The leather shoes you’ve had for decades- or maybe just one summer- have been looking a little worse for wear lately. They make you feel like a million bucks, but they don’t quite look like it. You love your shoes but their days seem numbered, and the idea of buying new ones is simply too much to bear.
How to Soften Leather Shoes Easily
Thankfully, leather is a wonderfully malleable material that can be manipulated and molded like clay. You don’t necessarily have to buy new shoes if you want your old ones to look and feel like spanking new again. All you need is some simple leather conditioning ingredients and a little elbow grease.
Don’t Panic, I’m Not Going to Patch or Resole Your Shoes!
Please don’t worry if your shoes are beyond repair. It doesn’t make any sense for you to buy new shoes when you can revive them just by using the basic steps I am about to describe. However, if your shoes are in such bad shape that they can’t be saved, then I apologize. It’s a shame that you have to do without them.
1. Slowly Start Wearing Them
Put on a pair of old, comfortable- and easy-to-take-off-shoes, and start wearing them around the house. Walk around the house with your shoes on for an hour or so every day. You want to build up a bit of leather depth here. Some people prefer to add a few layers of shoe polish to the top surface when conditioning their shoes this way.
2. Condition the Shoes
After an hour of wear, take off your shoes and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Put the time to good use by doing household chores, watching television, reading a book, or taking a walk outside. While your shoes are sitting there, give them a light buffing with a soft bristle brush or other lint-free cloth to lighten up their color and make them smoother.
3. Using a Hairdryer
The secret to giving your shoes a soft, relaxed look is the use of a blow dryer. Set the temperature to warm, and concentrate the airflow on the toe box area. Check in with your shoe every few minutes to make sure you have even heat throughout the shoe. Don’t leave it on for too long though, or you might burn your shoes!
4. Stretching with a Spoon or Other Object
This is the step that completes the conditioning process. While your shoe is still warm from the blow dryer, grasp it with a few fingers and slowly stretch it to about 1-2 inches wider than its original size. Keep doing this every so often as it cools off. When you’re done stretching, set your shoes aside for about 12 hours. This process will help moisten and expand your leather so that it molds to your feet like a glove.
5. Using Shoe Stretchers
The alternative to the DIY method described above is the use of a shoe stretcher. Experiment with both and see what works best for you. Remember that shoes that have been stretched with a shoe stretcher will recover their original shape over time, so don’t expect them to last forever. It also helps to use boot stretchers regularly if you want to keep your shoes in tip-top shape all year long.
6. Stuffing the Shoes with Newspaper
If you want to give your shoes a more permanent make-over, the secret is to use newspaper stuffing. Start with a pair of old newspapers, and stuff the toes first. Fill up one shoe with enough newspaper stuffing so that it forms to the shape of your foot. Repeat with the other shoe, and let them sit overnight. You can check back in on them in a few hours just to be sure you haven’t gone overboard with the stuffing.
7. Stretching with Oil
While stuffing the toe area with newspaper works well, some people prefer to use a very light oil for the purpose. Pour about a teaspoon of oil into the toe area of the shoe, then use your fingers to work the oil into the leather. The oil will slowly soak in and stretch out your shoes.
8. Use Shoe Creams or Solvents
Shoe cream or some other leather conditioning material can also help you achieve soft and pliable leather shoes that mold perfectly to your feet. The general rule of thumb is that you don’t want to put oil into your shoes because it can slightly loosen the leather’s structure. The cream or solvent will help lock the leather in place and will also darken the color somewhat.
9. Using Rubbing Alcohol & Vaseline
If you want your shoes to be particularly pliable, there is a method for doing so that involves the use of two ingredients: rubbing alcohol and petroleum jelly. Apply some Vaseline inside the shoe’s toe area, then follow up with some rubbing alcohol on top of it. Let it sit overnight, and you’ll have an easy-to-put-on shoe that will mold to your feet like a second skin!
10. Getting Professional Help
It’s easy to get carried away when trying to stretch your shoes with DIY methods. But if you don’t know exactly how far you should go, then it is best for you to see a professional shoe repairman or cobbler. You can also ask them for advice on how to take better care of your shoes in the future so that they won’t wear out so quickly.
How To Soften Leather Shoes Tips And FAQs
Here are a few other tips and FAQs that should help you get the most out of your shoes:
- How do I clean my leather shoes?
While it’s important to keep your casual shoes well-cared for and in pristine condition, there’s no need to be afraid of cleaning them. All you should have to do is gently scrub the outside with a brush or sponge. There are also special shampoos made especially for cleaning leather shoes, which are completely safe to use. So if you want to take your shoes from good to great, then give them a quick bath.
