Protecting your leather shoes. A good pair of leather shoes can last you for a long time. But, with the right amount of care they can last you much longer. It’s important to start this order of shoe care long before you find problems with it. Taking care of them from the beginning means that you’ll be prolonging their life and preventing them from permanent issues. To begin, whatever the leather, by making sure it is free of dust and dirt by giving it a quick clean with a soft brush.