Last Updated on May 23, 2021
Leather shoes need regular care if you want them to last several years, without it, they can look bad pretty quickly, so what is the best saddle soap for shoes? We will help you whittle down the massive amount of options you will face when trying to find a good cleaner for your shoes. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand how to care for your shoes, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them frequently.
Why You Need Saddle Soap For Shoes
A pair of leather shoes will last several years if you look after them well. Good care will keep the leather clean and prevent it from drying out or cracking. Before applying polish, it is essential that your shoes are clean.
Cleaner removes existing polish, dirt, and excessive oils. Polish that is already on the shoes will collect dust and dirt. If you do not remove this dirty polish from your shoes, you are reducing the life of the leather.
In order to prevent the leather from rotting, it needs to breathe. Dirty polish interferes with breathability. Cleaning the leather also primes it for accepting fresh conditioner and polish.
Tools You Need For Total Shoe Care
You need a number of tools to take care of your shoes correctly. The first tool you use and need is a shoe brush. You use the brush to remove any dirt from your shoes.
It is better to invest in a good quality shoe brush as you will get better results. You will also need a soft rag. Having a couple of rags is a good idea, one for each type of product you apply to your shoes.
You don’t have to spend money on a rag. All you need to do is cut up an old cotton t-shirt into sections. One of the most important tools you need is a leather cleaner, this is where saddle soap comes in. After the leather cleaner, you will need a conditioner to apply.
The final tool you need in your shoe care kit is a polish. There are two types of polish, cream, and wax. What one you need, depends on what you want the polish to do. Cream polish helps restore color, and wax polish works best for creating a shine by buffing.
Daily Shoe Care Tips
How much daily care your shoes require depends on a few factors. To preserve the structure of your shoe, always use a shoehorn to put them on. If your budget allows, keep a minimum of two pairs of shoes.
Shoes need to dry out completely after use as everyday moisture from the environment, or your feet will degrade the leather. Dry your shoes by putting cedar shoe trees in them and storing your shoes in a dry place, but not next to a radiator.
Avoid wearing your leather shoes outside in very bad weather when they can to wet. Too much moisture in the leather will cause them to dry out too much, losing essential oils. This can lead to cracking.
How To Use Saddle Soap
Saddle soap is easy to use. All you need is a clean rag or sponge, and some warm water. First, if your shoes have laces, take these out, so you can clean the entire shoe thoroughly. Once this is done, dampen your sponge or rag.
Wipe the damp cloth or rag all over your shoes. Make sure it is not sopping wet, as you will make the shoes too wet and sudsy. Re-dampen your cloth or rag with warm water, squeeze out any excess.
Rub your damp rag or sponge over the saddle soap. Then rub the soapy rag or sponge over your shoes until you are satisfied all the dirt is removed. Wipe off any excess soap with another rag when you are finished.
Best Saddle Shoe Soap
To help you navigate the many choices, the following are what we feel are some of the best saddle soap for shoes.
It seems like Fiebing’s Saddle Soap has been around forever, which is pretty accurate. This a traditional product that has stood the test of time. All other products must try and measure up to this great product.
Fiebing’s works well on all leather products, not just your shoes. This makes it very versatile. It helps reduce scratches and keeps leather moisture in balance. The soap comes in a vintage tin and is easy to store.
The soap comes in three different colors, yellow, black, and white.
- One of the oldest and best saddle soaps.
- Easy to use storage tin.
- It smells fairly nice, something not all saddles soaps possess.
- Reasonable price.
- No instructions on the tin
- It can sometimes after the color of the shoes if it is now a traditional shoe color.
Another product from Fiebing’s is its glycerin bar. Glycerin is a gentle, yet effective leather cleaner. It will not damage the color of the leather.
Glycerin not only cleans leather, but it also helps moisturize it. It leaves the leather with a nice, satin like finish. This cleaner is only suitable for smooth leather, don’t use it on suede or nubuck shoes.
- Affordable price.
- Cleans and moisturizes.
- It is a mild soap.
- Does not cause discoloration of the leather.
- A little goes a long way, which makes this saddle soap last a long time.
- This product is not suitable for suede and nubuck.
- It does not come in a resealable container, which is a bit inconvenient.
Bickmore is another saddle soap maker that is making this product for over one hundred years. It was once extremely popular with cowboys. All ingredients in this product are high quality and genuine.
This product is made in the United States, making it a great option for those who prefer to support American-made businesses. Glycerine is one of the main ingredients for this product.
- Moisturizes leather, as well as cleans it.
- It works on both hard, smooth leather, and soft leather.
- Will darken leather slightly, so do a spot check before using it over your entire shes.
- It does not foam well.
Lexol Leather Cleaner is slightly different than our previous products. This leather cleaner comes in liquid form. It does not contain any waxes or additives that can damage the leather.
This product is a deep, but gentle cleanser. When you use Lexol, you do not need to use a damp cloth. Just pour a small amount onto your rag and massage it into your shoes. While this product is not as old as our previous products, it is no spring chicken.
You can use Lexol on any leather product in addition to your shoes, such as car seats and furniture. It comes in one liter bottles, which will last a long time.
- Prevents damage and discoloration
- Value for money.
- It doesn’t smell good.
- Doesn’t suit really soft leather.
Kiwi Saddle Soap comes in a convenient and easy-to-store metal tin. Kiwi is a very famous brand with an excellent reputation for making quality shoe care products. They make a full range of shoe care products, all of which are fantastic.
Kiwi saddle soap is very easy to use. You just have to dampen a cloth, rub it on the soap and apply it to your shoes. Wipe off any excess foam when you are finished.
It helps to soften and preserve leather. It also contains wax that gives it extra protective qualities. This saddle soap does a good job of loosening and removing any dirt on your shoes.
It also is good at removing stains caused by salt. This makes it a good choice for winter shoe cleaning when you can’t avoid walking on salted paths. In fact, it has a reputation for removing many types of stains.
- It is non-toxic.
- Removes stains.
- Softens leather.
- Preserves leather.
- Non-stand-out negatives.
Our Saddle Soap For Shoes Top Pick
While every saddle soap in this list is an excellent option, we have to pick a favorite. Our first choice is Fiebing’s Saddle Soap. It is one of the oldest and most reputable brands on the market.
Some feel Fiebing’s Saddle Soap is a true saddle soap. It is not made with article ingredients or additives. Fiebing’s contains mostly beeswax and lanolin. This soap gets your shoes or boots clean without much effort or the need to use other cleaning products.
Since each of the products here are good, we have a runner-up. In second place is Kiwi Saddle Soap. Like Fiebing’s Saddle Soap, Kiwi prides itself on a long-established reputation. In addition to its softening and cleaning properties, it is great at removing stains.
Saddle Soap Shoes Conclusion
Navigating the best saddle soaps for shoes is a bit of a minefield. There are hundreds of choices. When it comes to choosing the best saddle soap for shoes, we advise sticking to tried and tested products.
Products that have been around for a hundred years or more have stood the test of time and proven themselves. All the products we have listed here fall into this category. When looking to building your shoe care kit, consider saddle soap sponges.
These sponges are sometimes called tack sponges. They are smaller than the type of sponge you use for washing dishes. This makes them easier to get into all the crevices of your shoes.
Tack sponges are cheap. You can get a pack of twelve for less than ten dollars.
If you have any questions about saddle soap, put them in the comments below.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.