If your leather loafers look fantastic but are painful to wear, don’t throw them in the back of the closet. Soften up the leather instead and give your feet some immediate relief. Although leather softens as you wear the shoes, you can speed up the process by conditioning the leather and molding the shoes to the contours of your feet. By the following day, your leather loafers will be back in the rotation as a functioning part of your wardrobe.
Put on socks that are thicker than the ones you typically wear with the loafers. Sport socks are optimal if you can still fit your feet into the shoes. Put on the shoes. The fit should be tight, but not excessively painful.
Stand up so that you feet put pressure on the leather shoes. Flex your feet up and down five to 10 times to break in the leather. You may want to flex one foot at a time to maintain your balance.
Plug in a hair dryer and set it to the highest heat setting. Turn the hair dryer on and aim the nozzle at the toe of a loafer. Keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the leather and move it in small circles over the toe for 30 to 60 seconds. Flex your foot as you heat the leather up to help soften it.
Move the hair dryer to the sides of the loafer and the heel.
Repeat the process of applying heat and flexing your foot to soften the right leather loafer.
Turn off the hair dryer and set it aside. Leave the shoes on and walk around the house for five to 10 minutes until the leather cools completely.
Remove the loafers and place them on a table or counter. Open a bottle of leather conditioner that contains lanolin. Apply 1 teaspoon of the conditioner to a soft, lint-free cloth.
Spread the leather conditioner over all surfaces of both loafers using small circular motions. Apply firm pressure and really work the lotion into the leather.
Leave the shoes alone for 24 hours to allow the conditioner to soak in and dry before wearing.
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Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.
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