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Caring for your shoes

Taking good care of your footwear from day one will ensure their longevity, and remember – prevention is always better than cure. The best way to keep your leather shoes in tip-top condition is to prevent them from getting wet!

Do not polish a damp shoe. Dry them first by stuffing them with newspaper. Do not leave near a radiator or any heat to speed this up. Be sure to let the soles get some air so they can dry properly. Once they’re nearly dry, replace the newspaper with a shoe tree to help further maintain their shape. For salt stains mix one cup of water and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture and wipe it over the stains. This works on leather, suede, fabric and faux leather shoe.

The soles on our Goodyear Welted shoes can be replaced if they start to wear over time. To prolong the life of your shoes try to action this before the sole has worn through to the cork membrane, as this can cause long-lasting damage to the shoe. You should allow a rest day

Formal leather shoes

To polish a formal leather shoe, wipe your shoes down with a damp cloth to remove superficial dirt and stains, if you have bought our Tweed insert Boot or Shoe, now is the time to clean the tweed fabric. Using a separate damp cloth, gently wipe away any marks or mud. Brush away any dirt in the welt using a welt brush and scrub out the entire welt strip. If the shoes need it, carefully apply sole-edge dressing (available from any reputable cobbler). If you get it on the uppers, it will stain them permanently. Let edge dressing dry before going any further.

With the upper now dry, apply polish, using a circular rubbing motion. Don’t put too much on – you’ll only have to remove it later! And be careful not to put the polish onto the tweed fabric. Work the polish into the leather, the more you rub, the better. Let the polish dry. It should take around 10 minutes at room temperature. Now is the time to use our Nubuck spray to re-proof the tweed fabric. You need to limit the amount of overspray onto the leather upper. You can now buff the leather upper with a polishing brush. For extra gleam, hold the shoe between your knees and buff the toe vigorously with a lint-free cloth


Suede can be cleaned with a clean soft brush (like a toothbrush), or you can buy special erasers (rubber suede brush) to remove stains and dirt. Raise the nap on suede by applying steam from a steam iron from about 10 inches away. Also special brass-bristle brushes are available or a rubber bristled brush, to raise the nap after cleaning. A protective non-silicone finish (like Scotchgard or Meltonian Water and Stain Protector, Nubuck spray) sprayed on new suede shoes will help repel water and stains.


To clean nubuck (brushed leather similar to suede, but with a finer nap) treat the shoes with water repellent, Nubuck – use rubber-bristle brush (not nylon) or a suede bar. Use the bar damp to clean and condition, and use the brush to lift the nap. Apply the spray liberally once the shoe is cleaned and leave to absorb into the suede before wear.

Oily leather

For oily casual leather we suggest an oiled leather cream from Woly (Ref. 1478). Apply after cleaning the shoe (as Nubuck) removing any loose dirt. Use a sponge or rubber brush to loosen the leather before applying.

Samuel Windsor now stock a superb range of British made shoe care products including polish, creams, cleaners and sprays for superior protection. For more information on how to take care of men's leather shoes, and an encyclopedic collection of shoe knowledge, visit the Samuel Windsor blog.

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