Stop scrolling! Before you go on, here’s how to get creases out of leather shoes:
Put your shoes on a shoe tree. Grab a heat source like a blow dryer, and heat the shoes at a 3 to 6-inch distance. Never keep the heat in one place for too long, or the shoes will burn. And, be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot leather—you’ll need to mold it until it becomes crease-free.
Leather shoes are a must-have for every classy adult attending formal events. But the dress shoes themselves don’t stay classy forever.
These sleek shoes weren’t designed for ironing, but sometimes they need it. So you need to find a non-traditional way to do it or an alternative.
Let’s see what we can do.
Before we dig into the methods, be ultra-cautious before you try any de-creasing method.
You’re going to be heating or oiling the leather, and not all shoes can handle it. Always do a test patch on the shoe, somewhere easily concealed.
Also, note that no method will be perfect. Shoes age, so they’ll be beyond salvation eventually. But, if you treat them right, your shoes should age as gracefully as you do.
Please take note of your sneakers’ material before attempting to remove creases. Manufacturers often use synthetic, leathery materials, which may not heat well.
You may remove creases by stretching your sneakers. See our article on how to stretch tennis shoes for tips.
How Do You Fix Creases in Leather?
Let’s start with our methods requiring something like an iron.
1. Blow Dryer/Heat Gun
- Place the leather shoes on a wooden shoe tree, and hang this tree somewhere heat-safe, like a treated wooden door.
- Position your heat source 3–6 inches away.
- Start your heat source on a low temperature, and increase this as you go.
- Move the heat source as you get rid of the shoe creases, so the heat source doesn’t burn the leather.
- Heat them for about five minutes.
- Once the shoes are warm, wait for them to cool enough to touch.
- Now, mold the material with your fingers over the solid shape of the tree.
- Reheat and reshape as needed.
- Keep the shoes on the shoe tree for a few weeks to ensure they keep their shape.
This method is best used on sneakers, not dress shoes, because sneakers generally have tougher leather:
- Stuff the shoes appropriately to mimic your foot being in the shoe.
- Remove the laces to increase ironing efficiency.
- Prepare your iron to 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lay a saturated washcloth over the part of the shoe you’re ironing.
- Iron the shoe through the cloth.
- Let the steam from the cloth stretch the leather, leaving it on until the shoes are cold again.
- Air-dry the shoes on a shoe tree for a few weeks with the washcloth removed.
Steamers work to get creases in shoes out, whether they’re sneakers or dress shoes. They’re especially effective on creases in sneakers, though:
- Get the laces out of your creased shoes.
- Put the shoes on a shoe tree or stuff them to the shape of your foot.
- Place a washcloth over the toe box.
- Get the creases out through the washcloth, lightly touching the cloth with the streamer.
- Never leave the steamer in one spot, and go until you cover the entire cloth.
- Leave the shoes uncovered to dry and reshape on the tree/around the stuffing for a few weeks.
How Do You Get Wrinkles Out of Leather Shoes Without an Iron?
If you want to know how to get creases out of leather shoes sans-heat, there are some methods for that. Too.
They may not be as effective but are worth trying with shoes creasing when you’re too wary of using a heat source.
1. Oil Massage
- Find a leather-compatible oil, and use a minimal amount to massage the shoes. This can soften the leather to remove creases.
- Place the shoes on a shoe tree.
- Smooth the creases, and leave it to reshape.
Pro Tip: Compatible oils include common household oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil.
2. Alcohol Rub
Alcohol also relaxes leather, so it removes creases in leather shoes. Just try not to drench the material, as it may dry it out:
- Mix a 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water solution.
- Spray this on creases in the leather.
- Put the shoes on a shoe tree to smooth out the creases.
- Condition or polish the leather.
Is It Normal for Leather Shoes to Crease?
Yes, it’s absolutely normal for leather shoes to crease. It may be annoying, and creases eventually become unsightly, but it’s a natural process. Remember, tanners craft the material from animal skin, so it’s going to behave like skin.
