How Often to Condition Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are considered premium due to the intricate craftsmanship involved in their production and their limited availability. Leather is extracted from animals and then goes through a series of treatments before turning it into a shoe. Once the shoe is made, it looks exceptional, thanks to the natural material. If you get these shoes and don’t treat them right, they won’t last very long, and that’s why conditioning your leather shoes is essential.

How Often to Condition Leather Shoes

How often should you condition your leather shoes?

While conditioning leather shoes is essential, most people don’t know the right interval for conditioning them. It is why their shoes don’t last very long, even if they condition them. Usually, different factors determine if often you should condition the shoes, but on average, that time lies between once a month and once 6 months. The factors that will determine this time for you are:

  • Frequency of using your shoes
  • The climate in which you live and wear your shoes
  • Type of leather since every type has different conditioning requirements
  • Visual condition of the leather

If your shoes are made of leather, conditioning them every 2 to 3 months is recommended. If you rarely use your shoes, conditioning them every 6 months is sufficient. However, if you regularly wear your shoes in tough conditions, monthly conditioning is essential.

benefits of conditioning your leather shoes at the right time

What are the benefits of conditioning your leather shoes at the right time?

If you maintain the routine of conditioning your leather shoes at the right time, you will get several benefits, including the following:

1. Moisture and oil protection

You get moisture and oil protection for your shoes. It means that the natural oils in the leather will stay in there to keep it soft and maintain its luster of leather.

2. Better appearance

Keeping your shoes conditioned gives them a better appearance. You prevent their original color, and the shoe stays safe from cracks, scuffs, and scratches. It is because conditioning restores those minor imperfections in the shoe.

3. Odor control

Conditioning includes a complete cleaning process; using the right products can deodorize your shoe from inside and outside. It prevents bacteria growth which keeps the shoe fresh for a long.

4. Maintaining comfort

Since conditioning keeps your shoes soft and maintains moisture, the fit, and finish will stay comfortable. The leather won’t get hard, and wearing these shoes will always feel new.

5. Better durability with routine cleaning

Conditioning protects leather in multiple ways, and that results in improved durability. It helps with nourishing the leather and maintaining its flexibility. Hence, your shoes become more resistant to routine wear and tear.

Here is a quick guide to condition your leather shoes.

Conditioning leather shoes is an easy process with the following steps only:

  1. Remove laces, straps, or accessories from the shoes
  2. Clean the leather using a damp cloth and a leather cleaner after removing the dirt
  3. Leave the shoes to dry overnight before the next steps
  4. Take a dry cloth and remove any residue from cleaning before you condition the shoes
  5. Take a small amount of conditioner and test it on some small part of the shoe that is not easily visible. It is to test that the conditioner won’t damage the color of your leather. If you have previously used that conditioner, you may skip this step.
  6. Take dime-sized conditioner on a soft cloth and start conditioning your shoes in a circular motion. Ensure that you cover the whole surface.
  7. Let your shoes rest overnight to dry
  8. Wipe away any residue, and your shoes will be perfectly conditioned

some common misconceptions about conditioning leather shoes

What are some common misconceptions about conditioning leather shoes?

There are multiple misconceptions about conditioning leather shoes; if you follow those, you damage your shoes. The first misconception is that polishing and conditioning leather shoes have the same effects. However, these are two different processes.

Secondly, people think the more conditioner they use and the more often they use it, the better it will be for the shoes. You must only use a specific amount of conditioner on your shoes after a specific time.

It is believed that you can use any leather conditioner on your shoes. In truth, you must use the right type of conditioner for your shoe’s leather type, color, and finish.

What happens if you condition your leather shoes too often?

Conditioning your leather shoes too often is not the best decision since it has certain drawbacks, including:

1. Residue build-up

Conditioning products may leave a residue that will overpower the looks of leather. It will make the shoe dull since the residue will attract more dirt.

2. Over-saturation of leather

Over-conditioning leads to the over-saturation of leather. It means that the colors will be altered, and the appearance may change since the leather will become extremely soft. It may wrinkle or stretch.

3. Short lifespan due to dependency on the product

Leather will develop a dependency on the product, and it won’t maintain its natural properties. This way, the lifespan of your shoes will significantly decrease, and maintaining that dependency will not be very budget-friendly.

What happens if you don’t condition your leather shoes at all?

If you don’t condition your leather shoes at all or wait for too long to condition them, you may face the following issues:

1. Cracking due to dryness

This situation can lead to dryness in leather since the oils will not be protected. This dryness causes a lack of luster in leather, causes cracking, and the shoe becomes very difficult to restore since any effects are irreversible.

2. Lack of comfort

Leather loses its stretchability and flexibility. As a result, the shoes don’t stay very comfortable since leather feels hard and may be harsh on your skin.

3. Lack of durability

Such shoes are not very durable and take a huge impact from routine wear and tear. Hence, the life of the shoe may end up quickly.


Conditioning your leather shoes has become extremely easy today with the conditioning products available. There is not a lot that can go wrong when you condition your shoes apart from the time. So, knowing how often your shoes need conditioning is the key to maintaining a good feel, looks, and life in your shoes. You can expect the best experience from your shoes when you do everything right.