How to polish leather shoes for a beautiful shine

TLC for those leather shoes that take you through days out, nights out, total puddle wipe outs

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Well-looked-after leather shoes are undeniably smart, but to keep them looking their best you’ll need to know how to care for leather shoes properly. With the right maintenance and ongoing leather care, you can keep yours in great shape for longer. Here’s how to polish shoes so that their shine lasts.

How to polish shoes

Leather shoes are known for their classic and long-lasting appeal, and with the right approach you can keep wear and tear at bay. Whether it’s shoes or leather boot care, regularity and attention to detail is key.

The best way to polish shoes is to be methodical, take your time and do it thoroughly. Leather shoe care is an ongoing process, and once you know what you’re doing it’ll be a quick and easy part of your routine. Here’s how to shine shoes:

  1. Before you get into the task at hand, the best way to polish shoes without mess is to lay down some newspaper.
  2. Remove your laces and set them to the side for separate cleaning.
  3. Take some strong kitchen paper and dampen it a little, then wipe away any dirt and grime. Make sure you get rid of all the debris, otherwise you could end up working it into your shoes.
  4. For extra-stubborn marks, combine a little water and white vinegar, and scrub in circles.
  5. Leave the shoes to dry completely.
  6. Take up a little polish on your polish brush. Work this into your shoes, covering all areas.
  7. Leave them for a good few hours – at least two hours, but overnight if you can.
  8. Finish with a final buff, before replacing your clean laces.


For top-notch leather shoe care, a final buff will bring out the best shine. We recommend using strong and absorbent Plenty The Original One to soak up any excess polish and leave your shoes super shiny.

On-going leather care

That’s how to shine shoes, but what about on-going care? Whether it’s shoes or leather boot care, there are a number of things you can do to keep them looking their best for longer:

  • Remove marks of dirt, mud and grime whenever you see them.
  • Apply a specialist product regularly to protect your shoes from water.
  • Always make sure they’re dry before storing.
  • Use shoehorns to put them on and take them off so that they retain their shape and don’t crack.
  • Clean and polish regularly.

With the right care, cleaning and maintenance, leather shoes will retain their look and stay in good shape. Now that you know how to care for leather shoes properly, you can look forward to enjoying your favourite footwear for a long time.

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