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The Ultimate Shoe Care Guide for Leather Slip-ons

A meticulously handcrafted pair of leather shoes is a lifetime investment, but keeping them well-maintained require proper care. Caring for your beautiful slip-on can be a tedious task but worth considering and is significant in increasing the lifespan of your shoes especially if you are a shoe-holic gent.

Let’s dive into some essential tips for properly caring for standard leather loafers or slip-ons.

Clean your Shoes with Brush

First and foremost, you need to brush your leather slip-on shoes to remove any dirt and dust. You should have a separate brush that is used specifically for this job. Do not use the same brush that you’re using for polishing. If the brush doesn’t eliminate dirt, you can utilize a damp cloth to clean away the toughest dirt from your shoes. Don’t use any cleaning agent or soap. After cleaning, leave the shoes air dry before going to the next step. 


Use Polish or Cream

When your shoes get completely dry, take a small amount of leather shoe polish or shoe cream and spread evenly over the slip-on with a soft cotton cloth or a brush. Let the polish or shoe cream air dry for at least 2-3 minutes.

Note: If you are using a brush, keep the separate ones for each color of polish.

Use Horsehair Brush

After the polish get completely soaked into the leather, use a horsehair brush all over the shoes. This method is necessary for removing the extra polish or cream on the shoes and will retain the shoe color and its natural shine. A horsehair brush is recommended due to its soft bristles that help eliminate the polish easily without leaving any brush strokes.

Buff the shoes with a Cotton Cloth

This step is optional and can be followed if you need a finished look of your slip-on. Don’t buff your shoes to hard because it can create friction and that heat can scratch the light-colored leather slip-on. 

How long the entire shoe cleaning procedure take?

Once you get pro in this job, it wouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes.

Useful tips for maintaining shoes on a regular basis

  • Always use shoe trees after taking off your shoes. Shoe trees must be without a lacquered finish.
  • If the shoes get wet, allow them to dry in a shoes rack. Wet shoes that are constructed from leather outsoles shouldn’t be kicked off and left on a cold floor.
  • Do not dry your shoes under direct sunlight. It will create cracks on the leather shoes and reduce their lifespan.
  • Use a brush to clean the dirty or dusty shoes before putting them on a shoe rack. If the shoes are wet, let them dry first and then brush.
  • Dry wet shoes on a shoe rack, allowing air to flow around them. Leather soles will not dry out if wet shoes are simply kicked off and left on a cold floor. Never dry your shoes on a direct heat source—it will dry and crack the leather in no time and is very, very bad for the shoes’ longevity.
  • If your shoes are dirty or dusty, use a soft brush to give them a quick brush before you store them. If they’re wet, wait until they’re dry and then brush.
  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes on consecutive days.

It is suggested to take proper care of your leather shoes preferably annually or bi-annually. However, it depends on the frequency of usage. If you are a dapper man, and you love to keep your shoes on point, this activity could be performed once or twice a week.