How To Uncrease Shoes

A Step-By-Step Guide to Keeping Your Shoes Looking Fresh

It doesn’t matter if we dodge those dirty puddles by awkwardly shimmying around them. Nor does it matter that we never allow people to step anywhere near our feet or that we kiss our sneaks goodnight before we hit the hay.

No amount of love and protection is going to keep your shoes from developing the dreaded creases.

These irritating little wrinkles are often the only signs of wear that take our pride and joys from “mint condition” to plain old “used”.

Besides leaving them safely swaddled in their box for eternity, there’s no way to stop this from happening. If you plan on wearing your shoes, the crease cometh.

How To Uncrease Shoes

But what if there was a way to ease the creases out after the fact?

Well, my friend, that’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do right here, right now!

What’s the Big Idea?

You’ll be happy to know that the shoe-based anti-aging process is a relatively simple procedure. It doesn’t require invasive surgery, nor do you have to buy any expensive equipment you don’t already have in your home.

We’re going to do is use the thing we always have done to remove creases from our garments — the trusty iron!

Do bear in mind, though, that this de-creasing technique is only suitable for leather shoes, as it’s the natural properties of leather that make this miracle crease cure possible.

What You’re Going to Need

Before we get started turning back the clock on your kicks, you’ll need to rifle around for all the necessary bits and bobs we need to get the job done. 

  • Creased leather shoes – Say goodbye to those pesky wrinkles!
  • A trusty iron with a steam option – The steam is key. Even if you’re not big on ironing your clothes, you probably have an old steam iron hanging around somewhere, right? If not, I use this Professional Grade 1700W Steam Iron. It’s fast, heats evenly, and it’s reasonably priced.
  • An ironing board – You can use any stable, flat surface, but seeing as we’re ironing, an ironing board makes sense.
  • A bottle of water – I don’t have anything to say about this one. It’s…it’s just a bottle of water. I mean, you don’t even have to use a bottle; a jug will do fine. It’s the water that’s important.
  • Cardboard Inserts – You should have some of these in your shoebox from when you first bought your shoes.
  • Paper – You’ll use these to really pack out your shoes.
  • Two Washcloths – For protection…you’ll see why.

PurSteam Steam Iron for Clothes 1700W with Self-Cleaning Nonstick Stainless Steel Soleplate, Auto Shutoff, Anti-Drip

Step 1

Remove Your Laces

Your laces are only going to get in the way, and as we’re going to be holding on to a steaming hot iron, we need to streamline the process as best we can.

Third-degree burns aren’t worth removing a couple of creases in your otherwise perfect shoes.

Step 2

Ball Up and Shape Your Paper

The paper is going to be placed inside the cardboard inserts that your shoes had in them when they arrived. This is to pack them out so they’re nice and firm. The more paper you can cram in there, the better.

You want your homemade paper inserts to resemble the shape of the cardboard inserts as closely as possible.

The more surface-to-surface contact you can create, the more the creases in your shoes will be forced outward when you stuff them.

If you don’t have the original cardboard inserts or if perhaps your shoes didn’t come with any, your best bet is to look for a couple of extra towels and use them to stuff your shoes instead.

Step 3

Combine Your Paper Inserts with Your Cardboard Insert

Place your paper molds in the cardboard inserts to ensure they’re robust enough to force out the creases in your shoes.

Step 4

Get Stuffin’

Carefully, yet forcefully, push your galvanized inserts into the toes of your shoes. Make sure they’re as far down as they’ll go. I should mention at this point that you shouldn’t use the cardboard inserts that came with any other pair of shoes.

They have to correspond to the form of the creased shoes as closely as possible.

Step 5

Filling the Kettle

Before plugging it in, fill your kettle to the maximum line. You don’t want to run out of steam partway through the rejuvenation process.

Step 6


Hitting your shoes directly with the iron is a surefire way to completely burn and destroy them. Before we get started, you’ll need to grab your two washcloths and use them to cover the toe boxes of your wrinkled shoes.

Step 7

Protection – Phase 2

Next, you need to pour a generous amount of water over the washcloths. A wet toe box is less likely to burn.

Step 8

Grab your Iron

This is what you’ve been waiting for. Pick up your iron and begin running it over the problem areas. Make sure you use plenty of steam as it warms up the leather, causing it to expand and push out the creases.

Step 9

Cooling Time

Just like you shouldn’t grab a cookie fresh out of the oven, you shouldn’t instantly grab your shoes after ironing. They’ve been through something here today, and they need time to rest.

Resist the urge to even peek under the washcloths. Any dramatic changes in temperature might affect the results of the de-creasing process.

You’ll just have to wait for them to cool down at their own pace. This might take up to 10 minutes.

Step 10


Once they feel cool to the touch, you can remove the washcloth bandages and gaze upon your rejuvenated shoes. The creases should be gone, or at the very least far less visible, and your sneaks should be looking fresh to death.

You can repeat this process as many times as you want. As long as you cover and douse your shoes before running the iron over them, it’s completely safe. Enjoy!

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