Shoe Care

Many footwear is crafted from premium materials for uncompromised comfort and exceptional durability. Our tips and cleaning advice below will help you care for your shoes, so you can enjoy them for years to come.

Footwear is an investment. Extend your footwear life by coming to Greg's Shoe Repair for professional advice and recommended care-products for your footwear.

Expert Shoe-care tips
  • Every so often, give your favorite pair of shoes the day off. This allows them to air out, which dries out the moisture so the leather lasts longer.
  • For shoes you wear less frequently, you can use a cedar shoetree to help absorb moisture and maintain their shape.
  • Always allow your shoes to dry at room temperature, away from a heater. Heaters can cause leather to dry out and become brittle, and can also harm the adhesives.
  • Don't store your shoes in shoe boxes for long periods of time. Prolonged storage can cause certain footwear materials to deteriorate, particularly in humid climates.
  • When applying any chemical to a product you own, it is always best to do pre-test in an inconspicuous area before applying to the entire surface area.

Cleaning Your Footwear

Different types of leather require different types of care, so we made this handy guide for keeping your shoes clean and looking their best.

Full Grain Leathers
  • To remove dirt, wipe gently with a dry cloth to remove any dried-on dirt and dust. Then dampen the cloth with warm water and wipe again. Allow leather to dry naturally, away from direct sunlight and direct heat sources (like heat vents) that can dry out the leather.
  • Use a high quality cream polish that matches the shoe color, then buff to a shine.
  • Avoid liquid shoe polishes and silicone sprays.

Beeswaxed and Oiled Leathers
  • To remove dirt, wipe gently with a dry cloth to remove any dried-on dirt and dust. Then apply a cleaner such as Penguin P100 Instant Cleaner (available at many athletic and sporting goods stores). Allow leather to dry naturally, away from direct sunlight and direct heat sources (like heat vents) that can dry out the leather.
  • Apply a leather protector and restorer, which are composed of oils and other non-water-soluble compounds like lanolin to help guard against water damage to the leather. (Please note this may darken the color of your beeswax leather.)

Patent Leathers
  • Use a soft damp cloth and a drop of mild soap to remove any haze.
  • A patent leather cleaner that contains silicone will return the high gloss.

Suede and Nubuck Leathers
  • To clean, use a rubber eraser to remove dirt and smudges. Then, brush lightly with a soft brush specifically for suede and nubuck products.
  • Care should be taken to brush in the same direction. If you brush in different directions, some suedes will give the appearance of being two different colors.
  • Never use a wire brush or polish on suede or nubuck. (Some suede brushes do have wire in the center, which is specifically made for use on suede).
  • Follow up with a silicone spray for water and stain resistance.

  • To weatherproof your shoes, we suggest a non-silicone spray or a rain/stain repellant.

Shoe Care Tools and Supplies

With the right supplies, your shoes will last longer, feel better and always look their best.

Cream Polish
  • Cream polish is offered in many different colors to match your footwear. It's easy to apply with a horse hair brush, but should never be used on suede or nubuck.
  • Cream polish won't add as much color as a wax polish.

Edge Dressing
  • Edge dressing is most commonly applied to dress shoes with leather soles.
  • Edge dressing comes in black or brown and will enhance the appearance of the outsole as well as protect it.
  • You can apply edge dressing easily with a brush or sponge.

Horse Hair Brush
  • There are usually two different colors of horse hair brushes: a dark color for darker polishes and a lighter color for lighter polishes.
  • The brush is used to work the polish into the leather and also helps remove excess polish on the shoe.

Shoe Horn
  • A shoe horn helps protect the back of your shoes as you slide your foot in, maintaining its shape and fit.

Shoe Spray
  • Shoe spray protects the surface of the shoe, making it easier to clean if they get dirty.
  • The spray is usually non-silicone based to ensure that it doesn’t change the color of the footwear.
  • Spray does not make the shoes waterproof — just water resistant.

  • Shoetrees can extend the life of your shoes up to 30% or more!
  • They help absorb moisture, drawing the leather back to its original shape as it dries, extending the life of the uppers and insoles.
  • Shoetrees also promote even wear of the shoes, maximizing the life of the soles.
  • Cedar trees are the only effective type of tree. Plastic and metal do not achieve the drying effect.
  • A secondary and also important part of shoetree use is to maintain the shape of the shoe. The tree will eliminate fine lines where the shoe flexes.
  • Once you take off your footwear for the day, immediately place the cedar shoetrees into your shoes and leave them in the shoes until the next wearing.

Suede Block and Brush
  • The block is used for erasing dirt and stains from the suede or nubuck. Use a fair amount of pressure when erasing the stains and dirt.
  • The brush also helps in cleaning, and can be used to brush the suede and nubuck to enhance its appearance.

Wax Polish
  • Apply wax polish to leather shoes with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Wax polish adds more color and shine than cream polish.