How to stop leather shoes from creasing

Leather shoes are not cheap, and they are quite often people’s prized possession. So when they begin to crease and wear over time, it can be quite distressing. So what can you do to stop leather shoes from creasing? Is there a foolproof way to stop leather creases from forming in your favourite leather shoes?

What causes leather creases?

Leather creases are almost inevitable when you have leather shoes. Fine shoes are likely to bend over time. It’s nothing to do with the leather quality, or the type of shoe. Leather is flexible and it moves with you. The malleable material means that, over time, your shoe will mold to the shape of your foot.

Without this malleable property, your shoes would be incredibly uncomfortable. Your shoe’s toe box needs to be able to move to allow you to walk, run, crouch, all of which requires you to let your toes bend!

A few things, though, can make leather creasing worse. For example:

  • Shoes with too small of a toe box will cause your foot to need to bend more when walking. This leads to more creasing.
  • Shoes with too big of a toe box will have excess space, which can lead to creasing. The shoe’s shape has a large part to play in creasing.
  • Excess moisture from sweat or puddles can lead to creasing, especially if left too long on or in the shoe.

How to prevent leather shoes from creasing

There are a few things that you can do to prevent your leather shoes from creasing. Many of which fall under simple shoe care. Techniques to remove creases and prevent leather creasing include:

Keep moisture away from your shoes

It is inevitable that you’re going to sweat when you’re wearing shoes. To help protect the leather from this moisture, and any other moisture that the fabric might encounter, you can use a water-repellent or waterproofing spray on the inside of the shoe.

Spray the water repellent on the insole and sides of the shoe to help make the shoes waterproof and to keep them safe from moisture. This should help to prevent creasing.

If your shoes are subjected to excessive moisture, it’s important to dry them out properly with something that can absorb moisture. You can do this by stuffing them with newspaper to absorb excess moisture and leaving them in a well-ventilated space.

This will help to keep your expensive boots free from creases and bends that are worsened or caused by the moisture.

Use a cedar shoe tree

Shoe trees help to minimise the crease at the ‘flex point’ of your leather dress shoes, which is where your feet bend. You can use a shoe tree when not wearing your leather shoes to help to keep them flat and in place, which should counteract the movement you do whilst wearing the shoe.

A cedar tree in particular is a good choice, as cedar shoe trees have a pleasant pine smell that will help to mask the smell of your feet, making shoes smell much nicer! In addition to that, cedar is actually antimicrobial and so can reduce the bacteria inside the shoes; it also has insect repellent properties that can benefit your shoes. Cedar shoe trees are also durable – they’re much less likely than rot and warp than other material. The cedar shoe tree is also moisture repellent, which can be really useful in preventing creases in full grain leather.

Using another shoe tree will also help, but perhaps just not to the same extent as a cedar shoe tree. A plastic shoe tree will also be useful.

Wear the right size shoe

It may sound obvious, but wearing the right size shoe is really important when it comes to trying to stop shoes from creasing. Shoes crease regardless, but larger shoes with a foot that is not filling it entirely are much more likely to crease and bend.

Leather shoes, whether dress shoes or a pointed toe shoe, should hug your feet closely. There should not be any large spaces between your foot and the leather.

Care for the leather

Leather conditioner is an essential part of owning a leather shoe, as is leather polish. By using both, you can help to properly care for the leather. Properly cared for leather is less likely to crease and fold.

To properly care for leather, you should:

  • Clean the leather with a soft bristle brush or a cloth
  • Remove scuff marks and stains with soapy water
  • Blot the water with a cloth
  • Leave the shoe to dry
  • Use a leather cream and conditioner to moisturise the material
  • Use a leather oil to help further care for the shoe
  • Buff the leather up to make it shine

Check the toe spring angle

One of the causes of shoe creasing is a poorly angled toe spring. The toe box should be about 15 degrees up from the ground. You should be able to slide a pencil or pen between the toe box and the floor.

If you can’t, then there is more of a chance that you will experience your leather shoes creasing. It is best to try and avoid shoes that have poorly angled toes, as there’s very little that you can actually do to prevent the creases if it’s caused by the way in which the dress shoes are shaped!

Can you remove wrinkles and creases on leather?

There are a few methods that you can use to remove creases from leather, but you do have to be extremely careful. You can use:

These methods may help to reduce the appearance of the creases, but it’s still easier to prevent creases rather than remove them.

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