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woman walks in KURU QUEST boot.

Stylish and Comfortable
Leather Shoes

Quality craftsmanship for style and comfort.

You can’t go wrong with a pair of high-quality leather shoes. Wearing leather shoes can instantly elevate the overall appeal of any outfit. This holds true whether you’re wearing a full formal suit or casual attire.

If you’re no stranger to the aesthetics of leather shoes for men and women, then you’re likely also familiar with the challenges of buying new ones. Leather shoes fresh out of the box can be unforgiving to your feet. Unless you buy a pair with a perfect fit, you may have to deal with some short-term discomfort.

That’s where KURU leather shoes shine—they offer maximum comfort almost right from the get go.

Our leather shoes for women and men come with our signature three-part technology that ensures ample support and flexibility without sacrificing style.

Experts Guide to Leather Shoes

What are Leather Shoes?

Leather has long been the material of choice for high-quality, durable, and comfortable footwear for both men and women. New leather shoes may be stiff and unforgiving, but once properly broken in, they can be the most comfortable shoes you could wear.

Leather shoes are incredibly durable—provided you properly care for them. High-quality, genuine leather shoes can easily outlive footwear made from synthetic materials. Thanks to this, investing in a single pair of authentic leather shoes can be less expensive over time than purchasing two (or more) pairs of synthetic leather shoes.

Leather shoes offer several other benefits, such as:

  • Breathability: Leather is a naturally breathable material, allowing moisture and air to pass through it. Instead of keeping your sweat in and making the shoe feel uncomfortable, leather allows sweat to evaporate quickly.
  • Flexibility: Leather is also naturally malleable and stretchy. That means it can mold to your foot shape, which allows for a comfortable fit even if you have bunions or your feet swell. This attribute also provides better foot flex when walking.
  • Timeless style: The aesthetic appeal of leather stems largely from its unique and all-natural surface texture and color.
  • Heat insulation: Leather has innate thermal insulation capabilities. Its ability to allow heat to travel slowly through the material keeps your feet warm and cozy even in cold weather.
  • Water-resistance: Some types of leather, such as Nubuck leather, have some inherent water-resistance. Leather can also be made water-resistant with a layer of shoe protector spray.

Top Selling Shoes

Our Customer Favorites

"Cute and comfy
Leather upper in great colors. same great comfort but more stylish look!"
-Suzy Q
"Great formal-ish slip on
Very good comfortable and durable slip on for work. Has the appearance of polished leather so it works in settings that require a more formal styled shoe. Breaks in in 2 days."
-Zzzzzzzzzz

Technology for a Natural Fit, Engineered for Foot Pain Relief

woman stands against railing wearing the KURU QUEST boot. woman stands against railing wearing the KURU QUEST boot.

How to Pair Your Leather Shoes

Whether you’re going for a more laid-back style or a more formal business outfit, there’s a stylish leather shoe for every occasion.

Business casual for men:

  • Formal leather shoes for men like our KIVI are straightforward to style for formal or business casual occasions. All you need is a well-tailored suit and a properly fitting pair of leather shoes.
  • Black leather shoes are a classic option that matches nearly any color or style of suit. Meanwhile, brown leather shoes pair well with navy blue suits or all-black suits for a touch of color.
  • For a hip and modern aesthetic, try a “no break” pants style. The pant leg should just touch the top of your shoe and show a fair amount of your socks. This style is best for those with average height. For a sharp and streamlined look, choose slim-fit or tapered pants.
  • For a more conservative and classic feel, try a “half break” pants style. Here, the hem sits around half or three-quarters of the way down where pants and shoes meet. This looks great with straight-cut pants, though going for a slimmer fit helps you look taller.

Business casual for women:

  • Leather slip-on shoe women are great for office power outfits. Pencil skirts, blouses, and blazers paired with flat or slip-on leather shoes are a classic pairing.
  • Black leather slip-on shoes for women look great with any color. Brown or taupe leather shoes often pair best with white or lighter outfits.
  • For an extra formal ensemble, go for a full pantsuit. A wide-leg pantsuit and turtleneck combo look exceptional when paired with leather Chelsea boots like the LUNA.
  • For a fun, casual look, try wearing a brightly colored or patterned jumpsuit with our TEMPO leather ankle boots. We recommend a slimmer or tapered jumpsuit that cuts off at the ankles to show off the detail on the side of the boot.

