The best shoe polishes to revitalize your leather footwear

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Otter Wax Cream
  • Conditioner, shoe cream, and wax polish work hand-in-hand to keep leather footwear looking its best.
  • Don’t skimp on your leather-care routine if you want your shoes and boots to last.
  • Think of these leather-care products as skincare for your shoes.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

I still vividly remember the time when a TSA agent told me I needed to shine my shoes as he watched them pass through the scanner at the airport. I was mortified. I’m notoriously hard on footwear, so keeping them looking their best is a constant battle. Thankfully, there are some great products out there to help in this Sisyphean effort.

The three product categories covered in this guide are cream polish, wax polish, and conditioner. I also spoke to Tony Pecorella, the owner of Manhattan’s Modern Leather Goods, a storied leather care and repair business that’s been around since the 1940s, who explained to me what each product is good for. Conditioner and shoe cream both moisturize the leather, but the cream polish leaves a thin layer of cream that helps blend scratches and scuffs and gives the shoe a medium shine. Wax polish is the best at covering scuffs and scratches and leaves a higher shine, Pecorella said. For more on our conversation, see the FAQ section below.

To narrow down the best shoe polishes, I did some testing at home with products that have gotten high marks from experts and customers. I used them on a single boot or shoe as a before-and-after snapshot to see what kind of coverage, shine, and conditioning power they had. Other considerations included price, ingredients, and range of colors. Note that these products are for smooth leather, not suede or nubuck.

The 5 best shoe polishes in 2021:

The Best Leather Shoe Conditioner: Saphir Renovateur

Saphir Renovateur

Saphir Renovateur revitalizes shoe leather. It comes with a premium price tag but is well worth the money. 

Sizing options: 75 ml and 250 ml 

Modern Leather Goods almost exclusively uses Saphir products and it’s not alone. Of the many guides I’ve read on shoe care by various industry professionals, nearly all of them list Saphir as the top leather product company and the brand’s Renovateur as the best conditioner. I put it to the test on a pair of old cowboy boots I’ve had for 20 years that have seen a lot of wear and tear, and much less care. The leather greedily soaked in the Renovateur and I could see the results quickly. The leather had a more regular color, a light shine, and took on a richer brown. 

According to a company rep, Saphir, a French company founded in 1920, continues to manufacture its products in the same way it did when it was first founded. The ingredient list (and the smell, which is quite pleasant) is closer to what you might find in a skincare product than what you’d expect to rub on your shoes. The list includes lanolin, beeswax, and mink oil.  

While expensive at more than $20 for a 75 ml jar, a little goes a long way and it doesn’t need to be applied that often, perhaps once a month. If you’ve invested a chunk of change in your leather footwear, the Renovateur is worth the cost to help keep your shoes and boots looking their best. 

Pros: Conditions beautifully, works quickly, and imparts a light shine. 

Cons:  None to speak of

Renovateur (small)
Best Wax Polish: Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe

Saphir Medaille D'or 1925 Pate De Luxe

Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe instantly revives the color of your shoes and provides a high shine with little work. 

Sizing options: 50 ml and 100 ml

Saphir is a hard brand to beat and this is especially true with its wax polish, the Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe. I used it on a pair of dress shoes I haven’t worn in a long while that were desperately in need of some TLC. The color had faded so badly I thought I might need to use shoe dye. I applied the Pate de Luxe as directed and the polish immediately revitalized the faded color, and didn’t require a large amount of product to achieve coverage. Saphir uses a higher concentration of pigment in the Pate de Luxe than other brands, and it shows. 

According to the company, you can achieve a high gloss or mirror gloss with the Pate de Luxe and can be used with the Renovateur and a cream polish. Like the Renovateur, the ingredients list mostly reads like a high-end face cream — jojoba, almond, and macadamia oils — plus beeswax, and natural solvents like turpentine oil. I was able to buff the shoe to a high shine with little effort. 

I tried it against the Leather Spa Luxury Wax Polish and found it had better coverage and didn’t require as much product to achieve similar results and costs about the same price. You can buy a 50 ml tin of the Pate de Luxe for about $12 on Amazon, depending on the color. It comes in 12 colors. 

Pros: Beautiful coverage, revitalizes faded color, achieves a high shine, several color options

Cons: None to speak of.

Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe (small)
Best Color Polish: Tarrago Cream Polish

Tarrago Cream Polish

Tarrago Cream Polish has a huge range of colors, provides excellent coverage, and gives a medium shine. 

Sizing options: 50 ml 

Tarrago is a Spanish brand that’s been around since 1940 and was the first company to offer water-based polishes back in the 1960s. (It’s now owned by the same parent company that owns Saphir, Alma FRC.) The brand offers a range of nearly 100 colors in the cream polish. The wax polish comes in seven color choices. 

I used the Tarrago cream polish on a pair of gray leather sneakers that were badly scuffed. The thick cream quickly soaked into the leather and easily covered the various scuff marks. After it dried, I buffed it to a medium shine. If you’re looking for a high shine for your colored shoes, your best bet is to use the Tarrago Cream Polish, followed by a neutral wax polish that can achieve a higher shine. 

The Tarrago Shoe Cream is available on Amazon for $7. Not all the colors are available on the site. For more color choices, Myshoesupplies.com also carries it for $3.05, but you’ll pay a $4.29 shipping fee for orders under $60. 

Pros: Huge range of color choices, good coverage. 

Cons: Doesn’t provide a high shine.

Cream Polish (small)
Best Budget-Friendly Polish: Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream

Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream

Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream provides a light shine, comes in a good range of colors, and is a great value. 

Sizing options: 1.55 ounces

Moneysworth & Best is a family-owned Canadian company that started out as a Toronto shoe repair shop in the 1980s. The Shoe Cream is made in Spain from all-natural ingredients, including lanolin, and various oils, waxes, and pigments. The product comes in more than 30 colors.  

I used this on two different pairs of beat-up vintage boots. The shoe cream had decent coverage, but it wasn’t able to hide some staining. The product has a creamy consistency and soaked into the leather quickly. After buffing, I was able to get a light shine. While it didn’t completely cover the issues on the boots, it did give the leather a more even, smoother appearance and definitely made me feel comfortable wearing the boots in public again. That said, I’d recommend this product for shoes or boots that are still in good condition and don’t require a lot of pigment. 

It’s available for $2.99 for a 1.55-ounce jar. For more colors, Amazon also carries Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream, but be warned that the pricing varies, with some colors costing around $7 or more. 

Pros: Good coverage, better price. 

Cons: I could only achieve a light shine, won’t cover all blemishes and stains

Shoe Cream (small)
Best Self-Shining Polish: Tarrago Self-Shining Kit

Tarrago Self-Shining Kit

The Tarrago Self-Shining Kit is perfect for reviving your shoes in a hurry while also helping to nourish the leather. 

Sizing options: 50 ml 

Tarrago’s Self-Shining Kit provides a quick and easy way to revive your shoes with very little time or effort. It contains a sponge applicator on the top that you simply dip into the cream polish and apply to the leather. I used it on a pair of my wife’s boots that were moderately scuffed and hadn’t been shined in several months. One pass across the leather was all it took to bring them back to life. It easily covered the scuffs and scratches and produced a medium shine with no buffing. 

The product contains a high amount of carnauba wax, which provides the instant shine. The wax is derived from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree. It’s sustainably harvested as the trees aren’t damaged during processing. 

While the Self-Shine kit doesn’t come in nearly as many colors as the company’s regular shoe cream (there are only about a dozen options), it’s a great choice for when you’re in a hurry and need to get your shoes in order. I wish I would have used this before I headed through the TSA line all those years ago. The kit is $7.99 for a 50 ml jar. 

Pros: Fast, easy, good coverage, and a medium shine. 

Cons: Not as many color choices as Tarrago’s Shoe Cream.

Self-Shining Kit (small)
Best Cream Polish: Leather Spa Cream Polish

Leather Spa Cream Polish

Leather Spa’s Cream Polish nourishes leather, ably hides the scrapes and scuffs of everyday wear, and provides a medium shine. 

Sizing options: 1.4 ounces 

Leather Spa, the famous New York City-based leather care and repair business, also makes shoe care products, including a shoe cream. Leather Spa has its origins in France and that’s where the company’s shoe cream is produced using all-natural ingredients. It doesn’t contain any silicone or petroleum products that can end up damaging leather over the long run. 

