases.

Do Leather Shoes Need to Be Waterproofed?

Waterproofing of leather boots is necessary to increase their durability. Waterproofing sprays and conditioners are available in the market.

How Do You Make Leather Shoes Last Longer?

Shoe trees help to maintain the shape of your leather shoes. It removes the bad smell from the shoes. In this way, it increases the lifespan of your awesome leather boots.


If you want to extend the life span of your leather shoes, then put them in a suitable place. A harsh environment is not good for them because it can lead to cracking, scuffing, and peeling.

Want to give a beautiful and fascinating look to your second-hand leather shoes? Then try these methods. Surely, they will help you.

Use the baking soda and vinegar solution to remove their bad odor. Try these techniques with full focus and care.

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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