HIking or athletic styles:

  • For a men’s hiking or athletic look, try pairing our CHICANE leather shoes with joggers, a henley shirt, and a windbreaker or puffed jacket, depending on the weather. Shorts would look great, too.
  • For women, our QUEST hiking boots pair well with regular or thermal leggings, cotton shirts, plaid overshirts, and puffed vests for added protection against the elements.

Casual looks for men:

  • Above-the-knee chinos shorts and button-down shirts paired with formal leather shoes for men can make for a classy-yet-casual vacation look. Both men's leather slip-on shoes and lace-up shoes could work well. Make sure to wear low or invisible socks to complete the look.
  • For more casual hangouts with friends, simply switch your chinos out for jeans or shorts and your leather shoes for leather sandals, like our KALA leather flip flop.

Casual looks for women:

  • For a more casual look, flat leather slip-on shoes for women match perfectly with dresses, leggings, oversized flowy button-downs, and simple accessories.
  • Ankle or Chelsea leather boots can look casual when paired with rolled up jeans or tights and a dress.

Leather Shoe Care Tips

Extend the lifespan of your leather shoes with these cleaning and conditioning tips.

How to Clean Leather Shoes:

The most important thing to remember about cleaning leather shoes is to keep them as far away from large amounts of water. This means not using your washer, tubs of water, or even soaked towels.

Instead, here’s what you can do to clean your leather shoes:

  • Use a horsehair brush to vigorously brush away any dust, debris, and dried dirt or mud. Make sure to brush the space where the leather meets the sole as well.
  • Lightly moisten a cloth and use it to wipe any stubborn dirt. Make sure to wipe with a clean dry cloth afterward. You can also use saddle soap, leather cleaner, or mild soap and damp cloth to remove stubborn grime.
  • Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner, either creams or oils, in a circular motion.
  • Apply cream shoe polish. Make sure to use black polish for black leather shoes and brown polish for brown leather shoes. For cream or white leather shoes, men’s and women’s, use natural polish instead.
  • Let the leather shoe polish sit for 5–10 minutes before brushing and buffing firmly. Do this until the leather shines. Lightly wipe away any excess shoe polish.
  • Use different cloths, rags, or towels for each step to prevent cross-contaminating the products.

Make sure to always brush or wipe your leather shoes after every time you wear them. This will keep any dirt and grime from sticking to it and staining the material permanently.

How to Store Leather Shoes:

  • Make sure to clean and condition leather shoes before storing them. For short-term storage, you may also use acid-free tissue to absorb moisture.
  • Use a wooden shoe tree in the correct size to prevent creasing and maintain the shoes’ shape without overstretching them. Cedar and poplar shoe trees are ideal, which also help absorb moisture and reduce odor.
  • Store your leather shoes in a climate-controlled environment away from direct sunlight to prevent fading or bleaching.
man walks the beach in KURU KALA sandals. man walks the beach in KURU KALA sandals.

Types of Shoe Leathers

Leather shoes are versatile and perfect for any occasion. Learn more about the different types of leather and find the perfect fit for you.

Some common types of leathers include:

  • Nubuck: A type of suede, Nubuck has been lightly sanded to produce a velvety, napped surface. Nubuck has naturally water-resistant properties and is often used in footwear.
  • Cowhide: Cowhide is preferred for workers’ or sturdy men’s leather shoes. Made from the hides of adult cows, this type of leather is known for being supple, thick, and resistant to cracking and heat damage.
  • Calfskin: Also known as box calf leather, calfskin is prized for its delicate and stunning grain pattern as well as for being firm yet soft to touch. Calfskin is often used for high-end men's leather shoes.
  • Cordovan: This pricy leather is made from the hide of horses. Its high price is due to the time-consuming production process. Cordovan leather is water-repellant, tough but elastic, and has an attractive gleaming surface.
  • Chevreau: This type of leather is taken from goats, with the highest quality being made by young kids. It is prized for being soft, smooth, and supple.
  • Peccary: This refers to leather made from wild boar. It is a preferred leather for sturdy footwear thanks to being durable and affordable.