I used the cream polish on a pair of my wife’s boots. The cream very quickly soaked into the leather, giving it a nice sheen. It had very good coverage, evening out the color, and hiding the scuffs. It didn’t quite cover a small divot in the leather, but as Tony Pecorella stated, a wax polish is better at hiding those kinds of blemishes. I buffed the boots and was able to develop a medium shine. Leather Spa’s Shoe Cream is $8.95 for a 1.4-ounce jar. It comes in 34 different colors, which is a major plus for matching shades other than the typical black or brown.

Pros: Moisturizing, evens out the color, hides scuffs and small scratches, many color options. 

Cons: Can’t hide larger blemishes like divots in the leather.

Cream Polish (small)
What else we considered

best shoe polish

Lexol Leather Conditioner

Lexol’s leather conditioner is billed as a conditioning product but imparts a nice glossy shine to leather. In a head-to-head comparison between it and the much pricier Saphir Renovateur on a pair of my father’s 1960s ankle boots, Lexol did well, except that it required a much longer drying time. The Saphir product dried in a few minutes. Lexol took several hours. For the price, around $7, it’s a great product, but not the best choice if you’re in a hurry. 

FAQs

Otter Wax Cream

What other products do I need to polish my shoes?

Besides conditioner and polish, there are a few basics you’ll need to do the job right. A horsehair dauber brush, which typically has a round head that tapers down to the handle, is good for applying saddle soap to clean the shoes before polishing. Some people also use this type of brush to apply polish. Kiwi makes a good one. 

A horse hair brush is important for buffing your shoes once you’ve applied the polish and have let it dry. The brush helps bring out the shine. Kirby Allison makes an outstanding version. 

Some people like to use a microfiber cloth for applying conditioner and polish and for a final buff for a higher shine. I personally use old cotton T-shirts cut into strips to apply polish, a trick I’ve seen professional shoe shiners use.


Do I need to clean my shoes before polishing them?

Yes. You can take a damp cloth and wipe away any visible dirt. If they’re very dirty or have stains, you can use saddle soap, like Fiebing’s, that can be applied using a slightly damp dauber brush. Rub the brush in the soap until you get a light lather and then apply on the shoes. Wipe away with a dry cloth. Now you’re ready to condition the shoes followed by shining them.


How often should you polish your shoes? 

“That’s the age old question,” Pecorella said. “It differs by person and wear. If you wear the same shoes every day, once every two to six weeks. If you alternate shoes, maybe once a month to two months. It really is based on the eye test and nobody knows your shoes better than you do.”


When should I use a wax polish versus a cream polish? 

According to a Saphir rep I spoke with, cream polish is more for nourishing and recoloring, while wax polish is for creating a high shine. It’s mainly for dress footwear where you want a high gloss.


Can wax polish damage my shoes? 

Tony Pecorella warns that wax polish, unlike cream, doesn’t moisturize the leather and can build up over time and dry the leather out. Cream polish won’t harm the leather, even if used frequently. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

I tested no-show socks to see which pairs are actually invisible and don’t slide off – these 5 made the cut

Best no show socks roundup 4x3
  • No-show socks are notoriously known for slipping down your feet throughout the day – until now.
  • A good no-show sock fits snugly, is comfortable and breathable, and doesn’t bunch up in your shoes.
  • After testing, these five socks are the pairs we’d recommend.

Let us start by saying that no-show socks can be seriously hard to shop for. You might think you’re getting the best bang for your buck by buying some generic no-show socks in bulk online – only to find them slipping halfway down your feet after an hour or so of wearing them. Not to mention, some socks are self-proclaimed as “no-show,” but they’re still really visible. So, what are “no-show” socks, really? For this guide, we’re going to define no-show socks as ones that don’t rise above your ankle (excluding tabs) – but that’s not the only factor we’re taking into consideration.

To make it onto our top-five no-show favorites list, these socks had to pass some rigorous on-foot testing to make sure they are true to size, comfortable, slip-free, and meet some other must-have qualifications. If you’re interested in learning about our full testing methodology, you can read about it here. Just want to cut to the chase and upgrade your sock game, like, yesterday? You can totally do that, too. That said, after testing 11 different no-show socks, these five take the cake for being the best you can buy.

