How Do I Choose the Best Leather Shoe Cream?

Nicky Sutton

Leather shoe cream helps to protect your shoes from the elements by penetrating the leather to provide moisture. A good leather shoe cream can lengthen the life of your shoes while keeping them looking new. It should apply smoothly and easily, and be buffed away with minimal effort to leave an attractive shine. The brand you choose should offer a comprehensive selection of colors so that you can find the best match for your shoes. Quality shoe cream must restore the color of your shoes while treating scuffs and blemishes.

Woman shopping
Woman shopping

Choose a brand of leather shoe cream that is available in a wide variety of colors so that you can find an exact match for your shoes. There should be a range of browns, available from light to dark, as well as blue, navy, cream, black and white. There should also be a neutral color available for when an exact match cannot be found.

The color shown on the product packaging should be representative of the color of the shoe cream supplied. Ensure the color matches your shoes by wearing them or bringing them to the store when you buy the product. Although the appearance of scuffs and blemishes should improve after using the shoe cream, do not expect significant damage to the leather to be repaired or hidden.

Leather shoe cream should nourish and moisturize shoes, as leather can dry and crack over time, partly due to exposure to the elements. Choose a cream that contains wax which helps protect the leather, sealing it from water damage. Ease of application is important when using leather shoe cream and it must spread over the shoes smoothly and evenly. It should be of a creamy and slightly sticky texture, not clumpy and dry.

An attractive shine should be achievable with minimal buffing using a soft brush. Expect the shoe cream to soak into the leather within about 10 to 15 minutes, after which it should be ready for buffing. The finished result must be free of streaks or dull patches. Avoid leather shoe cream that contains acrylic as this can build up to form a dull layer on the leather, causing it to dry out.

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Discussion Comments


@rundocuri- That is a very good tip for anyone needed to buff their leather shoes with shoe cream. Brown and burgundy are the most difficult colors to distinguish, in my opinion.

It's also a good idea to try a bit of the shoe cream on a spot on the shoe that isn't noticeable to make sure it is the right color before you apply it to the entire shoe.


When purchasing leather shoe cream, it is very important that you make sure you get the right color. I once used navy cream on black shoes because it looked black in the packaging. Needless to say, the shoes did not look very good when I was finished applying it.

A good way to avoid this problem is to take your shoes with you when you buy leather shoe cream. You will be sure to get a precise match when you hold the cream colors next to your shoes.


I have found that rubbing a little olive oil on leather shoes keeps them moisturized and looking great. This trick is also good for the environment, because using olive oil eliminates the need for using a petroleum-based leather cream.

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