Have you ever thought about ironing your shoes?
Most people haven’t, but it’s a technique for getting creases out of leather shoes.
Leather is not designed to be ironed, but if your boots, sneakers, dress shoes or blue suede shoes have become creased, the heat can relax the wrinkles.
There are other methods for removing creases out of leather shoes too.
Be careful when using the methods below. Too much heat can damage your shoes.
Always test out a small spot to make sure that it doesn’t change the color or texture before you apply the process to the entire shoe.
Also, remember that leather, like your skin, is going to develop some creases.
You can prevent some from occurring, and you can repair minor creases, but ultimately, a great shoe is bound to show a little age.
Why Does Leather Get Creased?
Some people believe that high-quality leather won’t crease. However, leather can develop deep wrinkles for a number of reasons.
Leather can become creased or wrinkled from being improperly stored.
It can also develop pressure marks when something else is pressing on it for a long period of time.
Shoes specifically become creased from repeatedly bending where your foot flexes.
Many sneakers and boots develop creases on the upper, in the area where the toes meet the foot.
Shoes that fit poorly tend to crease more than shoes that fit well.
If you have extra space around your foot, your shoe will have more room to bend. Therefore, someone with a larger foot will typically experience fewer creases as someone who has a smaller foot but wears the same size shoe.
The construction of the shoe also matters.
Shoes that are made from multiple pieces of leather experience tension at every seam. Therefore, they don’t react as dramatically from the tension that your foot puts on them.
Shoes that are made from one piece of leather are more likely to develop creases as you wear them.
How To Get Creases Out Of Leather Shoes With An Iron
Instructables offers tips for using an iron to get creases out of leather shoes. For this technique, you’ll need a steam iron, cardboard inserts or newspaper for stuffing the shoes, and a bottle of water.
This is an ideal technique for sneakers. However, it may not be the best way to get creases out of leather dress shoes or fancy boots.
- Fold and roll the paper into the shape of your foot, and tape them down so that they hold their shape.
- Pack the inserts or paper into the shoes.
- Remove the laces from the shoes to make them easier to iron and prevent burns on the cotton.
- Fill the iron with water and turn it on. (
between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.)
- Place a washcloth over the toe box of the shoe, and saturate it with water.
- Iron the washcloth over the area where there are creases. The steam from the washcloth and the iron will cause the leather to stretch.
- Leave the washcloths on the shoes while they cool down.
- Remove the washcloths and let the shoes dry.
You can also place the shoe on a shoe tree for a few weeks after you complete this process to retrain your shoes to maintain the right shape.
- The moist heat stretches the leather, easing the crease out.
- Leather can be damaged by excessive moisture and heat.
- Works better on sneakers than dress shoes.
- May disturb the nap of suede shoes.
Using A Steamer
A steamer may work better than an iron because it moves easily over the rounded shape of the shoe.
- Remove the shoelaces.
- Stuff the shoe with paper or old socks.
- Cover the toe box with a washcloth.
- Gently touch the washcloth with the steamer, moving it continuously.
- Effectively gets rid of creases, especially on sneakers.
- May work better than ironing on suede or nubuck.
Heating With A Blow Dryer Or Heat Gun
If you’re nervous about ironing your shoes, consider applying heat with a blow dryer or heat gun.
When you use this method, use the largest shoe tree possible. It works best when the leather is fully stretched.
However, you don’t want to increase the size of the shoe, which will allow for more space around your foot and cause more creases to develop.
This video demonstrates how to use this method to get creases out of your leather shoes.
- Place the shoe on a shoe tree.
- Hold a blow dryer or heat gun about 3 to 6 inches away from the shoe, moving it constantly to prevent burns.
- Massage the creases once you work.
- When the leather is hot, continue to rub the creases against the shoe tree to mold the shoe back to its proper shape.
- Once the shoes have cooled down, use polish to restore their finish and condition the leather.
- Effectively removes creases on dress shoes.
- Because the heat can darken the leather, this method may work better on darker shoes than lighter ones.
- Overheating the heel and toe areas can cause them to lose shape.
Massaging With Oil
Using a mild oil that’s designed to use on leather can help release creases.
- Apply a few drops of oil to the crease.
- Massage the leather to soften it.
- Place the shoe on a tree to reshape it.
- Works well on minor or new creases.
- Conditions the leather, potentially preventing new creases from forming.
- Won’t improve old, deep creases much.
Using Alcohol On Your Shoes
Alcohol causes leather to relax, which can help you reshape them if they are creased.
- Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of water and rubbing alcohol.
- Spray onto the crease and massage it.
- Alternatively, you can spray the alcohol inside the shoe before wearing it or fitting it with a shoe tree.
- Follow up with an application of leather conditioner or shoe polish.
- Alcohol can soften the leather around the crease.
- Too much alcohol can dry out the leather.
Can You Prevent Shoe Creases Before They Happen?
You can’t completely prevent your shoes from creasing, but you can take a few steps to reduce the likelihood that they’ll crease significantly. These include:
- Using a shoe tree to maintain the shape of the shoe and keep the leather tight.
- Slip on your shoes using a shoe horn so that you don’t damage the back of the shoe or flex the shoe too much while you’re putting it on.
- Use a product such as Sneaker Shields while you’re wearing your shoes.
This video shows how the Sneaker Shields work.
Leather looks great with a little age, but too many wrinkles can make it look tired and worn out. Also, deep creases can rub against your feet, causing blisters.
If you have paid a lot of money for your shoes, you probably want to keep them in good shape. Moreover, if you frequently wear dress shoes, keeping them smooth and shiny will make them look more professional.
Do you have a successful technique to get creases out of leather shoes? If so, feel free to leave a comment. Share this with your friends if they need to know some tricks for removing wrinkles on leather.