Here are our top picks for no-show socks in 2021:

Maye-Williams Flexforce No-Show Socks

Maye-Williams Flexforce No Show Socks

Maye-Williams’ Flexforce No-Show Socks are comfortable, soft, breathable, and don’t slide down while you’re wearing them.

Sizing options: Women’s 5-10 and Men’s 6-12

Maye-Williams might be a newcomer in the activewear world (est. 2018), but this company knows how to make high-quality, durable no-show socks. That said, please welcome Maye-Williams’ Flexforce No-Show Socks. Available in 3-packs of both women’s and men’s sizes in white, black, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange, and blue, these checked off every box for us. They’re super comfortable, soft, breathable (97% Polyester and 3% Spandex), and the best part: They don’t slide down while you’re wearing them.

My boyfriend tested out the men’s socks and I tested out the women’s, and our results were pretty similar. Neither of our socks ever slipped down during our walk and they even stayed on while we were sleeping (which is revolutionary, if you ask us). The only downsides? Although the men’s socks say they fit a size 6-12, my boyfriend, who is usually a size 11, found his to be a little too tight and pretty thin. There also doesn’t seem to be any other sizes to choose from, which might limit some people if they don’t fit within that size range. Otherwise, we both rate Maye-Williams’ Flexforce No-Show Socks as deserving of five out of five stars.

Flexforce No-Show Socks (3-pair) (small)
Allbirds Trino Sprinters No-Show Socks

Best no-show socks - Allbirds Trino Sprinters No Show Socks

Allbirds’ Trino Sprinters No-Show Socks are super low-cut and made of soft, breathable, carbon-neutral material all while minimizing odor and wicking away moisture. 

Sizing options: S-XL

If you’re looking for a sock that’s super no-show, Allbirds’ Trino Sprinters No-Show Socks will definitely fit the bill. Besides being available in three colors, Seafoam, Malibu, and Pacific, and in sizes S-XL, these socks have tons of other features that make them notable. They’re made of a super-breathable eucalyptus fiber and merino wool mesh knit material, which keeps your feet cool (despite the wool), they have a reinforced heel and toe, are made with totally renewable carbon-neutral materials, they help minimize odor, and they wick away moisture.

So, when I tested them out, the first thing I noticed was the compression in the arch and how soft they were. After walking around in them, the compression made them feel extra snug (but in the best of ways) and my feet stayed cool the entire time. No slipping down, either! The only downside: I did notice a small, loose string coming off of one of the socks, and since they’re pretty thin, I’m a little worried about how long they’ll last. Regardless, these passed the test for being one of the best no-show socks you can buy — bonus points for Allbirds offering a variety of sizes!

See our full review of Allbirds’ Trino socks here

Trino Sprinters No-Show Socks (small)
Swiftwick Aspire Zero No-Show Socks

Best no-show socks: Swiftwick Aspire Zero No Show Socks

Swiftwick’s Aspire Zero No-Show Socks are great for compression, running, never budging, and having an overall “barely-there” feel.

Sizing options: S-XL

What’s really great about Swiftwick is the brand really takes the time to go through the details of what makes its socks stand out from the rest. I tried out a few different types of Swiftwick’s no-show socks, but the Aspire Zero No-Show Socks are what sold me. But before we jump into why, we need to talk about Swiftwick’s slogan, which is “The best socks you will ever wear guaranteed.” With something like that written on the socks’ packaging, my expectations were pretty high. Turns out, those high expectations were met. These socks tout a thin, contoured compression fit (AKA no awkward bunching or blisters), moisture-wicking fiber, a breathable “barely-there” feel, and the company follows totally sustainable practices to boot. 

I tried out the White Navy color and I got tons of compliments from my friends on how chic and nice my socks were. (How often do you get complimented on your socks?!) I especially love the firm compression, how they hug my feet perfectly, and how they didn’t budge once. In other words, I definitely understand why these are Swiftwick’s most popular running socks. The only downside? These rise a little higher than some of the other no-show socks I tested out, but they still don’t rise above the ankle (tab excluded), so they work!

