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Caring for Leather Shoes - Quick Tips

Considering I spend most of my weeks traveling, I wanted to share with you some quick tips on taking care of your leather dress shoes. My leather dress shoes take a beating. I am constantly on-the-go between my apartment, airports, flights, ubers, taxis, rental cars, hotels, walking to the Chicago office when I am in town, etc. Caring for your leather dress shoes can be quick and easy with these tips. Summary:

  1. Cedar shoe trees

  2. Shoe horn

  3. Quick wipe off

  4. Quick moisturize

  5. Shoe taps (heal and toe guards)

If you want to read my full guide to shoe care, click here. This post is meant to encourage you to take better care of your leather dress shoes in the quickest and easiest way possible.


Cedar shoe trees

I highly recommend owning several pairs of cedar shoe trees for your dress shoes. I have found the Nordstrom cedar shoe trees on sale for under $15.00 which is very reasonable (click here). The critical factor is getting them in your shoes right when you take them off. If you only have one or two shoe trees, then rotate them as you wear your shoes.

I have a pair of lighter weight shoe trees to pack when I travel and I always pack them inside the pair of gym shoes that I pack (this saves space).

If you forget shoe trees or do not feel like packing them, I would highly encourage you to take the wash cloths from the bathroom (the mini ones) and smash them into the front of your shoes. I have done this on countless occasions and it works just fine.

Shoe trees

Use a shoe horns

Shoe horns are really inexpensive and will really help prevent the wearing on the heal of your shoe. Most people just jam their foot into their shoe and eventually this will destroy the leather around the heal. I just bought this one recently from Nordstrom (click here) and I also have a mini travel one with me while I am on the road.

If you forgot a shoe horn or do not own a travel shoe horn, then I would suggest using the paper key cardholder that your room key comes in. Just slide it against the heal inside your shoe then put your shoe on.

Shoe care

Quick wipe off Yep, it's that simple. If you are commuting to work and you know your shoes are getting dirty, just put a little water on a paper towel and give it a quick wipe. Alternatively at the end of the day when you take off your shoes and socks, just use the upper part of your dress socks for a quick wipe off (they are dirty anyways, who cares). If you get caught in a rain storm, then as soon as you get inside, stuff newspaper into the toe area of your shoes.

Quick leather moisturizer Shining your shoes doesn't have to be a day-long activity. Take an old undershirt, wipe your shoes clean, add a little moisturize, apply to the shoe, wait a couple minutes, buff. This will not replace the need to properly polish them, but it will help the longevity of the leather shoes.

Shoe taps (heal and toe guards) If you own a pair of leather dress shoes that are your absolute favorite pair, then I would highly recommend going to your local shoe repair and asking them to put on heal and toe taps (guards). This will help prevent the heal and toe areas of the shoe from wearing quickly. I honestly think it has increased the heal and sole longevity by as much as 50%.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions!


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