Skip to content

How to Keep Dress Shoes Looking New

8 easy tips to keep your footwear in top condition.

By: HARRY ROSEN EDITORSDate: 2019-03-07

Quality dress shoes are essential to a man’s wardrobe. Nothing ruins a sharp suit or refined casual wear faster than cheap, scruffy or poorly maintained footwear.

Beautiful, well-made, well-fitting leather dress shoes cost a few hundred dollars or more, but they will last for several years – even decades – if cared for properly.

It’s easy to protect your investment with a few simple habits:

1. When you remove your shoes at the end of the day, give them a quick wipe with a soft cloth to remove dirt, salt, etc.

2. After wiping your shoes, insert wooden shoe trees – ideally unvarnished cedar shoe trees – to preserve the form of the footwear and absorb moisture and odours.

3. Give your shoes at least a day to dry out between wearings. Well-dressed men own at least three pairs, so they can rotate them (and, of course, create a wider range of outfits).

4. To relieve stress on the backs of your shoes, always use a shoehorn to guide your heels in.

5. Polish and buff your shoes regularly to keep them looking sharp, cover minor scratches and protect them from stains and moisture.

6. For suede shoes, use a suede brush to keep the nap clean.

7. If you get caught in the rain, stuff newspaper in your shoes when you get home, to absorb the moisture. Don’t use a hair dryer or place the shoes near a heat source – this could dry out and crack the leather. When they’re almost dry, insert your shoe trees.

8. If the soles become worn or uncomfortable, have a cobbler replace them. Quality shoe uppers can last up to 20 years, but soles usually need replacing after five.

If you need advice on building your shoe wardrobe, our Clothing Advisors can recommend versatile, timeless options that offer lasting value. Visit our footwear department today.