See our full review of Swiftwick’s running socks here

Aspire Zero No-Show Socks (small)
Lululemon Power Stride No-Show Socks with Active Grips

Best no-show socks: Lululemon Power Stride No Show Socks with Active Grips

If you’re looking for something that’ll stay put while running and training and provide some extra arch support, these Power Stride No-Show Socks with Active Grips from Lululemon are a game changer. 

Sizing options: S, M, L

The last thing you want to worry about while running or training is needing to pull up the sock that’s bunching up in your shoe, which is why Lululemon made a serious effort to make these Power Stride No-Show Socks with Active Grips totally athlete-friendly. These socks are extra stretchy, provide micro-cushioning, and have super-stay grip tabs on the backs, all while providing awesome arch support. You can buy them in packs of three in White, Black, White/Blue Linen/Black, or White/Heather Grey/Black.

It was a little chilly out while wearing these, and they actually helped keep my feet warm — but definitely not hot. They’re very breathable and lightweight, so I was surprised at how comfortable the micro-cushioning is. Despite being light, you can tell they’re made of durable material that will make them worth their price. And the arch support? It felt like my feet were being gently hugged the whole time wearing them. The only “downsides” I could find are the slightly awkward fit at the bottom of the heel and the slightly tall grips — but I had to try pretty hard to find any cons at all, so these no-show socks rank pretty high up there. 

Power Stride No-Show Socks with Active Grips (small)
ToeSox Casual Dash No-Show Socks

Best no-show socks - ToeSox Casual Dash No Show Socks

Tired of sliding socks and blisters? We have a solution, and it comes in the form of ToeSox Casual Dash No-Show Socks.

Sizing options: S, M, L

You can consider blisters a thing of the past with ToeSox’s Casual Dash No-Show Socks. These ultra-soft casual no-show socks are available in the colors Black and Carbon. They have a snug spot for each of your toes to fit into so they won’t rub against each other or generate too much heat or moisture. Plus, the silicone grips on the backs of the socks help keep them in place, so you can focus on what you’re doing throughout the day instead of being inconvenienced by your sliding footwear. Bonus points for them being made of organic cotton!

That said, I’ve never been a fan of socks with spots for your toes — until now. These are awesome and way more comfortable than I thought socks with spots for your toes would be. They fit snugly on my feet and toes and didn’t fall down once while wearing them. Although the initial process of fitting my toes into each spot took a little longer than I’d like, once they were on I didn’t want to take them off.

Casual Dash No-Show Socks (small)
Our testing methodology

To test each of these no-show socks, I walked around the courtyard at my apartment building twice while wearing the same sneakers each time and taking note of how comfortable, breathable, and supportive each pair of socks was. The most important thing, though, was making sure they didn’t slide down my feet.

As someone who owns several pairs of no-show socks that all slide down while wearing them, I was so ready to find some that don’t budge. After taking a walk, I wore each pair for a few more hours to see how they held up while sitting at home and lounging, then I created a pros and cons list for each of them.

That said, the reasons why some of the other socks didn’t make this list are because they slid down, fit awkwardly, were uncomfortable, left behind red marks, or were too tall to actually be considered our definition of “no-show.”

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Minimalist jewelry gifts that still feel special for any occasion

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best shoe polishes in 2021

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Otter Wax Cream

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Conditioner, shoe cream, and wax polish have different attributes and work hand-in-hand to keep your leather footwear looking its best.
  • Don’t skimp on your leather-care routine if you want your shoes and boots to last.
  • Think of these leather-care products as skincare for your shoes.

I still vividly remember the time when a TSA agent told me I needed to shine my shoes as he watched them pass through the scanner at the airport. I was mortified. I’m notoriously hard on footwear, so keeping them looking their best a constant battle. Thankfully, there are some great products out there to help in this Sisyphean effort.

The three product categories covered in this article are cream polish, wax polish, and conditioner. Tony Pecorella, the owner of Manhattan’s Modern Leather Goods, a storied leather care and repair business that’s been around since the 1940s, explained what each product is good for. Conditioner and shoe cream both moisturize the leather, but the cream polish leaves a thin layer of cream that helps blend scratches and scuffs. It gives the shoe a medium shine. Wax polish is the best at covering scuffs and scratches and leaves a higher shine, he said. For more on our conversation see the FAQ section below.

