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Get The Most Out Of Your Leather Shoes

Shoes, shoes, shoes, what have they got to do – look glamourous on the fashion walk, fit like a glove cosy and sweet, walk miles, look smart, be comfortable, be good for your feet. For this last and most important function we all do know what sort of footwear does this best – closest to our skin, leather … and more importantly leather well looked after .

What do your shoes say about you?  Early business advice given to me was to disregard what the other person was wearing, be suited, scruffy or outlandish focus on the shoes and the type and condition will tell you everything. ‘Down at Heel’ says it all.  Shoes, shoes, shoes, glamourous, robust, functional, or clearly a crazy buy they all look better, perform better, and feel better with a bit of TLC.

Leather shoes and boots should and can last for many years with maybe minor repairs for heeling or resoling at your local store.

Pickstones Leather Balm not only restores the leather with natural oils that can seep deep into the biological structure restoring and reviving the leather micro fibres to allow it to perform to the degree of suppleness to as intended when new (some leathers are designed to be stiff and self supporting others to be soft).  

For further research and information regarding the leather manufacturing process and how Pickstones  from an historic traditional recipe has been created to work in harmony with the leathers please refer to…….

This treatment of Pickstones Leather Balm is all occurring underneath a natural waxy finish which not only looks smart but protects with a natural sheen preventing moisture and dirt from being absorbed which is another cause of serious damage to the structure of the leather. By the very same actions it helps prevent the drying of the natural oils from the leather surface from wind and sun damage. Pickstones Leather Balm is the obvious choice for antique or more aged leathers as it is unadulterated unlike so many current manufactured  oils and treatments many of which contain cheaper petroleum refined products which actually help break down natural cotton stitching and organic material eg leather!

PLEASE NOTE DO NOT USE ON SUEDE OR ANILINE LEATHERS – suede is created by distressing the fibre structure of leather during the tanning process and therefore Pickstones Leather Balm which works by restoring the fibre structure would not be appropriate. For further information re regarding types of leather please go to….


Always test on a small non noticeable area first if worried that a change of colour could occur. It only restores to a natural colour it cannot replace artificial dyed colours that have worn away or faded – a re-dyeing process is the only way to effectively restore permanent colour. Avoid applying to sensitive light fabrics but other utility fabrics often used in footwear are not adversely affected.

In the UK climate mould can be a dilapidating factor for leather items including shoes but Pickstones Leather Balm not only contains naturally occurring antibacterial compounds but the  Pickstones No 1 formula lavender scented balm not only masks any residual mouldy odours but continues to combat other sweaty sock odours! Your feet contain up to 250,000 sweat glands which can excrete as much as a half-pint of moisture a day!!  Rotating shoes to allow them to dry out and storing them with wooden boot trees will help them last for years. 

 Unlike the years of my post war childhood when commonly only one or two sets of shoes were owned, for most children anyway, one for best/school, and one for all the rest of the time (adults too had only a few pair of shoes and one pair of winter boots).  Today shoes, sandals, boots and trainers of all types, materials and styles fill to overflowing shelves and bottom of wardrobes.   The advantage to this is that it gives you a chance to rest your leather shoes, which will benefit from a day to dry out from being worn. 

 So too gone are the days of that pair of boots or shoes being left to one side at the end of the day to be briskly cleaned and polished early am ready for the day ahead. In my family my father always did this when we were young , we may not have seen him as he left for work well before we were up and about, but his care and thoughts for us were clear in the neat row of polished shoes! This of course did change  a) when we reached the age at which he expected us to start to look after our own things and b) coincided with the new wave of modern fashion and prosperous times – we each had too many shoes and no doubt  couldn’t possibly decide which we were wearing the next day!

Now when do we get time to polish and buff every time before a day’s wear?  Sooo… irritating  though when you are all dressed ready to go and only then realise that actually the shoes look a bit dusty, a bit dirty even, but now is not the time in all your finery to start a cleaning job.

Rejuvenate old shoes/boots

How many old pairs lurk at the back of the cupboard – make them better than agonisingly new, not only are they worn in- comfortable for the shape of your feet, but they will only take a moment to shine and rejuvenate – try this…

Do a ‘Pickstone  Clean’  at any time of year and get them all out to provide that bit of TLC with a thorough clean and restore using  Pickstones Leather  Wash & Balm.  This too is the time to bundle together the ones that could do with a re-heel or re-soling- take them all together to your local repair shop and if more than two pairs ask for a discount – save time and money. 

When you have them all ready out on an old sheet or newspaper use Pickstones Leather Wash by applying to a sponge or soft lint free cloth to avoid over wetting  this takes off dust and grime etc  then apply Pickstones Leather Balm, it takes hardly any more time to apply and when you have finished one application to them all you will easily see which ones are thirsty and need more nourishment with a second application. Leave to dry for 10 mins . All done! They do not need polishing up but if you like a bit more of a shine burnish up with a soft brush or cloth This will give great value in preserving the life of your footwear, and help eliminate ‘old shoe’ odour from your cupboards and save much future time with items only needing an occasional further clean and restoring  to their handsomeness after particularly dirty or wet days. Used sparingly it refreshes and smartens up vinyl and other man made imitation leather materials too providing the protective finish. Yes everything has changed especially those fantastic trainers but I just slap a smidgen  of  Pickstones Leather Balm on the leather bits and it shines the man made materials too. Easy peasy!


Enjoy your shoes! I love using Pickstones because it contains only cosmetic grade ingredients so your hard working hands will benefit too from this soothing balm.

A pair of vintage Ralph Lauren Polo Boots un worn and touched for about 18 years or more!

They weren’t dirty just very old and dry however there was a white mark in the grain on one of the boots – I am not sure what it was but used Pickstones Leather Wash with a tooth brush to clean just this area.

   Then it was simply a matter of rubbing in the Pickstones Leather balm

This below shows the difference after just one quick rub over – I did go on to apply more as they were very thirsty!!

Because they had been so poorly kept I stuffed acid free tissue into the shoe area to help ease out some of the ages old creases and also put in boot trees for the same reason – it is worth always keeping your boots like this especially special expensive ones. I did not buff or shine them up any extra but left them to dry naturally. Lastly I used Pickstones Leather Balm also on the original cotton cord laces which were as dried up and brittle as straw this enabled them to flex again and be able to be re strung but there is some break damage showing in a couple of places so I will have to try and replace … I am quite happy about that  in exchange for a fabulous pair of boots !

Another Pair of vintage shoes – I have owned these forever and they were my mother’s  before  that! They look great with trousers and if It’s  going to be a long day it is just like wearing slippers :bliss!
They fit like a glove and  are suede and leather with an elastic insert to one side and fully leather lined all amazingly soft . The suede simply needed a brush to get rid of dust and the rest one application of Pickstones Leather Balm -it does no harm to the metal ornamentation and even seems to  help the old elastic.