How to restore your creased leather shoes is a question as old as leather shoes. Thankfully, a shoe is rarely beyond recovery. But if you are the type to never use shoe trees, wears his shoes daily without rotation, and doesn’t think shoe polish is necessary, well you might find yourself in a precarious position on shoe restoration.
For those who simply wear their shoes hard and every now and then find them quite creased, following these simple steps can help you restore your creased leather shoes to top form again. But, like anything, it can be viewed easier than in reality. You must note, that not all colors can take the heat in the same way. Same for leathers. Some will darken immediately. Heating the leather can also have adverse effects if one is careless. So always test the leather first on the inside heel to see how it reacts.
Generally speaking, you will always be safe with darker colors. Holding the heat gun at least 3-6 inches away from the leather is advisable. It can burn the leather if not careful. If your shoes have lacked proper shoe care and the leather is quite dry, it will be best to apply a round of conditioner. Allow that conditioner to dry overnight before applying the heat gun to attempt to restore your creased leather shoes. Use shoe trees during the process. Tight ones are preferable to help push out the creasing so that the leather sets once you heat it. Repeat when necessary.
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—Justin FitzPatrick, The Shoe Snob