I did some testing at home with products that have gotten high marks from experts and customers. I used them on a single boot or shoe as a before-and-after snapshot to see what kind of coverage, shine, and conditioning power they had. Other considerations included price, ingredients, and range of colors. These products are for smooth leather, not suede or nubuck.

Here is the best shoe polish in 2021

The Best Leather Shoe Conditioner: Saphir Renovateur

Saphir Renovateur

Saphir Renovateur revitalized shoe leather. It comes with a premium price tag, but is well worth the money. 

Sizing options: 75 ml and 250 ml 

Modern Leather Goods almost exclusively uses Saphir products and they’re not alone. Of the many guides I’ve read on shoe care by various industry professionals, nearly all of them list Saphir as the top leather product company and its Renovateur as the best conditioner. I put it to the test on a pair of old cowboy boots I’ve had for 20 years that have seen a lot of wear and tear, and much less care. The leather greedily soaked in the Renovateur and I could see the results quickly. The leather had a more regular color, took on a richer brown, and a light shine to it. 

According to a company rep, Saphir, a French company founded in 1920, continues to manufacture its products in the same way it did when it was first founded. The ingredient list (and the smell, which is quite pleasant) is closer to what you might find in a skincare product than what you’d expect to rub on your shoes. The list includes lanolin, beeswax, and mink oil.  

While it’s expensive at more than $20 for a 75 ml jar, a little goes a long way and doesn’t need to be applied that often, perhaps once a month. If you’ve invested a chunk of change in your leather footwear, the Renovateur is worth the cost to help keep your shoes and boots looking their best. 

Pros: Conditions beautifully, works quickly, and imparts a light shine. 

Cons:  None to speak of

Renovateur (small)
Best Cream Polish: Leather Spa Cream Polish

Leather Spa Cream Polish

Leather Spa’s Cream Polish nourishes leather, ably hides the scrapes and scuffs of everyday wear, and provides a medium shine. 

Sizing options: 1.4 ounces 

Leather Spa, the famous New York City-based leather care and repair business, also makes shoe care products, including a shoe cream. Leather Spa has its origins in France and that’s where the company’s shoe cream is produced using all-natural ingredients. It doesn’t contain any silicone or petroleum products that can end up damaging leather over the long run. 

I used the cream polish on a pair of my wife’s boots. The cream very quickly soaked into the leather, giving it a nice sheen. It had very good coverage, evening out the color, and hiding the scuffs. It didn’t quite cover a small divot in the leather, but as Tony Pecorella stated, a wax polish is better at hiding those kinds of blemishes. I buffed the boots and was able to develop a medium shine. Leather Spa’s Shoe Cream is $8.95 for a 1.4-ounce jar. It comes in 34 different colors, which is a major plus for matching shades other than the typical black or brown.

Pros: Moisturizing, evens out the color, hides scuffs and small scratches, many color options. 

Cons: Can’t hide larger blemishes like divots in the leather.

Cream Polish (small)
Best Wax Polish: Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe

Saphir Medaille D'or 1925 Pate De Luxe

Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe instantly revives the color of your shoes and provides a high shine with little work. 

Sizing options: 50 ml and 100 ml

Saphir is a hard brand to beat and this is especially true with its wax polish, the Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe. I used it on a pair of dress shoes I haven’t worn in a long while that were desperately in need of some TLC. The color had faded so badly I thought I might need to use shoe dye. I applied the Pate de Luxe as directed and the polish immediately revitalized the faded color, and didn’t require a large amount of product to achieve coverage. Saphir uses a higher concentration of pigment in the Pate de Luxe than other brands, and it shows. 

According to the company, you can achieve a high gloss or mirror gloss with the Pate de Luxe and can be used with the Renovateur and a cream polish. Like the Renovateur, the ingredients list mostly reads like a high-end face cream—jojoba, almond, and macadamia oils—plus beeswax, and natural solvents like turpentine oil. I was able to buff the shoe to a high shine with little effort. 

I tried it against the Leather Spa Luxury Wax Polish and found it had better coverage and didn’t require as much product to achieve similar results and costs about the same price. You can buy a 50 ml tin of the Pate de Luxe for about $12 on Amazon, depending on the color. It comes in 12 colors. 

