Make conditioning a regular part of your leather care routine to ensure optimal longevity. Start as soon as you bring the shoes home from the store, and condition often. In addition to improving the appearance of your shoes and extending their lifespan, treating your shoes with a high quality leather conditioner or dubbin, for treated leather helps soften the material, making it more pliable and comfortable. Always follow any instructions provided by the product manufacturer. Typically, you clean the shoes with a lightly dampened cloth or brush, allow them to air dry, then apply the conditioner with a soft, lint free cloth in a circular waxing motion. Let the shoes rest overnight and wipe away any excess conditioner in the morning.
Although too much water can be enemy of leather shoes, a little bit of moisture helps you stretch and soften footwear. Dampen your shoes with enough clean water to just soak through the material, but not enough to make your loafers dripping wet. Stuff the shoes with plenty of tightly packed newspaper and set them in a dry, airy location. Let the shoes dry slowly via indirect heat; avoid using a nearby radiator or a hair dryer, for instance, as these accelerated methods will over dry the material, leading to damage and cracks. Allow at least a day for slow drying natural leather to dry completely.