How should I look after my Jeffery-West shoes?

Shoe Care

Whether spending a fortune on hand-crafted leather footwear which takes months to create or not, there is no denying that taking good care of your shoes makes sense. Leather is a natural product and as such it can be fragile if not cared for correctly. By following the simple advice below you can go far to improve the durability of your Jeffery-West shoes.

Some people may ultimately concede to polish their shoes once they consider they are looking shabby. However the care of leather shoes is not merely to make them look good, although this is appropriate enough in itself! It is also about preventing premature deterioration as well as preserving and ensuring longevity by correctly managing the wear of your shoes. 

“In the case of designer, or more expensive shoes, look at it as though you’re protecting your investment, or what could be a future collectable.” 

Saturation exacerbates wear and tear.

Leather is natural, porous and breathable with it’s own moisture content. It is not waterproof.

1. New leather soled shoes should initially be worn in dry conditions to wear in and prepare the sole surface and allow it to develop a degree of resistance before exposing it to wet weather.

2. If you are caught out in the rain, it is very important that you allow your shoes to dry naturally for as long as is needed. Never try and accelerate the drying process by exposing them to direct heat as this could cause the natural leather upper and sole to dry out and in extreme cases, crack. 

3. Ideally you should alternate your shoes with a second pair to ensure they are not worn on successive days. By doing this you will allow the upper leather to relax and any perspiration from the days wear to dissipate. You are effectively giving the shoes a day off. 

4. Italian Moccasins are a unique lightweight construction associated with the summer offering ventilation and flexibility. They will let water in.

Shoe Trees

In the first instance the use of cedar shoe trees is very important in order to maintain a good pair of leather shoes. Inserted into the shoes, last specific  cedar shoe trees help to retain shape and absorb moisture. If employed from the start they can slow or help to prevent shoes developing significant creases or cracking. If shoes remain unworn for lengthy periods then shoe trees also prevent contraction.

Unavoidably, our feet do perspire. The moisture can accumulate in the lining, contributing to deterioration. Cedar shoe trees absorb the moisture allowing the leather to breathe, offering a clean cedar scent and more significantly, keeping the shape. Handling during polishing is easier and more efficient if the trees remain inserted.


Water and dirt can ruin the finish and shorten the life of your shoes. Always remove any surface debris or dust without scratching the leather. Once scuffed the upper and patina will never be recovered.

Select a matching coloured natural wax or polish. (Avoid synthetic liquid products which sit on the upper and can dry out and crack leather.) Apply meticulously in circular motion, working into the leather. Use a small soft toothbrush for crevices.

Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes (or overnight).

Then work with a natural bristle brush both to seal in absorbed polish and remove excess, again using a small soft tooth brush where appropriate.

With a clean dry lint free cloth enjoy buffing to reveal the rewarding shine and beauty of the leather.

Do not try to change the colour of your shoes.

Do remember to keep brushes and cloths separate for different colours.


Suede is better with preventative maintenance before wear with water/ stain repellant spray. This should be regularly applied. Gently brush or sponge to remove dust and dirt and to restore nap.

Preventative Measures

Water is detrimental to shoes and boots. Water causes leather to expand and subsequent drying causes leather to contract making leather brittle and prone to cracking.

Upkeep and Good Repair

Good leather footwear should be afforded reasonable attention and upkeep such as polishing. Please do not allow too long between inevitable repairs. No-one wishes to be thought “down at heel”. No repair or a shoddy repair can ruin a decent pair of shoes.

We have an expectation that our Jeffery-West Goodyear Welted shoes are not disposable fashion. You should have an expectation that kept with care and in reasonable repair they will give good service.

Most of our shoes can be rebuilt by the same craftsmen that made them. The nature of the construction means the whole heel and sole can be stripped and replaced. The shoes are re-lasted, the sock is replaced and the upper is reburnished. The shoes must go on a journey through the factory for each process, similar to that of their original construction. This service takes about 16-20 weeks.

To use this service please download the printable form on this site and return to:-

City House,
43 Cliftonville Road,
NN1 5BW.

Alternatively, you can pop your shoes into your local Jeffery-West shop.

If shoes have previously been repaired by a third party we are regrettably unable to offer a repair service.

The addition of stick on soles can cause problems with balance and distortion of the shoe and we cannot accept any responsibility to footwear which has been amended.