With the correct care and maintenance your Loake shoes will retain their excellent appearance and comfort for years to come. Here are some tips we have drawn up to advise customers on how best to look after their shoes.

Leather is a natural product so your shoes will benefit from regular application of a good quality shoe cream or wax polish. This will help to moisturise the leather, keeping it supple and preventing drying or cracking. The wax polish will also provide some protection from staining and bring a shine to the uppers. Before polishing, make sure to wipe over your shoes with a dry cloth first to remove any surface dirt.

Calf leather in particular will readily absorb the pigment in shoe cream and wax polish, therefore care should be taken to select the appropriate colour match. Some people deliberately choose a darker polish to give the shoes a more ‘antique’ patina. Waxy leather uppers can be treated with an oiled leather wax or dubbin to retain the more matt appearance. This will also help provide a degree of water resistance.

Fine leather shoes can require a full day to dry out from natural perspiration. Try to alternate your shoes to give them at least twenty-four hours between wears. This is a good excuse to make sure you have several pairs of Loake shoes in your wardrobe!

Try to wear your shoes in dry conditions on the first few occasions. The fine grit picked up by dry leather soles assists water resistance and will help increase the lifespan of the sole.

Try to avoid excessive wetting. Should this occur always let the shoes dry out naturally away from sources of direct heat. Excess heat can cause sole or upper leather to crack. Newspaper stuffed inside the shoes will help to draw out moisture.

Always use a shoe horn when putting on your shoes, to keep the backs strong and sturdy.

It is a good idea to use shoe trees when the shoes are not in wear. These help the shoes to retain their shape. Our Loake cedar wood shoe trees help to draw out moisture also impart a pleasant aroma.

We do not recommend attaching additional rubber pieces to our Goodyear Welted soles, as these can affect the comfort and balance of the shoe. They can also put unnecessary strain on the shoe construction.

Goodyear Welted shoes are designed to be repairable. We recommend that the shoes are repaired as soon as the outer sole shows signs of wearing through to the cork lining. Irrepairable damage to the insole may occur if you continue to wear the shoes after the outer sole has developed a hole.

Find out more about our repair and refurbishment service here.

Loake branded shoe care products can be purchased from our online store here.

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  • 32 Replies to “Shoe Care Guide”

    1. Graham

      I have a pair of bedale boots in dark brown, royals in red and Edwards in tan. Is it alright to use cream and wax on them?
      I also have Saphir renovatuer. Is is alright to use that on them?



      • Oliver Coker

        Hi Graham, we’d recommend the use of both cream and wax for a calf leather item such as the Bedale, and the Edward. Whilst we wouldn’t normally recommend third party products specifically, I am sure you wouldn’t have any problems using the Saphir renovatuer…

        Thanks, Oliver

    2. Stephen

      I alternate wearing my shoes to give them a chance to dry in-between, and use show trees. I work in the city and like to take longest walks most days to different offices rather than take the tube. With the recent wet weather, I have found the soles becoming wet very quickly with all the unpleasantness that that brings.
      Is there any special care I should be taking of the soles, or treatment that I should apply? Someone has suggested saddle soap, and another has suggested a water-proofing spray for the soles only. Any recommendations from you? Thanks

      • Oliver Coker

        We don’t have any specific products in stock ourselves to recommend, there are a number of products out there which claim to help with waterproofing & prolonging the life of leather soles. We haven’t as yet tested any of these so wouldn’t be able to offer any recommendations, I’m sorry we cant be more helpful. what we would recommend as previously stated is making sure the shoes are thoroughly dried before wearing them again – at least 24 hours. Also it is important not to use any direct source of heat to assist in drying the shoes.

    3. Sam

      I have many pairs of Loake shoes. Several pairs need new heels (the rubber has worn down at the outer edge) but the shoes are still quite new and the soles do not need to be changed yet. Am I able to send the shoes to you for new heels, and, if so, what is the cost please?

      • Oliver Coker

        Hello Sam, we offer a heel replacement service at our factory, the cost for which is £37.50. this includes postage both ways within the UK. Please follow the return instructions as per a full sole and heel repair here : https://www.loake.co.uk/repairs/ (obviously you’ll want to indicate you require a heel repair only !)

    4. Paul hunter

      As leather soles receive a lot of wear and tear could you recommend a treatment that would help to preserve and protect the sole. Many thanks

      • Oliver Coker

        Hello Paul, we don’t have any specific products we can recommend, however good practice with leather soled (and in fact all leather shoes) is not to wear them on consecutive days, to allow the leather to dry out – both from external wetting and perspiration etc. This will result in greater longevity per wear for the leather components. we’d also advise not wearing leather soled shoes in wet conditions for the first few wears, if it can be avoided.

    5. Neil Foster

      I have 2 pairs of loakes which I have just recently purchased & absolutely love. The shoes are:
      Laine Dawson in oxblood/burgundy& Loake Ashby in tan.

      I would like to know which creams/polishes I need to purchase & if you could advise how to care for the shoes please?
      Is there a kit I could purchase for both?



