How to Get the Wrinkles Out of the Tongue of a Shoe

by Owen E. Richason IV

New shoes require ongoing cleaning and care to maintain an "off the rack" look. The simple act of putting on a pair of shoes and walking in them causes unsightly wrinkles to appear, especially in the tongue. To keep your shoes looking new, you'll occasionally have to remove the wrinkles in the shoe as well as the tongue. You can do this with a few footwear care products, restoring your shoes to their original look.

Items you will need

  • Wooden shoe tree
  • Paper towels
  • 4-6 cloths
  • Shoe polish
  • Shoe conditioner
  • Clothing steamer
Step 1

Wrap paper towels around a set wooden shoe trees. You will need a pair of shoe trees, one for both the right and left shoe.

Step 2

Insert a shoe tree into each shoe, and ensure they fill the shoes completely. If the trees do not fill the inside of each shoe, wrap more paper towels around the trees.

Step 3

Pull the tongue of the shoe out, straightening it as much as possible, making the shoe look as much like it did before being worn.

Step 4

Dampen a cloth in plain water from a sink. Thoroughly wipe down each entire shoe to get off any dust, grime and dirt. Then make sure the shoes are dry.

Step 5

Liberally apply a coat of shoe polish using a clean, unused cloth, rubbing against the grain in the wrinkles, using your fingers to put direct pressure on the shoe. Concentrate mostly on the tongue when applying the polish.

Step 6

Allow the shoe polish to set for between two and three hours, then repeatedly buff each shoe with another clean, unused cloth.

Step 7

Apply conditioner to the tongues and the rest of both shoes with an unused cloth, going against the grain once again. Immediately wave a clothing steamer over the tongue of each shoe, warming up the conditioner.

Step 8

Buff the tongues and the rest of each shoe while the conditioner is warm. This should remove most or all of the wrinkles. Repeat Steps 4 through 8 as needed to remove stubborn wrinkles.

About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.