You can do your best to try and stop creasing early-on, though:
1. Proper Storage
Leather shoes may develop dents from the pressure if you store them with other garments on top.
Instead, store them on a rack or with shoe trees inside them.
2. Wear Shoes That Fit
The more freedom your shoe has to bend, the more creases it’ll get.
Have you ever noticed sneakers creasing and cracking where the toes bend? That’s normal; it’s the most-flexed part of the shoe. Your higher-end leather shoes function the same way.
If your shoes don’t fit correctly, there’s more room for the leather to bend in different places and form creases.
Make sure you know how to fit shoes correctly with our shoe sizing and fitting guide.
Also, ensure your shoes are narrow or wide enough for your feet, despite the confusing letter-sizing-system. For help with this, check out our article on what does shoe width letters mean?
3. Go One-Piece
A shoe’s every seam will experience some level of pressure as your foot stretches them. So, try and wear shoes crafted in one piece.
The more seams there are, the more space tension there is for shoes to get wrinkles.
How to Prevent Creases in Advance?
Even if you store them perfectly, they’re crafted in one piece, and they fit like a dream, creases still crop up.
Here are two tips to keep your leather shoes free of creases for longer:
- Use a shoe horn to put them on, preventing creases from appearing in the heel.
- Procure some sneaker shields and use them when you’re wearing sneakers.
One alternative to your easy-crease leather shoes is wearing faux leather.
Faux leather is more durable than genuine leather, and here’s what it won’t do:
- Fade in UV light too easily.
Yes, it may crease, but it’s easier to get creases out of this material. You can use the same methods as you would with leather shoes, but less frequently.
Faux Leather Pros
- More durable.
- Strain resistant.
- Unlikely to fade in the sun (or other UV lighting) easily.
- More breathable than genuine leather, thanks to microfibers in the faux material.
- Undetectable from the real thing.
Faux Leather Cons
- You can’t brag about your genuine leather shoes.
- Not puncture or tear-resistant.
- Doesn’t stretch as easily, so you’ll need the perfect fit from day one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Leather Shrink When Wet?
Yes, leather can shrink when wet, so be careful! This is why you should always let leather air-dry on a shoe tree to avoid shrinkage and creases. If you wet the material, stuff the garment at once to maintain its current shape. It’s less likely to shrink or forced to hold a certain shape.
How Do You Rehydrate Leather?
Use a leather-safe conditioner to try and rehydrate your stiff, brittle leather. Apply the conditioner, and let it sit for 20–30 minutes as the leather absorbs it. Then, wipe it away with a cloth. Repeat this monthly until the leather is sufficiently soft.
How Do You Revive Dry Cracked Leather?
Here’s how you revive dry, cracked leather:
- Thoroughly clean the material with leather cleaner or soap.
- Air-dry the material overnight or over a few days.
- Smooth any creases as best you can, using one of our methods.
- Use leather filler on the cracks.
- Wipe away the excess filler.
- Wait six hours for the material to dry.
- Condition the leather until it’s rehydrated.
What Is the Best Oil For Leather?
The best oils are milk oil, coconut oil, leather honey oil, essential lemon oil and virgin olive oil for removing creases or conditioning leather. You can also use natural baby soap and beeswax.
Can You Use Baby Oil On Leather?
Yes, you can use baby oil to remove creases or shine your old leather shoes. For removing creases shoes, massage the shoes with baby oil then use stuffing or a shoe tree to shape the material. For shining shoes, use small amounts as needed and rub it in using a polishing cloth.
The Creaseless Ending
One of these solutions will work for you—just experiment and see what you’re comfortable with.
Now you know how to get creases out of leather shoes, tell all your wrinkly-shoed friends!
If you have any alternative solutions, share them below. The more ways there are to get creases out, the better. Such shoes are too classy and too expensive to waste wearing full of creases!