How To Restore Creased Leather Shoes? Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a pristine new pair of leather shoes turn into a creased mess after just a few wears!
How To Restore Creased Leather Shoes
Leather shoes can be notoriously difficult to keep in mint condition, no matter how carefully you treat them. Gently worn shoes can quickly become scuffed and creased due to wear patterns or poor storage.
Fortunately, there are several reliable, tried-and-true methods to restoration creased leather shoes. Let’s dive in and learn how to return your favorite kicks to their former glory.
What Causes Leather Shoes To Crease?
Leather shoes break in over time as the material softens and conforms to the shape of the wearer’s foot. With regular wear, leather gradually shapes to the individual and develops indentations, known as creases. Whether you love or hate the natural patina this process creates, it can’t be stopped.
However, wearing the same pair of leather shoes every day or storing them without proper care can accelerate the creasing process. For example, an uncomfortable fit can cause break-in creasing, while humidity and inadequate or non-existent shoe storage can lead to unsightly creases.
Methods For Restoring Creased Leather Shoes
The good news is that, no matter the cause, creased leather shoes can often be restored with the right materials, techniques, and maintenance practices. Here’s a step-by-step look at the process for restoring creased leather shoes with a few different methods.
Method 1: Stuff Shoes with Paper
- Step 1: Begin by removing any laces and/or insoles from your leather shoes.
- Step 2: Gently stuff newspaper into the shoe to help hold its original shape. You can also use rolls of tissue paper, or specially-designed, reusable shoe inserts.
- Step 3: Let the paper sit in the shoes overnight. The newspaper will become saturated with the natural oils from the leather and help to soften the shoe’s creased areas.
- Step 4: In the morning, remove the newspaper and use a soft cloth to buff any areas that remain creased.
Method 2: Use Heat and Steam
- Step 1: Start by filling a bowl with hot water and a few drops of leather conditioner.
- Step 2: Soak a clean cloth in the water and wring out the excess moisture.
- Step 3: Wipe down the exterior of the shoe with the damp cloth, being sure to get into any creased areas.
- Step 4: Place the leather shoes in front of a fan and direct the gust of air at the area that’s creased. The increased air flow will help the leather to dry faster and release any wrinkles.
Step 5: When the leather is dry, use a hairdryer to apply a small amount of heat to the area. Be sure not to hold the heat in one spot for a long duration, as this could risk damaging the leather.
Method 3: Use a Shoe Tree
- Step 1: Start by investing in a quality shoe tree or form insert made from cedar wood.
- Step 2: Gently insert the shoe tree into the leather footwear — the insert will hold the shoe in its original form while also removing excess moisture.
- Step 3: Place the shoe trees in the shoes overnight.
- Step 4: In the morning, remove the shoe tree and use a soft cloth to buff the leather where necessary.
Frequent Mistakes to Avoid
Restoring creased leather shoes isn’t a fool-proof endeavor there are several common mistakes you can make that could potentially lead to further damage. Here are a few of the most frequent missteps to avoid:
1. Wearing Leather Shoes Without Socks
Leather can be very sensitive to moisture, and going sockless can invite bacteria to build up inside the material. Sweat can also cause the leather to become brittle, dry, and creased. To prevent this, always remember to wear socks with your leather shoes.
2. Applying Excessive Heat
When using a blow dryer or steamer to remove creases, it’s important to avoid prolonged exposure to extreme heat. Leather can shrink, crack, or even melt if excess heat applied. Always work in short bursts and keep a close eye on your shoes when applying any form of heat.
3. Failing to Clean and Condition
It’s essential to always keep your leather shoes clean and conditioned. Dirt, dust, and debris can quickly accumulate on leather shoes and accelerate the creasing process. Make sure to spot clean your leather shoes after each use, and apply conditioner from time to time to keep the material soft, pliable, and free of wrinkles.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should I clean and condition my leather shoes?
Ideally, you should spot clean your leather shoes after every use and condition them every 4-6 weeks. This will help preserve the material’s natural oils and keep it looking its best.
2. How can I prevent creases from forming in the first place?
The best way to combat creasing in leather shoes is to create an even wear pattern. That means rotating through multiple pairs of shoes frequently. It’s also important to store leather shoes in a cool, dry area with proper inserts or shoe trees.
3. Are all leather shoes worth restoring?
If the overall condition of the shoes is poor, it might be best to replace them instead of investing your time in a restore attempt. If the material is weak or excessively dry, the damage might not be repairable.
4. Can these methods also be used on suede or nubuck leather?
No. Suede and nubuck need to be treated very carefully as they are more sensitive than other types of leather. These materials can’t be treated with steaming, heat, or traditional cleaning products that contain solvents.
5. Are shoe trees necessary for restoring creased leather shoes?
Shoe trees are a great way to maintain the shape of your leather shoes. After restoring the creased areas, shoe trees can help keep the leather in its reformed shape, prevent odors, and draw out excess moisture.
Leather shoes can quickly become creased, scuffed, and dull unless you take the necessary steps to properly care for them. While it can be aggravating to watch your favorite pair age over time, it can be done with a bit of elbow grease and the right materials.
How To Restore Creased Leather Shoes
We’ve discussed a few trusted methods for restoring creased leather shoes here, including the paper stuffing technique, the use of heat and steam, and the addition of shoe trees. Be sure to always clean and condition your leather shoes, and avoid excess heat or going without socks when wearing leather.
If you’re looking to regain the pristine look of your leather shoes, then these techniques should help you restore them to their original shape!