How to Take Care of Dress Shoes | Leather and Suede

Dress shoes can be expensive. If you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on footwear, then you probably should learn how to take care of dress shoes. Depending on the color and material of your dress shoes, keeping them looking decent can be hard or straightforward.

To help you take good care of your shoes, we’re going to go over some tips and methods that you can employ. This will make taking care of your shoes much simpler, so you’ll be able to incorporate them into your everyday life.

Are Dress Shoes as Easy to Take Care of as Regular Shoes?

Taking care of your dress shoes is not that hard. As compared to regular shoes, it’s often easier. The average person will use their regular shoes a lot more than dress shoes.

In that case, they’ll wear out faster and be harder to take care of. As long as you’re not wearing your dress shoes every single day and clean them occasionally, you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping them in new condition.

There are some situations in which you might need to wear your dress shoes more often, for example, if your job requires formal attire. In cases like these, it’s even more important to ensure that your shoes are well taken care of. It’s a good idea to view them as an investment. The better care you take of your shoes, the longer they’ll last.

Why You Should Take Care of Your Dress Shoes

Taking care of your dress shoes is very important. Dress shoes are different from other shoes as they’re usually made from leather or suede. These types of materials need to be watched and taken care of as they can crack or peel.

You don’t want to buy dress shoes just to have them become damaged. Time tends to wear dress shoes more than it does regular shoes. For this reason, occasionally cleaning them is advised to avoid any unwanted damage.

Don’t worry; this cleaning doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It’s just regular upkeep meant to ensure your shoes stay in a good state for when you next need to wear them. That way, you also won’t have to worry about replacing your shoes as often.

Materials for Cleaning

Before we get into how you can go about cleaning your dress shoes, let’s discuss some materials that you’ll need to get started. None are costly, but all are necessary to properly clean your dress shoes. If all of this sounds like a lot, it’s not and will be well worth it in the long run.

Shoe Brush

A good-quality shoe brush is essential to have as it’s used for buffing. Using any other kind of brush is not advised. Shoe brushes are specifically designed to work on shoes, so they’ll be less likely to cause any damage while offering the best level of effectiveness.

Make sure that you get the right kind of brush for your specific shoes, as styles can vary. If you’re unsure, you can ask a professional at a shoe store, which is the best kind of brush for your particular shoes. There are multiple kinds of brushes for buffing as well as several types designed for finishing.

Shoe Polish

This is your number one tool for cleaning dress shoes. Shoe polish colors are available in different shades depending on the color of your shoes; for black dress shoes, get a black polish and for brown shoes, get a brown polish and so on. There’s also shoe polish available that can be used specifically on any colored shoes.

Polish can be a fantastic way to handle any marks on the shoes as well as make them look fresh overall. It’s a low cost, easy-to-use addition to any shoe collection. It can be worthwhile to get a shoe tree as well, as this can be a great place to place shoes while you’re cleaning them or waiting for them to dry.

Clean Soft Cloth

The cloth is used for the shining and polishing parts of your shoes. Make sure that the fabric is clean; otherwise, you’ll run into unsatisfactory results. Having more than one cloth available is also a good idea. Typically, lint-free cloths are going to be the best ones to use on your shoes.

Suede Brush

Similar to a shoe brush, if you’re working with dress shoes made with suede materials, you should use a suede brush. Again, it’s not advised to use any other kind of brush with suede shoes. Just like standard shoe brushes, you should be able to find these at a local shoe or department store.

Nail Brush

This is another type of brush that comes in handy when cleaning your suede dress shoes. They’re not expensive and helps to accomplish the job!

Crep Protect Spray

This is an important product for any person interested in keeping their shoes clean. This spray uses revolutionary nanotechnology to create an invisible protective barrier that helps protect your shoes from getting spoiled by rain or water stains. It’s perfect for keeping your shoes looking clean and new.

If you’re looking for the most useful items to have, this is undoubtedly one of them. Weather, water, and other daily exposures can cause wear and damage to your shoes, so protecting them with a spray can ensure that they last longer.

How to Take Care of Dress Shoes

Dress shoes can be made of many different materials. We’ll only try to focus on the most popular materials – suede and leather. Most dress shoes on the market use one of these two materials.

Cleaning Your Leather Dress Shoes

Before getting started, make sure that you have all the tools you’re going to need. If your shoes have specific wear or scuff marks, you’ll want to address those first. If you can wipe the marks away with a specialized product, eraser or through normal washing, that’s a great idea. Otherwise, you can move onto the next step.

Polishing is next. This has been the number one method of cleaning leather shoes for as long as dress shoes have been around. You can accomplish a lot with a brush and some polish. You should be aware though that polishing colored dress shoes is a bit more complicated.

You’ll want to make sure you have the right type of polish to not mess up your shoes. Luckily, there is a neutral polish available that can be used to polish any colored shoes.

The procedure of polishing your shoes is relatively simple. You want to begin by making sure there’s no dirt on your shoes. Use a clean, soft cloth to remove any dirt. Now, you can apply your polish to the shoe. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Next, you want to bring out your shoe brush. Make sure it’s clean. Use it to buff your shoe and also remove any minor dirt that you didn’t get with your cloth. Then, you can bring back your clean cloth and rub it quickly on your shoe to shine it.

Cleaning Your Suede Dress Shoes

Suede shoes bring a lot of style to your outfit, but they can be somewhat challenging to clean. Getting past this difficulty only means that you’ll have shoes that last as long as leather dress shoes and also look better.

You’ll want to start as you do with your leather dress shoes by removing any loose dirt with your shoe brush or cloth. Locate any scuff marks and use the suede brush to remedy them. You can also use a nail brush for this step. Next, grab your suede brush to smooth everything out.

Now you can pull out your Crep Protect spray and give your clean suede dress shoes a layer of protection. Using this spray before you even think about wearing your shoes is also an excellent idea for keeping your shoes clean.


So, now you’re fully equipped to take care of your dress shoes. Let’s recap. Yes, taking care of your dress shoes can be easier than with regular shoes.

At least that’s the case for most people. You should look after your dress shoes because replacing them is not cheap. Just because you’re not wearing them, it doesn’t mean they’ll stay looking brand new. Time works on dress shoes faster than it does on ordinary shoes.

That’s why you should invest in the proper tools you’ll need to clean your shoes when you can. This way, your footwear will last a long time, and you won’t need to get a new pair for a while.


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