By the year 2022, the men’s dress shoe market is expected to reach a valuation of more than $9.8 million.

Are you in need of some new dress shoes? Are they a bit out of your budget?

If this is the case, you don’t have to walk around in scuffed, dirty shoes. Here is your ultimate guide on how to clean dress shoes and make them look brand new.

Make Them Waterproof

If you live in a wet, rainy, or snowy climate, it’s a good idea to waterproof your dress shoes. Waterproofing helps to protect the leather from wear and tear and extends the lifespan of your shoes.

Look for a waterproofing polish or spray that is wax-based. This will help to repel water, and they’re easy to use. This is especially true of spray-on products.

Use the Right Tools

In addition to a good waterproofing spray, there are a few other tools you should have on hand to clean your dress shoes. The list of essential tools includes the following:

• Leather shoe polish to get a mirror-like shine on your shoes
• A conditioning product to keep them shiny
• A horsehair brush to get rid of dirt
• A shoehorn that helps you slide into your dress shoes and make sure they maintain their shape (you can view more about the different types of shoehorns here)
• A shoe tree that helps your shoes maintain their shape when you’re not wearing them

When it comes to shoe trees, look for wooden styles. Plastic ones can dry out the lining of the shoes.

Polish Them Up

At this point, you’ll be ready to polish your shoes and make them look as good as new.

Start by brushing your shoes with the horsehair brush to get rid of dirt. Then, wipe them down with a warm, damp sponge. This makes the leather more porous and helps you get a deeper clean.

After wiping down the shoes, apply your waterproofing product. Next, apply your shoe polish. Use mild pressure and small, circular motions with a lint-free polishing cloth as you work your way over your shoes.

Once the shoes start to shine, that’s a sign that you’ve cleaned and polished them well enough.

Keep Them Conditioned

Once a month or so, you should condition your shoes, too.


This will help to keep the leather soft, moist, and in good shape. It will prevent cracks from forming as well, which is essential when it comes to making sure your dress shoes look brand new, even if they’re actually far from it.

You Know How to Clean Dress Shoes: Time to Get to Work!

There you have it; the basics of how to clean dress shoes. It’s doesn’t seem too difficult, does it?

Keep these tips in mind and you won’t have any trouble turning your old or dingy-looking dress shoes into shiny accessories that go with any formal outfit.

Do you need more fashion advice? If so, we have lots of useful resources on our site. Head to the Fashion section today to learn more.