Leather shoes that are properly taken care of can last for many years. Proper care includes keeping the leather from creasing and looking worn. Nice, leather shoes can be expensive but will give you 10 to 20 years of wear if you maintain them. Creases in the leather result from over-wearing the shoes, improperly putting the shoes on, improperly taking the shoes off, not conditioning the leather or not keeping the shoe’s shape. Get into a routine to extend the life of your shoes while keeping them crease-free.
Use a shoe horn when putting your shoes onto your feet. The shoe horn will help alleviate the stress on the back of the shoe including the heel. Shoving your foot into the shoe compresses the heel of the shoe, causing stress to the leather. Stressed leather will wear and crease.
Gently remove your shoes by slipping them off with your hands. Sit down and remove each shoe individually by grasping it and pulling it off of your foot. Using your toe of your opposite foot to remove your shoes will crease and damage the heels and the toes.
Place cedar shoe trees in your shoes when you are not wearing them. The cedar will absorb any odors and moisture left in the shoe from your feet. The moisture will warp the shoe and cause it to crease. The shoe trees keep the shape of the shoe while they are drying. Do not wear your shoes two consecutive days if possible. The leather needs to dry and rest.
Store your shoes in dust bags when traveling to protect the leather from moisture.
Keep the leather moisturized and polished. Dry leather will easily crack and crease. Use a soft cloth and a quality shoe polish on your leather shoes. Use a cream or paste polish opposed to a liquid polish. The shoe polish should have moisturizing agents or oils.
Keep the shoes away from heat. Do not dry the shoes over a heat source. Let shoes dry naturally. The heat will cause the leather to age and crease.
If you have plastic shoe trees instead of cedar shoe trees, let your shoes dry for an hour before you place the trees into the shoes. If you do not have two pairs of shoes to rotate, placing the shoe trees into the shoes overnight will help keep the shoes in good shape.
Do not use cleansers with acid or a harsh detergent. Use a mild cleanser on dirty shoes and polish them immediately after applying the cleanser.