Caring for Leather Shoes in Wet Weather

Rain. Some consider it a blessing others consider it a fashion menace. Why a menace? Because you can’t dress as you please under rainy conditions.

Whereas clothes’ designers have come up with fashionable apparel that is suitable for rainy seasons, shoe designers are yet to conclusively come up with a shoe that serves both utility and fashion during the wet season. This leaves a majority of shoe wearers in a dilemma as to whether to go for a chic looking shoe to match their attire or a weather-appropriate shoe that does no justice to their overall look. In most cases, they choose the former.

Wearing your regular leather dress shoes during rainy seasons has quite a number of challenges. It is virtually impossible to avoid mud and water during such a season, of course with the exception of the few who own vehicles. In as much as regular cleaning through polishing or using water resistant sprays will help the shoes to remain in a good working condition for a while, shoe experts are almost unanimous that leather shoes should not be used during the rainy season.

Naturally, leather shoes are sturdy and last longer if they are kept with great care. However, when trudging through the rain water and/or mud, one always runs the risk of ruining good footwear. Repeated contact with rain water spoils the leather and the shoes will be rendered un-wearable within a short time.


If you have to wear your shoes in the rain, below are a number of precautions which shoe experts believe must be taken in order to ensure that your shoes serve you satisfactorily under such circumstances.

1. Ensure you have multiple pairs of shoes: This will give the wet shoes ample time to dry properly before storage and subsequently, the next wear. Damp leather is sensitive to heat, which will harden the shoes, and form cracks, when flexed.

2. How to dry the shoes: Leather should never be dried directly under sunlight as they will become as dry as sandpaper thus form cracks. As a means of artificially drying the shoes, you can either stuff them with newspaper crumpled into balls or even stuffed tissue papers, as they absorb the water from the inside part of the shoes.

3. The problem of moisture: The glue that firmly holds the upper to the sole is weakened by moisture. In addition, if the shoes are not used for a long time, moisture may even cause cracks in the soles. A small packet of baking soda or charcoal will prevent moisture, odor and bacteria from accumulating in the shoes.

4. Socks are a must: Even if they get wet, socks act as a barrier between the skin and the leather. Direct skin contact with leather footwear especially when wet, can cause bacterial growth.

5. Regular polishing: Wax polish is always good on shoes, as they repel water, and prevent shoe damage. This however, is limited depending on amount of water the shoes are externally exposed to.

Whereas these remedies will provide simple solutions to the challenges encountered when wearing your favorite leather shoes during rainy seasons, it is still highly recommended that you avoid exposing your shoes to such wet conditions if you want to maximize their durability.

Please share with us any more tips that work for you.

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