      • Oliver Coker

        Hi Neil, We would recommend a burgundy/oxblood polish for your Dawson shoes. As these are a polishes leather you wouldn’t need to use a shoe cream. For you Ashby shoes you can use a tan or a neutral shoe cream, which will help to feed the leather and keep it supple, and a tan polish if required to give the shoes a shine.

    6. Levi O'Callaghan

      Are the Loake Lifestyle Verona Loafers Goodyear welt? Really lovely fit but the stitching suggests it may be a cemented sole.

    7. Nick M

      I have just purchased online direct a set of black Finsbury shoes, please can you advise whether or not the best aftercare advice is as stated above? They appear to have a high shine upper so I am not sure about what the best care should be or whether in fact they are just fantastically polished?

      Thank you

      • Loake

        Hi Nick
        The ‘Polished’ leather as used in Finsbury is treated at the tannery with a top coat, which is then buffed by us to a high shine once the shoes have been constructed.
        This type of leather does not require as much care as full grain or ‘calf’ leathers.
        For polished shoes, clean the shoes with a little water and sponge or soft cloth, allow to dry naturally. You can then apply wax polish to a high shine, apply sparingly and buff to a shine with a cloth or shoe brush.
        You can find a suitable wax polish here : https://www.loake.co.uk/product/oiled-leather-wax-natural
        This leather type does not need shoe cream.
        Hope this helps 🙂

    8. Chez


      I need some help with the right shoe Polish colour for the brown /mahogany Holborn. I do not want to darken the shoe. Can you please recommend a particular make?

    9. Luke McGlone

      Hi there,
      I purchased my shoes with a leather sole less than six months ago. I wore them in the rain and they wore through the cork very quickly.
      Does this mean they are irreparable?
      They took a few weeks to break in but I have found them extremely comfortable ever since and am currently heading to buy a new pair of Loakes.
      However, I would like to know how to increase the life of the soles. If I have to refurbish the shoes every six months for £75 this seems fairly steep.
      Best regards,

      • Loake

        Hi Luke
        Would it be possible for you to email us a picture of the soles? We might be able to advise regarding whether a repair can be done. (store@loake.co.uk)
        Leather soles will wear more quickly than rubber soles, especially in damp conditions. We can resole most of our leather soled shoes with a rubber alternative, which will be longer lasting. You may wish to consider this for one or more pairs to use in wet weather rather than a leather soled shoe.
        Not wearing leather footwear on consecutive days will also help increase the lifespan of the leather pro-rata, as it will have time to dry out from both external wetting and natural perspiration etc.
        Hope this helps 🙂

    10. Mr . clive Powell

      I purchased a pair of tan coloured Loake shoes earlier this year. Inevitably, stains from wear and tear are appearing. Is there a way to remove these stains?

    11. Thanks for the advice on how to take care of shoes, maintaining shoes can be a complicated process if you did do not know that to do so this post was definitely helpful, particularly the advice about getting shoes wet.

    12. Paul Revere

      Hi, I have just purchased a pair of Thirsk boots. They look and feel fantastic.
      As they are light tan in colour, I would like to know what polish/cream/wax would you recommend to keep them in tip top condition.
      Many thanks, Paul

    13. Ian K

      Hi – I have always worn Loake and continue to do so – regularly replacing my soles and am happy with the comfortable service I get from my shoes. I polish using Kiwi black parade gloss polish. But recently someone advised that it contains wax/silicone that actually dries out the leather leading to cracking. Please can you advise if this is true and if so – are you able to advise of an alternative black high shine product that I can change to so as to ensure I don’t damage my shoes.

      Kind regards, Ian.

    14. David Douglas

      I’ve just bought a pair of Loake calf leather brogues with a Goodyear welted sole in tan. Should I treat them before I wear them and, if so, am I best going for a neutral / clear cream to add protection but retain the original colour?

      Can such a cream be bought from you direct? Do you have outlets on the high street that sell it?


    15. Philip Bird

      Dear Sir, I am thinking of buying a pair of Chester Brogues with Dianite soles, are they repairable at you facility? Also can you advise me of the wear property of such material as opposed to leather.Thanks Philip Bird.

      • Loake

        Thanks for your message Philip. Yes, this shoe is made using the Goodyear welted construction, so the Dainite sole is replaceable. Actually, when we do repairs, we’re often asked to fit a different type of sole.

        Leather has many wonderful properties as a soling material, but it does wear out faster than rubber and will therefore need repairing sooner. The Dainite sole is extremely hard-wearing and will last longer than a leather sole.

        Hope this helps.

    16. Paul Turner

      Is it possible to purchase laces direct from yourselves? I have bought “Loake” laces from third parties previously that were very inferior to those which the shoes come laced with originally. Grateful for any advice by return.

    17. Excellent advice. I’m still pondering when to send my trusty Chesters for new soles. They’re nowhere near through to the cork, but the toes seems to be worn almost through to the welt.


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