How to Clean Sperrys & Leather Boat Shoes

Curious how to keep your leather Sperrys clean? We've got the answer.

June 21, 2018
in Since 1935

If you’re anything like us, you wear your leather boat shoes to the ground. Meaning you’ve been through a lot together, and it shows. So you’ve probably wondered once or 10 times: how can I clean my Sperrys? What can I use to restore that lustrous leather look?

The good news is, we have plenty of tips on how to clean your Sperrys. Here’s how you can get your trusted boat shoes back in tip-top shape.

How to Clean Sperry Boat Shoes Step 1: Laces Out

First thing’s first: if your Sperrys have laces, remove them before cleaning your shoes. They’re often made of rawhide, which means they have to be cleaned differently. To clean genuine leather Sperry boat shoe laces, just pop them in a bowl with cold water and dish soap, swish thoroughly, and then rinse with clean water. Allow your laces to air dry for about 24 hours.

How to Clean Sperry Boat Shoes Step 2: Leather Care Products

It is important to remember that leather should not be treated in the same way you would fabric, or even nubucks and suedes. Eventhough your Sperrys can get wet, you want to avoid washing them with water. This will dry out the natural oils which add shine and luster to the leather. Luckily, we sell a leather cleaner that will remove dirt and stains, while maintaining the moisture leather needs to look its best.

Follow our step by step instructions video on how to clean leather shoes using Sperry leather cleaner here.

How to Clean Sperry Boat Shoes Step 3: Protect Them from Further Wear

The best remedy is prevention, right? So in short, you’re not done cleaning your Sperry boat shoes quite yet. You can protect your leather boat shoes by applying leather lotion to the surface of those wear-everywhere kicks.

Why, you ask? It will add moisture to prevent drying, cracking, and scuffing…so your leather boat shoes will look new even when they’re far from it. (When you have shoes that last as long as ours do, this is a must!)

Oh, and P.S.., just because you take perfect care of your old ones, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to also get new ones. Just saying. You can check out our newest seasonal styles here.

A Few Extra Tips on How to Wash Sperrys:

1. Apply a quarter-sized dollop of dish soap to the outsole of each shoe, and then using a leather brush (or toothbrush) scrub away any scuffs.
2. Sprinkle non-leather insoles with baking soda to deodorize and help with general freshness. (Or, invest in a pair of no-show socks to keep your feet cool and stick-free.)
3. If they get wet, or after cleaning your leather boat shoes, allow your Sperrys to air-dry for 24 hours in a cool, dry place away from heat or sunlight.
4. Stuff your boat shoes with newspaper to absorb excess moisture and help maintain their shape.

Featured Stories

How to Find Your Perfect Boat Shoe

A/O stands for Authentic Original. Explore The Sperry Boat Shoe Buying Guide, and find yours.

September 5, 2017
How to Tie Sperrys: The Boat Shoe Lacing Guide

There’s only one Authentic Original boat shoe, but there are lots of ways to tie it. Browse through our Lacing Guide to learn how to lace your boat shoes with a few of our favorite knots.

September 20, 2017