You might also try using a mild detergent, or a leather cleaner that is specially formulated for the purpose. The cleaners will help remove any stains and grime so that your shoes look like new again.
- How do protect leather shoes from moisture?
When it comes to keeping your shoes protected and looking great all year round, one of the best things you can do is to use a shoe coating. This type of product is designed for the purpose, and it will keep your leather from drying out and cracking over time. It also protects against stains, so you don’t have to worry about them showing through. There are dozens of shoe coatings on the market today, so choose one that suits your needs best.
- How To Make Your Shoe Stretch?
If you’re looking to make any of your shoes more stretchy, then here are some quick tips that should do the trick:
Use a Hairdryer – Heat up your shoes with a blow dryer for about fifteen minutes. The heat will help loosen up the leather and make it more flexible.
– Heat up your shoes with a blow dryer for about fifteen minutes. The heat will help loosen up the leather and make it more flexible. Use Hand Warmers – A pair of hand warmers can also do the trick when it comes to stretching shoes. Just keep them in your shoe for about fifteen minutes, and you’ll notice that they’ve become more malleable than when you first bought them.
– A pair of hand warmers can also do the trick when it comes to stretching shoes. Just keep them in your shoe for about fifteen minutes, and you’ll notice that they’ve become more malleable than when you first bought them. Stick It In The Freezer – If you want to speed up the process of stretching shoes, then try storing them in the freezer overnight. When you pull the shoes out in the morning, the cold will work much like a pair of hand warmers, and should make your shoes much easier to put on.
- How to clean leather shoes?
When it comes to cleaning up your leather shoes, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Use a Brush – For easy and thorough cleanup jobs, you will want to use a brush. Keep it close at hand when it comes time for you to clean your shoes. You can use a soft-bristled cheesecloth for extra gentleness when it comes time for you to scrub your favorite pair of sneakers.
– For easy and thorough cleanup jobs, you will want to use a brush. Keep it close at hand when it comes time for you to clean your shoes. You can use a soft-bristled cheesecloth for extra gentleness when it comes time for you to scrub your favorite pair of sneakers. Shoe Polish – Polish is a great product to keep in mind if you’re looking to keep your shoes in tip-top shape. The product will leave a high gloss shine that you’ll be happy with for years.
– Polish is a great product to keep in mind if you’re looking to keep your shoes in tip-top shape. The product will leave a high gloss shine that you’ll be happy with for years. Shoe Cleaner – If your shoes are not dirty, you don’t have to bother with the polish, but it sure does help an awful lot when it comes time for cleaning. Spray a little on your shoes and rub in with a soft towel. Make sure that you work both sides evenly.
- How to make my shoes smell nice?
If your shoes are starting to stink up the place, then it might be time for some shoe deodorizer. This type of product is specially formulated for the purpose, and its formula will help keep your shoes smelling great for weeks.
Once you’ve added the deodorizer to your shoes, let them sit for about an hour before you wear them. You can also place your shoes in a container filled with the deodorizer, and leave it overnight.
- How to care for leather shoes?
If you don’t want your leather shoes to start getting stale, then here are some tips that will keep them looking great:
Use a Waterproof Floor – If you want your new or favorite pair of shoes to look as good as new, then make sure that you keep them from getting wet. The best way is to use a waterproof floor mat in the area where your shoe sits. This will prevent water from damaging the leather, and it will also keep your shoes looking much nicer than if you just left them out in the open.
– If you want your new or favorite pair of shoes to look as good as new, then make sure that you keep them from getting wet. The best way is to use a waterproof floor mat in the area where your shoe sits. This will prevent water from damaging the leather, and it will also keep your shoes looking much nicer than if you just left them out in the open.
Use a Shoehorn – A shoehorn is another great product to have in your shoe arsenal. It will help you keep your shoes from being too tight or too loose, and it will also get the job done without doing any damage to the shoes.
– A shoehorn is another great product to have in your shoe arsenal. It will help you keep your shoes from being too tight or too loose, and it will also get the job done without doing any damage to the shoes.
At the end of the day, we hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about how to care for shoes and other leather products in your home. Leather is a great material that can last you for years if you treat it right.
If you have any additional tips and tricks, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. If there are any other products that you would like us to get on board with, just let us know.
I love finding and reviewing the latest in outdoor gear and apparel. I’m a writer and adventure seeker who is obsessed with the outdoors. I love to hike, ski, mountain bike and spend time exploring our beautiful province. This blog will be packed with tips on how to make the most of your time outside whether you are out for a weekend or an extended family vacation. I’ll also share my adventures in hopes of getting you off the couch and into the wild!
Check my blog…it’s updated every day with new posts about the best of what’s out there in the world of outdoor gear.