How to Uncrease Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to uncrease shoes
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Creases in shoes can detract from their appearance and make even the most stylish footwear look worn and old. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to remove or reduce creases, helping your shoes look as good as new.


Shoes, especially those made from leather or synthetic materials, are prone to creasing as they conform to the shape of your feet. Over time, these creases can become permanent features if not addressed. This guide will show you how to uncrease your shoes using simple, at-home methods.

What You’ll Need

  • A clothes iron.
  • A damp cloth or towel.
  • Shoe trees or rolled-up socks.
  • A soft brush.
  • Conditioner or shoe polish (for leather shoes).

Steps to Uncrease Your Shoes

Step 1: Prepare Your Shoes

Start by cleaning your shoes to remove any dirt or debris. This prevents any dirt from being set into the shoe by heat and makes the uncreasing process more effective.

Step 2: Insert Shoe Trees or Socks

Insert shoe trees if you have them, as they can help stretch out the creases. If not, tightly roll up socks and stuff them into the shoes to help push out the creases from the inside.

Step 3: Apply Heat

  • With an Iron: Set your iron to a medium heat setting and place a damp cloth over the creased areas of the shoe. Gently press the iron on the cloth, moving it slightly back and forth. Do not leave the iron in one place to avoid damaging the shoe.
  • With a Hairdryer: Alternatively, you can use a hairdryer on medium heat. Hold it about six inches away from the shoe and heat the creased areas, constantly moving to avoid excessive heat exposure.

Step 4: Cool Down

Allow the shoes to cool with the shoe trees or socks still inside. This helps set the shape and reduce the appearance of creases as the material cools and dries.

Step 5: Condition and Polish

Once cool, remove the shoe trees or socks. For leather shoes, apply a leather conditioner to restore moisture to the leather that might have been lost during heating. Finish by polishing your shoes to enhance their appearance and protect the leather.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can all types of shoes be uncreased using these methods?

Most leather and synthetic shoes can be treated using these methods. However, shoes made from delicate materials like suede or nubuck should be handled differently to avoid damage. Always check the care label or manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is it safe to use an iron on leather shoes?

Using an iron is safe if done correctly. Always use a damp cloth between the iron and the leather to distribute the heat evenly and prevent direct contact, which can scorch or burn the leather.

How often can I apply heat to my shoes to remove creases?

It’s best to use heat treatments sparingly as frequent heating can dry out and damage the material, especially leather. Consider other preventative measures like using shoe trees to maintain shape and minimize creasing.

What alternatives are there to using a hairdryer or iron?

For minor creases, sometimes just stuffing the shoes with newspaper and leaving them for a few days can help. For tougher creases, commercial shoe stretch sprays and mechanical shoe stretchers are effective alternatives.

How do I prevent my shoes from creasing in the first place?

Using shoe trees when you’re not wearing your shoes helps maintain their shape and prevent creasing. Also, rotating your shoes and not wearing the same pair every day can help minimize creasing.

Can these methods remove creases completely?

While these methods can significantly reduce the appearance of creases, some deep creases may not be completely removable, especially in older shoes. Regular care and maintenance are key to preventing creases from becoming permanent.

What should I do if the creases don’t come out?

If conventional methods don’t work, consider taking your shoes to a professional cobbler for expert treatment, especially if they are expensive or of sentimental value.


By following these steps, you can effectively uncrease your shoes and improve their overall appearance. Regular maintenance, including proper storage and care, can prevent creases from forming and keep your shoes looking their best.

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