You are the proud owner of a new pair of premium leather cycling shoes. The soft leather looks beautiful on your feet and fits like a glove. Now you wonder how to take care of them, to keep them looking great and to preserve and prolong the life of your leather cycling shoes. It's really simple.
1. Use a medium to soft bristle brush to remove dust and dirt. Do not rub too vigorously as this may cause surface damage. You may choose to use a leather cleaner (specifically for smooth leather shoes) to shine them up even more. If you use a leather cleaner, let the shoes dry for several minutes before polishing.
2. It is important to condition your leather shoes to soften, moisturize and protect them from drying out. Some leather cleaners both clean and condition shoes. In that case, you may skip to step 3. Rub a small amount of conditioner over the entire shoe with a cotton cloth (old T-shirt works too). Wipe away excess after a few minutes.
*Tip* Use natural conditioners instead of synthetic
3. Dampen another cotton cloth (or T-shirt) with water and dip it into the polish (don't stick directly into polish to avoid thick blotches). Slowly rub into shoes in a circular motion to build up layers. You may use any brand of polish, doesn't need to be the most expensive. Make sure you choose the appropriate color for your shoes. Clear polish works for any color. Allow to dry for 10 minutes.
*Tip* After wearing your leather shoes, try filling them with newspaper to absorb moisture.
4. Once the shoe polish has dried, rub over the shoes one last time with a clean cotton cloth (try using half the cloth for the polish and the clean half to buff). This will leave them with a beautiful shine.
*Optional - Waterproofing
The strongest water protectant is made from beeswax. The all-natural protectant forms a strong water resistant barrier over the surface. Because it is not absorbed directly into the shoe, it can slightly alter how the leather shoe looks. If you are not looking for very strong water resistance, you might try a spray on water protectant.
For more information, here's a wonderful article from About.com explaining how to care for leather shoes.
Have a great next ride!