How to Care for Coloured Shoes

Whether you’re dealing with colourful sneakers, men’s dress shoes with a colour gradient or colour-accented women’s shoes, you can’t ignore colour care if you want your shoes to last.

Coloured shoes quickly lose their lustre without proper care. It’s especially frustrating if you’re dealing with an expensive pair. But note: It’s not necessary for coloured shoes to fade. Caring for colourful shoes isn’t complicated. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most important questions around the topic.

How do I find the correct colour of shoe cream for my coloured leather shoes?

It can be difficult to perfectly match the tone of a shoe cream or polish to your shoes. This is even true for classic colours such as brown. There is no need to fret if you can’t find a 100% match, however. Simply choose a tone that is one shade lighter than the colour of your shoe.


It can be difficult to find the perfect colour tone. When in doubt, choose one tone lighter.

The lighter shoe polish won’t lighten the tone of your shoes; the pigmentation in the cream isn’t strong enough for that. However, a darker tone will eventually darken the leather over time.

The same principle applies to shoe wax.

How do I take care of shoes with a colour gradient?

Some shoe enthusiasts purposefully use darker shoe creams to create an antique finish. Using a range of different colour tones, they can imitate the look of high-quality, aged leather shoes.

To do this, begin by giving the shoe a thorough wash with CLEAN & CARE. Then, apply a lightly-toned cream that matches the leather to the whole of your shoe. Next, apply a cream or polish with a slightly darker tone to select places (the toe, for example).

Seeing as you already coated the entire shoe with the lighter cream, the leather on the toe or other parts won’t absorb as much of the darker pigment. Thus, the darker tone leaves a subtler trace. The final step is to apply a bit of black polish to any parts of the shoe you desire a particularly strong gradient. Once you’ve polished your shoes with the 1909 POLISHING BRUSH, you can touch-up the gradient with the two darker tones.


When dealing with colour gradients, begin with the lightest shoe polish and then gradually go darker.

What should I do if I use the wrong coloured shoe polish?

Are you worried that you’ve ruined your smooth leather shoes by repeatedly using the wrong polish? Take a deep breath. Pigmentation caused by coloured creams is reversible.

You’ve probably learned this yourself whilst applying polish at some point. If a tone is too dark, you can simply wipe away any moist polish with a clean towel. If the cream has already dried, remove it with the REINIGER spray.

Intensive leather cleaning products such as the CLEANING CREAM also remove old shoe polish. After cleaning, apply the appropriate shoe cream and your shoe will be looking sharp once again.

How do I care for multi-coloured shoes?

Do your shoes feature various different colours or mixed materials? If so, proceed cautiously when it comes to colour care. Tape off or cover individual segments and apply one colour after the other to the respective parts.


The best way to care for….


…mixed material or multi-coloured shoes…


…is to tape off each individual section.

If you’re dealing with a mix of materials, be sure to select the proper product for each material. Smooth leather, fabric and rougher leathers each require different colour care products.

How do I waterproof coloured shoes?

Waterproofing coloured shoes is highly recommended to prevent the colours from fading or getting damaged. WATERSTOP CLASSIC not only waterproofs leather shoes, but it also protects them from getting faded from exposure to UV rays.

NUBUK & VELOURS spray is the optimal choice for protecting suede and nubuck shoes. Be sure to cover the surface beneath your shoes when applying the spray as it is a much less targeted application process when compared to a cream or polish.

How do I refresh colours?

If you’re looking to refresh the colour of your smooth leather shoes, you have a large product range to choose from. For fine leather shoes, look no further than 1909 CRÈME DE LUXE. The high-gloss cream in a jar nourishes your shoes with natural waxes and oils.

If you’re in a hurry, the WATERSTOP COLOURS line is a great option. With the convenient foam applicator, the polish is easily applied to smooth leather or other high-tech materials. An added bonus: This cream is also waterproof.

If your shoes are fairly worn with deep scratches and scuffs, COLORIT works to repair and replenish the colour. The repair cream also works on non-dyed-through-leather thanks to its high percentage of colour pigmentation.

Shoe aficionados with an extra colourful shoe collection can’t avoid the SHOE CREAM series. Featuring over 40 different colour tones, this series will certainly contain a polish suitable for your shoe.

Shoes made of suede, nubuck or fabric are well serviced by the NUBUK & TEXTILE product.

Whilst the COLOUR FASHION spray doesn’t impart a colour of its own, it gives a boost to the colours already present on your shoes. Plus, it protects mixed materials from dirt and moisture.


Our comprehensive colour care line features suitable products for all sorts of materials and colours.

It would seem that taking care of your coloured shoes isn’t so complicated after all. There’s now nothing left standing between you and a colourful shoe collection finding its way into your closet. May you enjoy many years with your coloured shoes!