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Men’s Shoe Care Guide

Men’s Shoe Care Guide

Once you’ve invested in a great new pair of men's shoes, chosen the right style, size and fit for you, you’ll want to know how to keep them in the best condition possible to prolong their wearability and lifespan.

Replacing integral parts of the shoe at the right time can save you having to replace your shoes all together, and with most things, prevention is better than cure so looking after your shoes and keeping them clean and the leather conditioned will prolong their life and prevent you needing to splash out on new shoes more frequently.

Cleaning Men's Shoes

Cleaning Men's Shoes

There are different ways of cleaning different types of materials.

Suede & Leather

The best thing to do for suede and leather shoes is to treat them with a suede or leather protector before you wear them out into the open. You can pick up these treatment products from most high street shops, and at all our stores. A simple spray with a protector will make life easier when cleaning your shoes up!

For suede cleaning, you may want to invest in a suede brush. A suede brush is often a soft rubber brush with small ‘bristles’, which gently cleans and brushed dirt and dust off suede without damaging it. You can your suede shoes professionally cleaned, and if they are very dirty this might be the best option.

With leather, it’s best to get yourself some proper shoe polish – but more about polishing shoes later (there’s an art to get the best polish!).


You can check the labels on your trainers as you might be able to run them through a gentle wash if you’ve been out running and got them muddy. Afterwards, place them in a warm dry place and let them air naturally, heating them up too much in a tumble dryer might distort the shape or fabric.

Canvas & Fabric

Similar rules apply with men's canvas shoes, they may be able to be washed in the washing machine, but if you do wash them let them air dry as well.

If there is only a small spot of dirt on your fabric shoes, you can wash the spot off with a toothbrush or small sponge and some soapy water.

Take a look at some further shoe cleaning tips in our women’s shoe care guide.

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Looking After Leather Footwear

Looking After Leather Footwear

Looking after a special pair of leather shoes in something you will want and need to do – especially if you’ve splashed out the big bucks on them.

Even if they’re not especially dirty, you’ll need to give them a good cleaning once in awhile, just to keep them spic and span and to look after the leather.

If a light polish/brushing down isn’t enough to scrub them up, give them a thorough polishing. This not only leaves your shoes looking the best they can, but it’s actually better for them in the long run.

To polish your shoes, get them properly clean first.

Looking after leather footwear
  • Lay down some newspaper and dip a soft sponge into some saddle soap. Very softly – you don’t want to scrub a natural material too hard – work up a lather with the soap onto the surface of the shoes.
  • Leave your shoes to dry in a warm, but not too warm, space.
  • Moisturizing the leather of your shoes keep the material supple and pliable. This prevents cracks or tears in your shoes and helps prolong their life. Apply leather conditioner to your shoes with a soft cloth.
  • Make sure you have polish that matches the colour of your shoes.
  • Polish should be applied little by little with a polish brush, in small circles.
Shining Your Shoes

Shining Your Shoes

Shining Your Shoes

Being able to shine your shoes properly is a great skill to have, whether you have a job interview coming up, a wedding to go to or you like to look sophisticated at all times, getting your shoes shiny and polished always looks good.

As good as it looks, polishing your shoes is also an important part of maintaining their care. The polish will moisturize the leather lengthening their lifespan.

There are various ways to clean and polish your shoes, and it’s something that many people have adapted to create their own specific version. Spit shining is the most common technique of getting leather shoes and boots mirror shiny. It’s a technique first used by the military to keep their uniforms spic and span, you can opt for the saliva free technique outlined below should you wish.

  1. Cover the shoe in a wax based polish.
  2. Find a soft rag and stretch it over your index and middle finger.
  3. Twist the ends of the cloth and pull it taught, hold the ends of the cloth in your hand to avoid it slipping.
  4. Apply a few drops of water to the rag that is pulled over your fingers.
  5. Rub the shoe with small circles until you can feel the wax hardening. This will take some decent elbow grease.
  6. When you see a shine appear move onto the next part of the shoe until they are gleaming all over.
Shoe Soles & When to Replace Them

Shoe Soles & When to Replace Them

You’ll know that most pairs of shoes you buy will have leather or rubber soles. There are ways to prolong the length of your sole’s life so you won’t have to replace them as often.

Knowing when you need to replace the soles of your shoes is easy, if you press the centre of the sole and it feels spongy or weak it’s time to replace them. If you see a circle emerging in them or they start feeling thinner in some areas, it’s also a good time to replace them.

The types of soles that you generally find will replace your old ones will either be made from leather, synthetic crepe or natural crepe. Usually leather soles are more expensive but last far longer.

You can take your shoes to an independent cobbler to get them resoled, although many high street chains offer the service.

Drying Shoes With Leather Soles

Drying Shoes With Leather Soles

Leather is a material that you’ll want to pay a little bit of extra love and attention to. If you get caught in the rain in your leather soled shoes, you can dry them in a way that will prolong their life. If you can, dry them upside down on shoe trees. If not, turn them upside down and place them on dry paper – be careful with newspaper as you don’t want the print rubbing off on your shoes.

Leave them to air and dry naturally in a room temperature space.

TOP TIP: SHOE GRITTING Leather soles can be slippery at best. To avoid any slips or bruises, make sure you wear leather soled shoes out in the dry for the first time. The grit will rub against the sole and the abrasion will give them a rougher surface, giving them more grip!

How To Store Men’s Shoes

How To Store Men’s Shoes

Once you’ve polished your shoes or boots up to a gleaming shine and made sure they’re in a good condition, you’ll want to store them properly to ensure they stay that way.

Make sure you store them in a cool, dry place in a place that doesn’t fluctuate much in temperature. Temperature causes materials to expand and contract, and this over a long period of time could cause cracks and weaken the fabric.

Make sure they are dust free – especially with suede shoes – dust gets into suede and sticks, causing grey and dirty marks that are hard to get out.

If you can, store them in shoe boxes, make sure you stuff the toes to help keep their shape. If you don’t have space for shoe boxes, store them at least in dust bags.

Now Put Those Shoe Care Tips to the Test!

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