How to clean leather golf shoes

How To Clean Leather Golf Shoes Like A Pro

For those with a genuine passion for golf, the significance of possessing a reliable and top-tier pair of golf shoes cannot be overstated. Among the options available, leather golf shoes have garnered popularity due to their durability, timeless elegance, and exceptional performance on the greens. Nevertheless, ensuring their longevity and peak performance demands diligent care and maintenance. As experts in golf shoe preservation, we shall meticulously walk you through the intricacies of cleaning leather golf shoes, preserving their pristine appearance, and optimizing their functionality.

The Special Care Prerequisite for Leather Golf Shoes

Before delving into the cleaning procedures, it is imperative to comprehend why leather golf shoes necessitate distinctive attention. Leather, being a natural material, is lauded for its breathability, comfort, and capacity to conform to the contours of one’s feet over time.

However, it remains vulnerable to external elements such as dirt, moisture, and UV rays, which can cause damage. The aesthetics can be enhanced by administering proper care, and the lifespan and functionality of cherished leather golf shoes can also be significantly extended.

Essential Materials for the Task

Before embarking on the cleaning journey, it is essential to gather the requisite materials to facilitate an effective and safe cleaning process:

  1. Soft-bristled brush
  2. Mild soap or specialized leather cleaner
  3. Clean, damp cloth
  4. Leather conditioner
  5. Shoe polish (matching the shoe color)
  6. Shoe trees or rolled newspaper
How to clean leather golf shoes

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Leather Golf Shoes 

Step 1: Preparing Your Golf Shoes

Commence the process by removing the laces from your golf shoes. Employ a soft-bristled brush to dislodge any loose dirt or debris delicately, circumventing the risk of scratching the leather during the cleaning process. For more stubborn stains, dampening the brush with water is advised slightly.

Step 2: Cleansing the Leather Surface

Dampen a clean cloth with water and add mild soap or a specialized leather cleaner. Proceed to gently wipe the entire surface of your golf shoes, ridding them of any blemishes or dirt. Excessive moisture must be avoided, as it can harm the leather’s integrity.

Step 3: Nourishing the Leather

Following the cleaning process, it is of utmost importance to replenish the natural oils and moisture of the leather. Employ a premium leather conditioner that complements your shoe’s specific type of leather. Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and gently rub the conditioner onto the shoes using a soft cloth. This step is pivotal in preventing the leather from succumbing to dryness and cracks, preserving its suppleness and comfort.

Step 4: Polishing for an Opulent Sheen

To restore the sparkle and luster of your leather golf shoes:

  1. Apply a shoe polish that corresponds with the shoe’s color.
  2. Utilize a clean cloth to administer the polish in small circular motions gently.
  3. Allow the polish to dry before buffing the shoes with a separate soft cloth to attain an opulent finish.

Step 5: Implementing Shoe Trees or Rolled Newspaper

During periods of non-use, ensure the placement of shoe trees or stuffed rolled newspaper within your golf shoes. This practice aids in maintaining their form, forestalls unsightly creases, and facilitates appropriate air circulation within the shoes.

Simple Tips to Extend the Life of Your Leather Golf Shoes

Regular Cleaning: Cultivate the habit of cleaning your golf shoes after each round of play to thwart the accumulation of dirt and stains on the leather surface.

  • Avoid Extreme Conditions: Shield your leather golf shoes from extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and moisture. Protracted exposure to such conditions can result in irreversible damage.
  • Rotate Your Shoes: For avid golfers, it is prudent to alternate between two pairs of golf shoes. This practice affords each pair a respite, preserving their condition over an extended period.
  • Proper Storage: House your golf shoes in a cool, dry locale and safeguard them with shoe bags or dust covers to shield them against dust and potential scratches.
  • Professional Cleaning: In the event of stubborn stains or the need for deep cleaning, entrust your golf shoes to the expertise of a professional cleaner well-versed in handling leather footwear.

By conscientiously adhering to these crucial steps and guidelines, you can rest assured that your leather golf shoes shall retain their pristine condition, rendering you comfort and optimal performance throughout numerous rounds.


Caring for your leather golf shoes is essential for maintaining their look, feel, and lifespan. While some household items like vinegar and dish soap can be used in cleaning, it’s crucial to do so carefully to avoid damaging the leather. Always remember that washing machines are a leather shoe’s worst enemy, and professional leather cleaning products are typically the safest bet. Follow these guidelines, and your shoes will serve you well for many rounds to come.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Put Footjoy Golf Shoes in the Washing Machine?

While Footjoy golf shoes are built to last, throwing them in the washing machine is a big no. Washing machines can cause irreparable damage to the shoe construction, particularly for those crafted from leather. Always opt for manual cleaning techniques instead.

Is Vinegar Good to Clean Leather Shoes?

Vinegar, specifically white vinegar, can indeed be used to clean leather shoes. It’s an excellent, natural cleaning solution that eliminates stains and odors. However, use it sparingly and always dilute it with water to avoid potential damage.

Can You Use Alcohol Wipes on Leather Shoes?

Alcohol wipes can be used on leather shoes, but they should be your last resort for stubborn stains. They can dry out the leather, leading to cracking. If you do use them, make sure to follow up with a leather conditioner to restore moisture.

What Do Professionals Use to Clean Leather?

Professional leather cleaners typically use specially formulated leather cleaning solutions. These products are designed to remove dirt and stains while also moisturizing the leather to keep it soft and supple. Many professionals also recommend using a leather conditioner after cleaning to maintain the quality of the leather.

Can Leather Golf Shoes Go in the Washing Machine?

As a rule of thumb, you should never put leather golf shoes in the washing machine. The harsh cycle can cause the leather to crack and warp, severely reducing the lifespan of your shoes. Always opt for gentle, manual cleaning methods.

How Do You Clean Smelly Leather Golf Shoes?

To clean smelly leather golf shoes, start by airing them out in a well-ventilated area. For persistent odors, sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and let them sit overnight. In the morning, shake out the baking soda and wipe down the inside of the shoes. Repeat as needed.

What is the Best Way to Clean Leather Golf Shoes?

The best way to clean leather golf shoes involves a few simple steps:

  1. Wipe off any excess dirt with a dry cloth.
  2. Using a soft, damp cloth, apply a small amount of saddle soap or a specially formulated leather cleaner. Gently scrub the shoes.
  3. Rinse off the cleaner with a damp cloth, making sure not to soak the shoes.
  4. Let the shoes air dry naturally, away from direct heat.
  5. Apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking.
  6. For extra protection, apply a waterproofing product.

Can You Clean Leather Shoes With Dish Soap and Water?

In a pinch, you can clean leather shoes with a mixture of dish soap and water. It’s important to use a minimal amount of soap and ensure that you fully rinse it off, as soap residue can dry out and damage the leather. However, for regular cleaning, specialized leather cleaners are a better option.

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