How to Get Creases out of Leather Shoes & Rejuvenate Them

Leather, suede shoes and boots are well-known for their high fashion, and they have maintained their position over the centuries. You must have been impressed by their flawless appearance when you originally bought them from the shoe store, but as time passes, this beauty will disappear and wrinkles will occur. Creases are difficult to detect in the early stages, but if you don’t discover a solution to erase them, they will develop over time and destroy your favorite boots.

How to get creases out of leather shoes is an issue that anybody who enjoys wearing them encounters. Since leather is a sensitive and vulnerable material that requires special treatment, it is not easy to get rid of the creases. Therefore, I will explain everything about creases and provide answers to the question of how to remove wrinkles from leather shoes. You will probably realize how alcohol, leather oil, hairdryers and also steamer are so effective after reading this article.

Why Do Creases Appear on Leather Shoes

Many people believe that high quality leather does not crease, so wrinkles on leather shoes and boots indicate they were made from a poor type of leather. This, however, is not entirely accurate. Creases can appear on any type of leather and develop over time for a variety of reasons, including those listed below:

1. The construction of shoes

Shoes that are made from a single piece of leather are more likely to develop creases. The reason for this is that they are not very tense and will be affected by your walking. Shoes made of multiple pieces of leather, on the other hand, will stretch at any single corner and handle the tension from your foot better.

However, it’s difficult to tell which pair of shoes comprises multiple pieces of leather; only professionals can tell. Nevertheless, if you properly protect your shoes, the construction will not play an important role.

2. The way you walk may be a problem

Leather shoes, in most cases, fold when your foot moves, resulting in creases. When we walk, our feet bend, which causes shoes to bend as well. Leather is stiff and inflexible, thus unlike canvas shoes, it cannot be altered based on the flex of the foot.

As a result, leather boots can develop more wrinkles than other types of shoes. Walking-induced wrinkles can be noticed between the toe box and the foot.

3. The leather shoes are not fit

The fitter the shoes are, the fewer creases occur. Your feet are easier to bend when you have a lot of space around them. As a result, the ideal shoes are those that fit you perfectly; even a little tight pair of shoes is preferable to a wide pair. This also explains why, in a pair of equally sized shoes, the one with larger feet develops fewer wrinkles than the one with smaller feet.

In fact, even if they are the same size, most leather shoes are wider than other types of shoes. You rarely come across a pair of shoes that perfectly fit your foot and don’t crease while you walk.

4. How you store leather shoes also matters

If something is placed on leather boots for an extended period, especially a heavy object, wrinkles might occur. Some people keep all of their shoes in a storeroom where they can be pressed against each other. Some shoes are only suitable to wear in the winter, and they are improperly stored for several months during the summer. When you take them out to wear the following season, you’ll see that they have a lot of creases.

How to Get Creases Out of Leather Boots

Now you know why there are creases on your shoes, and you must regret if your favorite leather shoes have wrinkles. So, how to remove them from your boots? Continue to find some tips here!

1. Leather oil can help

Many people choose to use leather oil because it is the simplest method. Leather is formed from the skin of animals and can be re-smoothed with mild oil. You need to prepare oil and a clean and dry cloth, and follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Add a few drops of mild oil on wrinkles.
  • Step 2: Gently massage the shoe to remove the creases.
  • Step 3: Wait for a few minutes to let the oil soak and use the cloth to remove excess oil.
  • Step 4: Place them on cedar shoe trees to keep the shape.

Pro tip: This procedure works best for little creases and prevents new creases from occurring. Leather oil adds conditioning and smoothens to your leather boots. However, it may not be effective on deep creases that have been there for a long time.

2. Alcohol is your savior

Alcohol makes the leather relax and can help to remove creases. Not all types of alcohol can do this, the one you can use is called rubbing alcohol. Besides alcohol, there is a list of things you should prepare:

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Shoes conditioner or polish

The procedure is very simple:

  • Step 1: Fill the spray bottle with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water using a 50/50 ratio.
  • Step 2: Spray the creases, then massage them gently with your finger.
  • Step 3: You can spray inside the shoe for a better result.
  • Step 4: When you find the leather softer, add a layer of shoe conditioner on them.

