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How to Clean and Care for Your Leather Shoes

5 tips for your leather shoes and boots from Grünbein


Before the first wear

Water is the natural enemy of all shoes – rubber boots excluded of course. Breathable materials conduct the moisture produced to the outside, so that you don't sweat in your shoes. Unfortunately, this exchange also happens in the other direction: when it rains heavily or you step in a puddle, the water eventually penetrates the inside of the shoe.

Grünbein shoes are welted, so they are not waterproof: the high-quality manufacturing process guarantees that the shoes are more durable, easier to repair and retain their fit for a long time. It also means that the shoes are not waterproof, especially at the seams.

We recommend that you seal the sole seams (e.g. with Shoeboy's Water Protect Special waterproofing concentrate) and treat the shoes regularly with a waterproofing spray for the appropriate type of leather.

Regular Shoe Care

Before you wear your shoes for the first time, you should impregnate them:

  • Smooth Leather: Shoe wax on beeswax or vegetable basis is ideal, as it protects against moisture and at the same time cares for the leather. If leather is not cared for regularly, it becomes cracked and brittle.

  • Suede leather, Nubuck: It is best to treat it with special impregnation spray, before the first use and then about every four weeks – depending on how often you wear it.

All shoes should be brushed regularly to remove dust and dirt and to maintain the natural shine of the leather. Smooth leather shoes are then rubbed with shoe wax or shoe polish and then brushed to a shiny finish with a soft natural hair brush..

Give your shoes time to relax. After wearing them, you should let them rest for at least twelve hours. Use suitable shoe trees so that they retain their shape for a long time. Ideally, you should change your shoes every day. Store your shoes in a dry, airy place, away from direct sunlight and away from the heating.

Your walk ended in mud? That's how you get your shoes cleaned:

  • Smooth Leather: First brush the coarse (dried) dirt off the shoes. If the dirt is particularly persitent, take a cotton cloth, moisten it with water and remove the dirt. Various manufacturers offer cleaning foam for this purpose. In our experience, discoloration can occur. If you have tips for a good foam, please write to us! After cleaning it is important to let the shoes dry well. Simply stuff them with newspaper and place them in a dry, well-ventilated place. Again, do not blow-dry or dry them on the heater, this will make the leather hard.

  • Suede Leather, Nubuck: The open-pored material is no friend of mud. That's why impregnation spray is the best remedy before you leave the house. If the slush cannot be avoided, the shoes should first dry, then carefully brush off the loose dirt.