The Cheaney Guide to Caring for Leather Shoes

Guides & Information

Found your perfect pair of Cheaney leather shoes and want to keep them in their best condition? From polishing and cleaning, to softening the leather and using shoe trees, at Cheaney we’ve got all the tips you need for properly caring for leather shoes and prolonging their lifespan.

How to Polish Shoes

how to polish shoes, how to care for leather shoes

One of the most important steps in caring for leather shoes and keeping them looking their best is to polish them regularly. Polishing is a simple and quick process once you know how to do it effectively. You’ll need: 

  • A dry cotton cloth

Step 1 – Remove the laces and wipe your shoes to ensure they’re free from dirt and dust.

Step 2 – Insert shoe trees into your shoes. 

Step 3 – Apply a small amount of polish around the welt with your welt brush.

Step 4 – Apply polish to the cotton cloth and rub in small circular movements all over the shoe, including the sides and heel. Leave this for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Step 5 – Brush your shoes down with your polishing brush to buff and remove excess polish.

Step 6 – Repeat steps 4 & 5 if necessary and re-lace.

For a full guide on how to polish shoes, you can read our detailed blog here.

How To Soften Leather Shoes

Want to prevent your new shoes pinching and causing blisters? Whether it’s Oxfords, brogues or boots, you can avoid the unnecessary pain of breaking your leather shoes in by trying our methods of softening the leather prior to wearing them.

  • Wear them indoors first

Wearing your leather shoes indoors is a simple, tried-and-tested trick for breaking them in. Don your thickest pair of socks and wear your shoes around the house to gently soften the leather and stretch them out before their first outing outdoors.

  • Buy a dedicated leather softener

Generally speaking, leather softeners must contain a mixture of gentle, natural ingredients and oils in order to nourish the leather to ensure it remains soft and pliable. 

  • Fill them with newspaper

One other home method you can try is to crumple up a few sheets of newspaper, dampen them slightly (do not soak them as this will damage the inner soles) and stuff them into your shoes. Leave the newspaper to dry overnight before removing to help stretch the leather ready to wear.

  • Contact Us To Discuss Shoe Stretching

While these DIY methods can be really effective when it comes to softening leather shoes, you can also contact us directly to see if we can stretch the shoes for you. This process involves us inserting a last that is a half size bigger than the original size of the shoe. Leather softener is applied to the material and the shoes are left to sit for a week or two. Unfortunately, this method is not optimal for every shoe we produce and our G fitting range is omitted from this service. If you have any further questions about shoe stretching, feel free to email us directly.

How To Use Shoe Trees

how to use shoe trees, how to care for leather shoes

Cedar Wood Shoe Tree

When it comes to preserving the appearance and lifespan of your leather shoes, shoe trees are one of the most vital components to your care routine. Wooden shoe trees have many crucial benefits, including ensuring the leather on your shoes stays taut and unwrinkled, maintaining their shape over time, helping prevent odour and absorbing moisture and perspiration that can cause the leather to crack. 

Using a shoe tree is straightforward; simply slide in, taking care to use the correct left or right shape. The fit should be snug but not too tight to avoid stretching your shoes out of shape.

How to Store Leather Shoes

In addition to using a shoe tree, another step to caring for leather shoes is taking care to store them properly in drawstring shoe bags. So long as they’re dry and don’t need airing out, leather shoes should always ideally be kept in shoe bags in order to preserve their appearance and prevent the build-up of dust, sunlight damage and general scuff marks. 

Follow all our simple tips to caring for leather shoes and yours will stay in the best possible condition and maintain their shine for many years to come!