It doesn’t matter which type of shoes you have, a crease or a fold can instantly detract from their appearance and the quality of their construction. However, it’s inevitable to collect some wrinkles over time, especially on the toe box. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to improve their look and remove wrinkles.
Let’s look at how to get wrinkles out of shoes quickly and easily.
Why Does Creasing Happen?
Creases can be bothersome, so why do they even exist? They come from the natural wear and tear of the material as you walk. When it comes to wrinkles in shoes, many people find toe box creases to be the most prominent. Improper storage is another reason why creasing can happen.
Poor construction can also contribute more readily to the appearance of folds and creases. If you don’t treat these creases, they can eventually lead to cracking of the surface material. When the shoes become damaged, water can more easily permeate the insides. When your shoes do start to crack, it may be time to purchase new ones.
Ironing Leather Shoes
For leather and suede shoes, ironing is an option for how to increase shoes. It may seem like a daunting task, especially since irons can get really hot; so, how do you do it in a safe way without damaging your footwear?
1. Remove the laces
The first step to ironing out the creases from your leather shoes is to remove the laces. Laces are made from fabric that can burn under the high temperatures of iron. While you are at it, you can even consider washing the laces to restore the newness of your shoes.
2. Stuff the Shoes to Maintain the Shape
You will need to press the iron to the surface of your shoe, but, without adequate support, the top of the shoe might cave in. A way around this is to stuff the shoe, especially the toe box area, to stretch out the material. Make sure that you pack the shoes tightly.
Try to avoid using paper with print or color as it can permanently stain the interior of your shoes.
3. Set the Iron
The temperature setting needs to be quite low so that you don’t damage the surface of your leather or suede shoes. For shoe crease removal, you need to fill the iron with enough water to allow it to steam. Set the iron between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 26 degrees Celcius).
4. Protect the Surface of Your Shoe
If you are wondering how to remove creases from sneakers and other shoes without risking damage, the answer is to use a damp towel. The towel should preferably be one you don’t mind ruining – just in case.
Use a white towel, as the same logic applies as with the colored stuffing paper – you don’t want to stain your shoes. Make sure the towel is moist and damp but not dripping. Fold the towel and lay it across the top of your shoes.
5. Start Ironing
Once the iron is ready, you can gently start to iron out the wrinkles by placing them over the damp towel and massaging the material. We suggest adopting circular motions, rather than back and forth, to smooth out the wrinkles. Just remember to keep it moving so you don’t over-iron one area.
Feel free to adjust the position of the towel and maneuver the shoe and iron around to reach all the creases.
6. Allow the Shoes to Air-Dry
When you have completely ironed out the shoes to your satisfaction, you can remove the towel and allow your leather or suede shoes to air-dry. Do not apply heat to this type of material as you can risk warping the leather.
Examine the shoes once they are dry. If you can still see wrinkles, you can repeat the steps above. If your shoes are satisfactory, this is when you can apply conditioners.
How to Get Creases out of Shoes without an Iron
There are other methods for how to fix creases in shoes that don’t involve applying extreme heat from an iron. Let’s take a look at what you can do if you don’t have an iron handy at home.
1. Leather Oil
Leather oil can be used to massage and smooth out newer creases in leather shoes. The earlier you treat folds and wrinkles in leather shoes the easier it is to remove them. To smooth out fresh creases, we suggest investing in high-quality leather oil.
The process is easy and only involves applying a few drops of leather oil to a dry, soft cloth and massaging the surface of your shoes.
2. Stretch Out Older Wrinkles
You can simply stretch out wrinkles that have set in with the help of a stretcher and some rubbing alcohol.
• Start by mixing equal parts of alcohol and water in a spray bottle to create a solution.
• Spray the surface of the crease and massage the liquid into it with either your hands or a soft towel.
• After you are done, leave the shoe stretcher in your footwear to maintain the shape as they dry.
3. Enlist the Help of a Hair Dryer
This method is similar to the use of an iron, except that the heat application is less invasive and intense. You need to stuff the shoes with shoe trees or stretchers to smooth out the wrinkles first.
Then put the hairdryer on a low setting and take it directly to the surface. To make sure you do not damage or warp the material, we suggest keeping it at a distance of at least 5 cm. Remember to move the hairdryer around to apply the heat evenly.
How to Prevent Creases in Shoes
Creases are inevitable, and they appear on all types of shoes over time. Some people prefer the weathered look of a well-loved pair of shoes, but others prefer that their shoes maintain a new and pristine condition.
While it’s impossible to not bend the surface of your footwear as you walk, there are some ways to delay the folds for as long as possible. One of those ways is through proper storage.
Keep your leather shoes stuffed when you store them. You can use a shoe tree, inflatable stuffers, or any other item that fills out the shape of the shoe. When you keep the material expanded in storage, it minimizes the chances for creases and wrinkles to take hold of the shoe. Even if there happen to be minor folds, storing them this way can remove them or, at least, only require a minimal job for maintenance.
How you put on the shoe can contribute to wrinkles elsewhere, such as the back of the footwear. Instead of pulling on the shoe or forcing your foot in, adopt the use of a shoehorn. It will allow your foot to slide in effortlessly and prevent creases from forming at the heel.
Whichever method you try, we suggest testing it on a small spot first. This is to avoid discoloration or damage in case the method you choose is unsuitable for the material.
We also advise lowering your expectations. Leather and almost any other type of material will show age over time. It’s nearly impossible to restore a shoe to its original state, but it’s possible to prevent more serious creases and folds.
Properly conditioning the leather will also help minimize folds. For high-quality leather or suede shoes, a bottle of good conditioner will help smooth out creases, and it will also moisturize the material.
Remember: Never apply too much of the alcohol solution or heat to your shoe. In terms of maintenance, less is more, and always opt for colorless or white stuffing if you can.