How to Care for Leather Soles

Besides their obvious attractiveness, leather soles are also prized for the comfort and durability they can bring to a pair of shoes. To keep your leather soled-shoes looking and performing their best, you must practice some preventative maintenance. Ideally, leather soles should be cleaned and conditioned often in order to prevent them from drying out and cracking. With proper care, a quality pair of leather-soled shoes can last you many years.

Wipe dust and dirt away from your leather shoes and soles with a dry washcloth. Brush dirt away from any detailed or grooved areas of your soles with a dry paintbrush.

Soak your washcloth under water and wring out the excess. Using the damp washcloth, wipe away any dirt that may be clinging to the soles of your shoes. Rinse the washcloth when it becomes saturated with dirt, and then continue wiping down the soles of your shoes until they are free of debris.

Mix together equal parts water and vinegar to make a cleaning solution. Apply the mixture using your washcloth to any sticky spots or stains that may be on the soles. Rub the mixture into the spot until it has been removed.

Rub the pencil eraser over any scuff marks on your soles, until the scuffs disappear.

Dampen your washcloth again and dip it into the can of mink oil. While the soles are still moist from being cleaned, begin generously applying the mink oil across the entire sole. Use the toothbrush to apply the mink oil to the edges of the sole, as well as into any crevices that the washcloth could not reach.

Buff the leather soles with the washcloth until the mink oil is completely rubbed in. Remove any excess mink oil with a dry washcloth. Allow the shoes to dry in indirect heat to prevent shrinkage.