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How To Stop Leather Shoes From Creasing

A staple in a classic fashion, yet so prone to creases… Here’s how to keep your leather shoes in top shape.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on August 1, 2023

Pretty Leather Shoes Without Creases

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Leather shoes are a timeless classic, offering a style of elegance that many other shoes cannot.

However, leather creases are unsightly, and can ruin your entire look.

We’re here to help you care for your entire shoe, informing you of the ways leather shoe creases, and how you can keep your shoes (even elevator shoes!) in excellent condition.

We want your shoe’s shape to remain in fine style, and to help you stop your leather shoe creasing.


What causes leather shoes to crease?


Leather shoes naturally crease as a result of various factors.

Walking is the primary reason as the repeated flexing action causes the leather to crease at the points of maximum stress.

Another cause is how the shoes fit.

If your shoe’s shape is too big, your feet will slide around, causing unnecessary creasing, while shoes that are too small can cause creases due to increased pressure.

Additionally, moisture is an important factor.

Leather is a hygroscopic material which means it absorbs water from the environment.

Moisture can cause the leather to swell and shrink, leading to creases.

The style and design of the shoes also play a part.

Some shoes are more prone to develop creases due to their cut and style.

Finally, how you put on or take off your shoes can result in more creasing, particularly if you tend to step on the heel instead of unfastening them properly.


How to prevent leather creasing excessively


While some creasing is inevitable, it’s possible to minimize excessive creasing by taking a few precautionary steps.

The proper maintenance and care of your leather shoes are paramount, which includes storing them correctly, using shoe trees, selecting the right size, rotating your shoe usage, and carefully removing your shoes.


1. Store the shoes properly


Storing your shoes correctly is essential to minimize creases.

After each wear, clean off any dirt or dust, let them air dry, and keep them in a cool, dry place.

Avoiding heat sources and direct sunlight is key to preventing the leather from drying out and creasing.

If possible, store your shoes upright using a shoe rack or in a dedicated shoe storage box.


2. Use a shoe tree


Shoe trees are devices inserted into shoes to help maintain their shape when not in use.

They come in various materials, including plastic, foam, and wood, with the latter being the most effective for absorbing moisture.

Shoe trees mimic the shape of your feet, preventing the leather from shrinking or creasing.

They also help to smooth out existing creases and prolong the life of your shoes.


A cedar shoe tree carries many benefits!


While there are many shoe tree products to choose from, cedar shoe trees are a popular choice.

Cedar shoe trees are renowned for their unique benefits, which make them a preferred choice for many leather shoe owners.

Here are some key advantages over and above the standard shoe tree.


  • Cedarwood is excellent at absorbing moisture, which is particularly beneficial after a long day of wearing your shoes.

    This can help prevent damage and creasing caused by water and sweat.


  • Cedar has a naturally fresh scent that helps neutralize odors.

    After wearing your shoes all day, they can get a bit smelly.

    A cedar shoe tree helps keep your leather footwear smelling fresh.


  • Cedarwood is a natural bug repellent.

    This can protect your leather boots from pests such as moths that might damage them.


  • By absorbing moisture and allowing the shoes to dry naturally, cedar shoe trees can help to prevent the lining of the shoes from rotting.


Any shoe tree is a great start in caring for your leather boots and minimizing the likelihood of creases, but a cedar shoe tree is ideal for minimizing leather creases and ensuring your shoes remain in excellent condition.


3. Choose the right size of the shoe


Choosing the right size shoe is fundamental to preventing unnecessary creases.

Pay attention to the toe box, especially in a pointed-toe shoe.

The shoe’s toe box shouldn’t squeeze your toes or have too much space, making sure your toes bend.

The flex point of the shoe should align with the flex of your foot when you walk.

Moreover, consider the width and volume of the shoe.

It should fit snugly around your foot without being too tight or too loose.


4. Rotate your shoes


If you own multiple pairs of shoes, it’s a good idea to rotate their usage.

This gives each pair a chance to rest and dry out, which prevents overuse and subsequently, the likelihood of the leather shoe creasing.

It’s recommended to give leather shoes at least a full day to recover between wears.


5. Remove your shoes properly


Lastly, removing your shoes properly can significantly reduce creases.

Instead of kicking your shoes off or stepping on the heel, unfasten them completely and carefully slip them off.

Using a shoehorn can make this process easier and more efficient, protecting the heel counter from deformation and reducing strain on the leather, thus minimizing the risk of creases.


6. Apply leather conditioner


A quick way to stop a leather shoe creasing is to apply leather conditioner or leather oil after use, and you’ll find your leather shoes crease less often.


Quick tips to prevent your shoes from creasing


If you are looking for quick, sure-fire ways to prevent leather shoes from creasing, please consider the following.


  • Avoid bending or crouching down, whenever possible, while wearing your shoes;


  • For the first couple of times, you wear your leather footwear, only wear them in dry conditions;


  • Place newspapers in your shoes to draw out excessive moisture;



  • Consider the material you choose for your shoes; whole-cut leather is more prone to creating than other shoes.




Affordable purchases like a shoe tree and high-quality leather conditioner products will stop your leather shoe creasing, and when you prevent creases, you ensure your shoes look fantastic for longer.

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