Does Leather Shoes Expire? (The Surprising Truth)

Does Leather Shoes Expire?

Leather shoes are a big investment. You want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth by investing in a quality pair of shoes that will last you for years to come.

One common question we get asked is, “does leather shoes expire?” The answer, simply put, is yes! Leather is a material that can last indefinitely with proper care.

However, it is important to note that when leather shoes are made, other materials are also used. Just because leather as a material doesn’t expire, doesn’t mean your shoes will last forever.

Factors That Contributes To The Lifespan Of Leather Shoes

There are many factors that can contribute to the lifespan of your leather shoes including;

The Quality of The Leather Used

The type of leather used in your shoes will play a big role in how long they last. Full-grain leather, for example, is the highest quality you can get. It’s strong, durable, and ages well. On the other hand, bonded leather is made from lower quality scraps glued together and won’t last nearly as long.

How They Were Made

The construction of your leather shoes is also important. Goodyear welted shoes, for example, are built to last. The upper and sole are stitched together using a strong welt that can be replaced if it ever wears down. This makes them very easy to resole and extend their life indefinitely.

How Often They Are Used

Obviously, the more you wear your leather shoes, the faster they’re going to show signs of wear and tear. If you only break them out for special occasions, however, they can last many years.

How You Care For Them

Of course, how you care for your leather shoes will also play a role in how long they last. Leather is a natural material that needs to be cared for just like your skin. You need to clean and condition them regularly to prevent cracking and drying. Additionally, you should always store them in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and mildew.

So, while leather shoes can technically last forever, there are many other factors that will contribute to the lifespan of your shoes. If you take good care of them, however, you can extend their life significantly.

Reasons Why Leather Shoes Can Expire

Event hough leather shoes do expire, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the lifespan of leather shoes – as discussed above. Notwithstanding, there are still a few reasons why your leather shoes may expire;

There are two broad reasons why leather shoes can expire. And while most shoe manufacturers will not specifically have it in writing, these a few things you as a leather shoe user should always keep in mind.

  • Leather Shoes Is Made Up Of Other Materials Which Expire

The first reason has to do with the other materials used in the construction of your leather shoes. Even if the leather itself is of excellent quality, if other parts of the shoe are not, it will affect the lifespan of your shoes.

For instance, most leather shoes have a rubber or synthetic sole. These materials are not as durable as leather and will generally have a shorter lifespan. In addition, the stitching holding your shoes together can also come undone over time.

In addition to that, the adhevises used usually have their own lifespan. Depending on the quality of those adhesives, it can greatly affect how long your shoes will last.

  • Leather Shoes Can Dry Out And Crack

Having said the above, it is also important to point out that leather as a material can cracl and dry out over time. This is because leather is a natural material that comes from animals.

It is made up of collagen fibers, which give it strength and durability. However, these fibers can break down over time, making the leather weaker and more susceptible to damage.

This is especially true if your shoes are not properly cared for. For instance, if you do not regularly polish and condition your leather shoes, they will likely crack and dry out much faster than if you did.

Similarly, if you expose your leather shoes to extreme heat or cold on a regular basis, it will also cause them to dry out and crack over time.

Environmental factors such as heat, humidity, and sunlight can also cause leather to degrade over time. UV rays can cause the fibers to break down, while moisture can make the leather brittle and dry.

Tips On How To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Leather Shoes

There are a few things you can do to extend the lifespan of your leather shoes.

  • First, always store them in a cool, dry place when you’re not wearing them.
  • This will prevent mold and mildew from growing on the leather and causing it to degrade.
  • Second, be sure to clean and condition your leather shoes regularly. This will prevent the leather from drying out and cracking.
  • Third, avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold. If you must wear your leather shoes in extreme weather conditions, be sure to protect them with a shoe cream or wax.
  • Next, avoid getting your leather shoes wet. If they do get wet, be sure to dry them off immediately.
  • Don’t forget to polish your leather shoes regularly. This will help to keep them looking new and extend their lifespan.
  • Finally, always inspect your leather shoes for any signs of wear and tear. If you see any, be sure to have them repaired as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, everything you need to know about whether leather shoes expire. While they may not have an infinite lifespan, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your leather shoes.

By following the tips above, you can be sure that your leather shoes will last for many years to come. Thanks for reading!


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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