How to Care for Leather Sole Shoes? A Comprehensive Guide

Leather sole shoes are beautiful, comfortable, elegant and durable. However, mostly these footwear soles are made with leather and synthetic counterparts that require regular maintenance to keep them in their best condition and increase their lifespan. In this post, I will share some tips and tricks on how to care for leather sole shoes.

Before applying, any method must check your leather shoe’s condition. Sooner or later, leather shoes require a change; it depends on the condition of the shoe, how much and where you wear them.

How to Care for Leather Sole Shoes

Simple Steps: How to Care for Leather Sole Shoes?

Here are some tips on keeping your leather sole shoes in good condition.

How to Care for Leather Sole Shoes

1- Proper Cleaning of Leather Sole Shoes

Leather sole shoes need regular cleaning to keep them in good condition. Dirt, debris, and moisture damage the shoe sole rapidly. Here are simple steps you can apply when wearing leather sole shoes.

Remove Dirt & Debris

Use a stiff plastic brush or horsehair brush to remove dirt and debris from the leather sole shoe. Only apply this brush on the sole to clear thick dirt and annoying embedded rocks from the sole; do not apply this brush on the upper area of your shoe, as it gets scratched due to the stiff brush and destroys your shoe looks. 

Remove Stains

If your shoe gets difficult stains, then simply remove them with this solution.

  • Mix half lukewarm water, dish soap or laundry detergent, and mix it well.
  • Apply this diluted mixture to your leather shoe with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Rub it gently on the affected area.
  •  After this, properly clean the mixture with a dry, soft cloth.


Apply conditioner with a soft clean cloth once your shoe sole is clean and dry properly. I used Chemical Guys HOL303 Leather Shoes Cleaner Conditioner. This gives extra protection to my shoes sole. A conditioner keeps your leather shoe in good condition and protects it from cracks and dryness.

2- Leather Sole Protection Tips

Water and moisture also affect the soles of leather shoes. If your shoes get water, then clean and dry them properly. Here are some simple tips on protecting your shoe sole from water.

Protect from Water

Use water resistance wax or polish on your shoe sole. It will help to prevent your shoe from stains and water. I am personally using Meltonian Leather Shoe Polish these days. This is available in many colors and provides water protection.

Use Sole Protectors

You can also use sole protectors for your leather shoes. These protectors provide extra protection to your shoe sole and minimize the chances of wear and tear. You can try “S SHOES HAVE SOLES” New Transparent Sole Protector. This is available at a reasonable price and has many good features. You can also try non-skid pads for sole preservation.

Toe and Heels Taps

Often the use of leather shoes mainly affects their toes and heels. If these create issues in your wearing, you can apply toe or heel taps. Toes taps come in various shapes in steel and nylon. Replace them according to your needs.

Apply Hobnails or Tracks

Hobnails are also used to protect leather shoe soles. In the 19th and 20th centuries, hobnails were utilized for military boots and shoes to add traction. Hobnails can be applied all over the shoe or just the required area.


Apply the above-mentioned tips to take care of your leather shoe soles, and if you find your shoe sole most effective to wear, and then consult with your local shoe repair professional. Also, consult with the manufacturer if you have access to them. They will give you suggestions according to your shoe condition. If they think re-soling is the last option, then go for it.

3-  Properly Drying Leather Soles

Here are some simple tips to dry your leather sole shoes when they get water.

  • If your shoe gets moisture, never dry it in direct sunlight or a heat source like a heater or radiator. This will affect the shape of your shoe and add cracks to it.
  • Dry your shoe naturally at room temperature. Place your shoes on a shoe rack or newspaper to maintain their shape while drying.
  • Do not use a paper towel to dry your leather shoes. Paper towels are made of short, absorbent fiber that easily embeds small pieces on your leather shoes and destroys their looks. So, always use newspaper to dry leather shoes. They have long absorbent fibers, are typically dry, and there is no risk of sticking their piece on shoes.

4- Properly Store Leather Sole Shoes

  • After using leather shoes, clean them, wrap them in a dust bag or paper bag separately, and store them in their original box.
  •  Do not put stacked shoes on top of each other. This will destroy the shape of leather shoes.
  • Use a shoe tree to store your leather shoes. This is best for long and short boots and sandals. They maintain the appearance of the shoes while keeping them in their original shapes. I love this shoe tree, Florsheim Men’s Woodard Cedar, for my long leather shoes.

Final Thoughts

Leather sole shoes need extra care and protection. Avoid moisture ground to increase their lifespan. Leather soled shoe’s toes and heels affected mostly due to overuse. Take care of them by applying the above tips and tricks, and if your shoe sole is affected the most, re-soling is the best option.

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