Pro tip: Alcohol like oil, is only suited for new and tiny creases because it softens the leather. Do not use too much alcohol as it can cause the leather to dry up.

3. Using heat on creases with an iron

You might believe it’s impossible to iron leather shoes. However, the truth is that you absolutely can! Although leather boots are not supposed to be ironed, this procedure is an effective way to remove stubborn wrinkles. However, as an iron is extremely hot, you need to be careful in case it ruins your shoes.

Here are all the things you need to prepare:

  • Newspaper or old socks
  • Damp cloth
  • Clothes iron
  • Insulation tape

Once you have everything, let’s start!

  • Step 1: Roll the paper and insert into the leather shoe, filling as much as possible and leaving no space inside.
  • Step 2: Remove the shoelace to prevent the iron from burning cotton material.
  • Step 3: Place the wet cloth over the creases area.
  • Step 4: Turn on the iron to 60 – 80 degree F.
  • Step 5: Carefully applying heat on the washcloth. Heat from the iron will make leather shoes stretch.
  • Step 6: Let your leather boots cool down and dry them in a ventilated room.

Pro tip: Using iron is the most powerful method to remove creases from leather shoes. However, you must be very careful because ironing is quite risky. Heat can eliminate creases but also damage leather if it is too high. This tip is not highly recommended for suede shoes.

4. Use a hair dryer or heat gun

Similar to using heat from iron, you can use a hair dryer or heat gun to minimize risks. However, in this case, you’ll need the help of a shoe stretcher for the best results. Leather oil and conditioner are required too.

  • Step 1: Stretch the leather shoe with a shoe stretcher.
  • Step 2: Add leather oil to the creases before using heat on them.
  • Step 3: Turn on the hair dryer or heat gun and keep them 5 – 6 inches from the shoe.
  • Step 4: Massage the creases and blow dry or move the heat gun constantly to avoid putting too much heat on the shoe.
  • Step 5: Apply leather conditioner and wait for the shoe to dry.

Pro tip: You will see how effective it is when using a hair dryer or heat gun. The heat can darken your shoes, so it’s best used on a pair of darker shoes rather than lighter ones. If you don’t want your shoes to lose shape, don’t put too much heat on the toe box or heel.

5. Steamer also works

Steaming is like ironing but easier to move in a round shoe shape. That’s why you can use it to get wrinkles out of leather shoes. This method is designed for suede or nubuck shoes, as we can’t add too much moisture to them. The steps to follow are quite similar to ironing, but you don’t need a wet washcloth to cover your shoes.

  • Step 1: Use newspaper or old socks to fill the shoe.
  • Step 2: Take off the shoelace.
  • Step 3: Cover the toe box with a dry washcloth.
  • Step 4: Heat the steamer and gently touch the creases.
  • Step 5: Wait for the shoe to cool down and see the result.

How to Treat Your Leather Shoes to Prevent Creasing

Rather than waiting for creases to appear on your boots and then figuring out how to get rid of them, why not take care of your leather boots first? It is impossible to completely avoid creases, but possible to minimize the probability of them occurring.

  • Store leather boots properly to prevent creasing.
  • Use cedar shoe trees to keep the shoe in good shape.
  • Always use shoe horn when slipping on the shoe to reduce creasing that happens when you put them on.
  • Apply leather conditioner frequently to keep your leather shoe smooth.


Leather shoes are long-lasting and fashionable, so you can keep them for many years. They might, however, develop numerous creases over time, making them appear aged and exhausted. Wearing a pair of worn-out shoes will undoubtedly affect how others perceive you, and you never want to see the shoes which cost you a lot of money to buy, become old and tired day after day.

Now you know what causes wrinkles, how to get creases out of leather shoes, and how to keep your shoes in good shape. Just try to follow the above tips at home and hopefully, your leather boots will rejuvenate soon.

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