Leather shoes are not only a classic choice of footwear for many people, but they are also a durable, comfortable and long-lasting option. The luster and the shine in them when they are new is very exciting, but unfortunately, they don’t stay perfect, because, like all skin, leather gets creases that make it look old and imperfect.
There’s good news and bad news; the bad news is that you can’t actually stop your leather shoes from creasing and having wrinkles. The good news is that you can significantly reduce it, and even to a great extent, prevent it from happening, all by yourself from the comfort of your home. Read on to find out how.
Why are Creasing Shoes Bad?
Creasing your shoes is bad because it gives your shoes a very unattractive look and makes them look really old, or should we say, ancient.
Do you know, how the slightest appearance of wrinkles makes a good percentage of the female population feel they are getting old? It’s a very similar occurrence for shoes. Leather shoes are smooth and great-looking when they are new, but with use, crease lines start appearing all over the shoe and this makes the shoe look less attractive.
Apart from making the shoes look like relics, creasing shoes can also lead to tears on the shoes or the leather peeling away from the shoes, in severe cases. This is because the more the shoe crease and the creases deepen, the looser the fibers of the leather get. And the looser they get, the more the chances of getting tears and holes in your shoes.
Creasing shoes also weakens the heel in the event of crushing the heel of your leather shoes when you’re putting them on. The heel of leather shoes is stiffer than other parts of the shoe, but repeatedly crushing them will make them softer than normal and collapse, causing creases and wrinkles.
Where Should Shoes Crease?
All things being equal, the most likely place that your leather shoes will crease in will be the part of the upper that covers the widest part of your feet where your foot bends. This is because as your foot bends, so will your shoe, and its actually a natural (if you can call it that) crease site, and with good care for your leather shoe, the creasing shouldn’t be so bad.
But the problem is that all things are rarely equal, especially in the matter of leather shoes. The following are the times when all things are not equal and your shoes may crease at other parts of your shoe.
1) A Not-So-Perfect Fit
A shoe that’s not your exact fit will definitely crease in several places. This is because there is no support for the shoe, especially for the upper, and the leather will have more room to crease than normal.
This is especially true for shoes that have too much space in the toe box area, as this can cause pain on your toes. How this happens is that the leather creases just after the area of your toes, and then as you walk, that area bends and causes you pain.
2) Leftover Moisture
Rarely will you wear your shoe and not have some perspiration in your foot. Generally, most people ensure the moisture doesn’t remain on their feet once they take off their shoes, with an athlete’s foot and other fungal infections not so distant thoughts in their heads.
But what about your shoe? Yes, you say you leave it out to dry, but does it really dry or is the moisture absorbed by the leather (read as skin) of your shoe?
Actually, the moisture is generally absorbed and then the leather material of your shoes get expanded and more flexible, and over time, the material stretches, causing the fibers of your leather shoes to become more and more looser, and hence becoming the perfect formation ground for creases and wrinkles in your shoe.
3) Wearing Your Leather Shoe Wrongly
This is also another cause of shoes having creases. If when you’re wearing your shoes, you press down on the heel area and the surrounding areas, then your shoe will have creases in the heel area and the areas under your ankles.
Do Shoe Trees Prevent Creasing?
To be frank, no. But this isn’t an indictment of shoe trees, more like an acknowledgment of the fact that nothing can actually stop creases from happening.
Now that’s we’ve cleared that up, shoe trees are actually a useful tool in the fight against creases, as proper and consistent use of them can reduce the likelihood of creases appearing on your shoes.
When you’re not wearing your shoes, insert your shoe tree into them. The shoe tree keeps the leather taut and stretched, reducing the severity of creases when they happen. Storing your shoes with a shoe tree when you’re not wearing them helps keep your shoes stretched and reduces the creases on it, meaning your shoes will look less unsightly.
Also, shoe trees absorb moisture from your shoes as the wooden material absorbs leftover sources of moisture, cue sweat or water. This, in conjunction with stretching your shoes and keeping it taut to prevent creases, is what makes shoe trees a popular choice for helping to prevent, as much as possible, any incidents of creases in your shoes.
Does Using an Iron Really Get the Creases Out?
Yes, using iron can really get the creases out of your leather shoe. But there’s a caveat here; it has to be done correctly or you’ll ruin your shoes. To use an iron to get creases out of your shoes, follow the steps below;
Step 1: Soak a piece of cotton cloth in water, remove and then squeeze till water doesn’t drip anymore.
Step 2: Fill your leather shoes with newspapers until its full. Make sure the shoes don’t have an area where the leather material is folding.
Step 3: Lay the damp cloth on your shoe, going for the areas that have the creases.
Step 4: Get a steam iron and fill it with water. Put the iron on a low to medium heat and steam iron the damp cotton cloth with the shoes underneath.
Step 5: Let the shoes cool. The creases and the wrinkles should be gone by then.
A note of warning: Test the heat on a small part of your shoe to see if there would be any adverse effect. Also, be careful not to let the iron stay in one place for too long, as it could damage your shoes.
Lastly, let the shoes cool down naturally. Don’t use any artificial method to cool down the shoes as that might cause the shoe to shrink very fast and become a smaller size.
Alternatively, you can use a steamer or a dryer to do the same thing, as they arguably give you more control than an iron.
How to Get Wrinkles out of Leather Shoes
If your shoes already have wrinkles, don’t worry, it can be fixed. We know you’d ideally not want wrinkles, but with our expert advice, you can repair your leather shoe and make it relatively free of wrinkles.
The following are the ways we recommend for you to get wrinkles out of your leather shoes;
1) Iron the shoe and store with a shoe tree in it
We’ve already dealt with how you can iron your shoes to get creases and wrinkles out earlier in this post. But if you want further assurances that wrinkles would be a thing of the past on your leather shoes, you can store your shoes for about two weeks with a wooden shoe tree in them.
The aim of this is that the shoe tree would provide sort of a mold for your shoes as they cool from the heat of the ironing (or blasting with a dryer).
2) Store the shoe with a shoe tree in it
This is basically the same as the first option, just that you may not choose to iron first before inserting your shoe tree into the shoes.
3) Use leather oils to condition the shoe
You can also use leather friendly oil to massage your leather shoes. Massage the oil into the wrinkles and use a shoe tree to keep the shoes stretched so the oil would condition the leather and prevent further creases.
How to Keep Shoes from Creasing When Walking
There’s really not a lot you can do to keep your shoes from creasing when you walk, but there are things you can do to slow down the creasing or reduce it drastically.
You can use shoe horns when you wear your shoes so the heel won’t crease.
You can also use shoe trees every time you remove your shoes. This way, the wooden material will absorb leftover moisture and also help you control odor in your leather shoes.
Also, try to get the correct shoe fit for you. This is because, with the right shoe fit, there won’t be any space, or at worst, there will be little space between your instep and the upper. Either way, wearing a shoe that fits you will reduce creasing as there won’t be any loose leather for creases to form on.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
Shoe creases are basically unavoidable, but there are ways by which you can reduce the severity and slow it down. Also, let no one deceive you, shoes don’t crease because the leather is the poor quality of the leather is of great quality.
Rather, shoes crease because there is excess leather for the wrinkles to form on, and a key way for this to happen is for the shoe to be a bad fit; too small means the leather will bend with your feet, pinching you and causing pain, and too big will mean excess leather that would be loose and allow creases to form. So, get your proper shoe size, and you’re in business. Ciao!