Leather shoes can be one of the most comfortable types of footwear you can wear, however, they do require to be broken in. This can take between three to four weeks.

Here are a few tips for breaking in your new leather shoes:

  • Wear them for short periods at a time. It is best to do this at home, where you can take them off periodically.
  • Use blister pads, gel stick-ons, and similar items to protect your hot spots or common pain points, like your heel and toes.
  • Wear thicker socks than normal.
  • Apply good quality leather conditioner or oil before using the shoes for the first time.
  • Never try to soften the leather by getting them wet or cooling them with ice.
  • Use a hairdryer to help with heat molding. If using a hairdryer, make sure it is on a mild heat setting and at a modest distance. While using the hairdryer, protect your feet by wearing the shoes with thick socks or using a shoe tree instead.

Why Others Love KURU

See What Our Customers Are Saying About Us

"Rich, luxurious leather, comfortable too!

It's wonderful to find leather shoes and booties that are as comfortable as running shoes! I was worried these would be hard to pull on, but they're perfect. Can't complain about one thing."
-Happy in the Lou

"Comfortable right out of the box!

I bought these for my husband and he started wearing them around the house and yard right away. He usually gets blisters from new rubber flip-flips but these caused no issues due to the straps being leather inside and out. He loves them!"
-lisaw

"Very comfortable

I wanted a good supportive leather shoe to walk with my planter fascitis and this is perfect."
-Walker gal

FAQs

Answers to the most frequently asked questions are just a click away.

How do I clean leather shoes?

Here are our top five tips to clean leather shoes:

  • Use a horsehair brush to vigorously brush away any dust, debris, and dried dirt or mud. Make sure to brush the space where the leather meets the sole as well.
  • Lightly moisten a cloth and use it to wipe any stubborn dirt. Make sure to wipe with a clean dry cloth afterward.
  • You can also use saddle soap, leather cleaner, or mild soap and damp cloth to remove stubborn grime.
  • Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner, either creams or oils, in a circular motion.
  • Use shoe polish. Make sure to use black polish for black leather shoes and brown polish for brown leather shoes. For cream or white leather shoes, men’s and women’s, use natural polish instead.
  • Make sure to always brush or wipe your leather shoes after every time you wear them. This will keep any dirt and grime from sticking to it and staining the material permanently.

Do leather shoes stretch?

Yes, but only to a certain extent. In general, leather shoes can stretch and increase in size by a quarter or half a size.

Leather is a naturally flexible material, so although new leather shoes may feel stiff and uncomfortable, they will soften and mold to your feet over time.

How do I take care of my KURU shoes?

All KURU shoes are made of durable materials to ensure better performance for a long time. Still, taking good care of them helps prolong their life. Here are our top tips for taking care of your KURU leather shoes and sneakers.

  • Store your KURU shoes in a cool, dry environment. Avoid keeping them anywhere with direct light or sun.
  • Store your leather KURU shoes with a cedar or poplar shoe tree to help absorb moisture and odor from the leather.
  • Use a moistened, lint-free cloth or a soft-bristled brush to remove dried mud and dirt.
  • Let the mud or dirt fully dry before gently brushing them off the shoes.
  • Always air dry your KURU footwear. Remove the sockliner insole to dry separately and to ensure the inside dries properly.
  • Use the KURU Shield water-resistant shoe protector spray for added protection against stains, water, oils, and other substances.

Are any KURU shoes waterproof?

KURU currently offers water-resistant shoes (though waterproof is on the horizon!). Our TREAD sandal for men and women features water-resistant leather, non-wicking microfiber, and trail-ready rubber.

If you prefer other KURU shoe styles, they can easily become water repellant using our KURU Shield shoe protector spray.

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