What Do You Really Need to Clean Leather Shoes?

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Every responsible shoe owner knows how important it is to keep their shoes in good condition. A clean and polished pair of leather shoes will look a whole lot better than a pair that isn’t, and this care will also significantly prolong the life of your shoes. 

Some shoe lovers have a whole cornucopia of tools and products in their shoe cleaning arsenal. But in reality, they probably need less than half of these things to be able to do a good job of keeping their shoes in tip top condition. 

So what do you really need to clean leather shoes?

A soft cloth

There first step in any leather shoe cleaning routine is to rub the shoes down with a soft cloth. This may need to be dampened, depending on how dirty your shoes are. Soft microfibre cloths work well for this, though an old t-shirt cut up into pieces can also be effective.

A good quality leather conditioner

Applying leather conditioner as part of your cleaning routine will help your shoes to last for longer. The conditioner will help to keep your leather moisturised and should keep it from cracking. 

A shoe brush

Specialist shoe brushes are an important part of the shoe cleaning process. They can help to remove any debris or dirt that doesn’t come of by using a cloth. They’re also useful for making sure the leather conditioner is properly distributed. 

Shoe polish

Shoe polish is key to keeping your shoes looking good season after season. The only issue here is that you need to use a polish in the exact same shade as the leather your shoes are made from. This can mean that your shoe cleaning collection grows along with every new pair of shoes purchased!

Wax polish

This last product is vital only if you require your shoes to have a mirror sheen shine. The only way to achieve this look is with a good quality wax polish.

Interested in more tips on shoe care? Take a look at our beginner’s guide to shoe shining.

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