How To Care For Your Leather Shoes In Winter

Nothing can ruin a day faster than cold and wet feet, especially if you’re ruining leather shoes along with them! It’s freezing, uncomfortable and in some cases can cause blistering and harm foot health.

With winter fast approaching there’s no time like the present to start preparing your leather shoes for the wet weather!

We’ve narrowed down our favourite products and that will leave your shoes shining and winter-proof all season long.

Step 1: Cleaning

Just like clothing, it’s important that you clean your leather shoes regularly. Cleaning your shoes removes dirt, grime and dust from the leather’s pores that can stop conditioning and waterproofing products from sinking in.

How To: Remove laces if needed and simply wipe your shoes down with a soft cloth or brush, paying close attention to the seams and stitching where dirt may get wedged.

If you’re cleaning suede shoes, we suggest using Collonil’s Nubuk Box suede cleaner. The crepe rubber and bristled brush thoroughly cleans the suede while better preserving its appearance.

Image of Collonil’s Nubuk Box against a neutral grey background.

Shop Collonils Nubuk Box

Step 2: Condition

We all love the feeling after freshly conditioning our hair, and your leather shoes are no different! Conditioning your shoes helps to lengthen their lifespan and maintain shine and softness.

Please note that this doesn’t apply to suede shoes, as the thicker cream can easily build up in suede’s pores and may tarnish its texture.

How To: Start with a pea sized amount of your chosen conditioner and apply more later if needed. We recommend Collonil’s Ultra Cream - it comes in a handy tube with its own application sponge and is available in a variety of colours. It’s also cream-based which penetrates and nourishes the leather better when compared to wax and oil conditioners.

Wipe a thin layer over the shoe, while paying close attention to the seams and stitching. Less is often more when applying conditioner as too much can block the leather’s pores and prevent the product from adequately sinking in.

Leave the conditioner to dry for 10 to 20 minutes and wipe of the excess with a clean cloth or brush.  

Image of Collonil’s Ultra Cream conditioner box and bottle in colour beige against a neutral grey background.

Shop Collonil's Ultra Cream

Step 3: Polish

You may wonder, why condition and polish your shoes? Well, conditioning encourages nourishment while polishing helps to maintain shine.

How To: Firstly, make sure you lay down some newspaper or plastic as polish stains can be stubborn to remove.

Use a small pea sized amount of polish and with a polishing cloth rub evenly across the leather in small circles. The ‘less is more’ philosophy applies to polish as well, too much can darken the colour of your leather.

Wipe off any excess polish with a cloth and leave your shoes to dry for 20 minutes. Wiping your shoes encourages the polish to sink deeper into the leather’s pores and helps to create even and consistent colouring.

Once your shoes have dried make sure to buff them with a cloth. Use a brisk back-and-forth movement to get that sparkling shine that leather lovers strive for!

We love using Collonil’s Polish Cloth as the soft cotton helps to evenly distribute product across the smooth leather and gives a beautiful buffed finish.

Image of Collonil’s Polish Cloth in the colour white against a neutral grey background.

Shop Collonil’s Polish Cloth

Step 4: Waterproofing

Last but not least, the most important part of winter shoe care… waterproofing treatment!

Whether you’ve purchased a smooth or suede leather shoe, you should always apply a waterproofing treatment before wearing. Treating your shoes provides a protective layer against rain and helps to increase their lifespan.

How To: If you are using tinted spray, make sure to lay down newspaper or plastic. Keep your shoes at a distance of around 30cm and spray several even coats of your chosen product. For continued protection, we recommend repeating this process every three months.

We love Collonil’s Waterstop spray, it’s suitable for both smooth and suede leathers and is available in a range of colours! It works to not only protect your shoes from water damage but also to prevent dirt and moisture from entering the leather’s pores. Plus, Waterstop spray incorporates UV protection to reduce discolouration caused by overexposure to sunlight.

Image of Collonil’s Waterstop Spray in a neutral colour against a grey background.

Shop Collonil’s Waterstop

It’s important to note that applying waterproof spray aids in creating a protective layer against light rain and occasional splashing. Spending extended amounts of time in wet conditions or submerging the shoe completely will likely overrule the effectiveness of any waterproofing treatment.

If you’re planning to spend lots of time in wet weather, we recommend looking through our range of Gore-Tex footwear. Gore-Tex is a protective material used in shoe lining that prevents water molecules from entering your shoe while allowing sweat vapour to escape.

Click here to shop our Gore-Tex range.

Now that you’re an expert on waterproofing your leather shoes it’s time to buy a new pair!

Whether you’re after new season sneakers, boots or loafers, we’ve got a leather shoe to suit you. Shop our Autumn Winter 2020 range here.


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