Pros: Beautiful coverage, revitalizes faded color, achieves a high shine, several color options

Cons: None to speak of.

Medaille d’Or Pate de Luxe (small)
Best Color Polish: Tarrago Cream Polish

Tarrago Cream Polish

Tarrago Cream Polish has a huge range of colors, provides excellent coverage, and gives a medium shine. 

Sizing options: 50 ml 

Tarrago is a Spanish brand that’s been around since 1940 and was the first company to offer water-based polishes back in the 1960s. (It’s now owned by the same parent company that owns Saphir, Alma FRC.) The brand offers a range of nearly 100 colors in the cream polish. The wax polish comes in seven color choices. 

I used the Tarrago cream polish on a pair of gray leather sneakers that were badly scuffed. The thick cream quickly soaked into the leather and easily covered the various scuff marks. After it dried, I buffed it to a medium shine. If you’re looking for a high shine for your colored shoes, your best bet is to use the Tarrago Cream Polish, followed by a neutral wax polish that can achieve a higher shine. 

The Tarrago Shoe Cream is available on Amazon for $7. Not all the colors are available on the site. For more color choices, Myshoesupplies.com also carries it for $3.05, but you’ll pay a $4.29 shipping fee for orders under $60. 

Pros: Huge range of color choices, good coverage. 

Cons: Doesn’t provide a high shine.

Cream Polish (small)
Best Budget-Friendly Polish: Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream

Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream

Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream provides a light shine, comes in a good range of colors, and is a great value. 

Sizing options: 1.55 ounces

Moneysworth & Best is a family-owned Canadian company that started out as a Toronto shoe repair shop in the 1980s. The Shoe Cream is made in Spain from all-natural ingredients, including lanolin, and various oils, waxes, and pigments. The product comes in more than 30 colors.  

I used this on two different pairs of beat up vintage boots. The shoe cream had decent coverage, but it wasn’t able to hide some staining. The product has a creamy consistency and soaked into the leather quickly. After buffing, I was able to get a light shine. While it didn’t completely cover the issues on the boots, it did give the leather a more even, smoother appearance and definitely made me feel comfortable wearing the boots in public again. That said, I’d recommend this product for shoes or boots that are still in good condition and don’t require a lot of pigment. 

It’s available $2.99 for a 1.55 ounce jar. For more colors, Amazon also carries Moneysworth & Best Shoe Cream, but be warned that the pricing on the site is a little weird, with some colors costing around $7 or more. 

Pros: Good coverage, better price. 

Cons: I could only achieve a light shine, won’t cover all blemishes and stains

Shoe Cream (small)
Best Self-Shining Polish: Tarrago Self-Shining Kit

Tarrago Self-Shining Kit

The Tarrago Self-Shining Kit is perfect for reviving your shoes in a hurry while also helping to nourish the leather. 

Sizing options: 50 ml 

Tarrago’s Self-Shining Kit provides a quick and easy way to revive your shoes with very little time or effort. It contains a sponge applicator on the top that you simply dip into the cream polish and apply to the leather. I used it on a pair of my wife’s boots that were moderately scuffed and hadn’t been shined in several months. One pass across the leather was all it took to bring them back to life. It easily covered the scuffs and scratches and produced a medium shine with no buffing. 

The product contains a high amount of carnauba wax, which provides the instant shine. The wax is derived from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree. It’s sustainably harvested as the trees aren’t damaged during processing. 

While the Self-Shine kit doesn’t come in nearly as many colors as the company’s regular shoe cream(there are only about a dozen choices),—it’s a great choice for when you’re in a hurry and need to get your shoes in order. I wish I would have used this before I headed through the TSA line all those years ago. The kit is $7.99 for a 50 ml jar. 

Pros: Fast, easy, good coverage, and a medium shine. 

Cons: Not as many color choices as Tarrago’s Shoe Cream.

Self-Shining Kit (small)
What else we considered

best shoe polish

Lexol Leather Conditioner

Lexol’s leather conditioner is billed as a conditioning product but imparts a nice glossy shine to leather. In a head-to-head comparison between it and the much pricier Saphir Renovateur on a pair of my father’s 1960s ankle boots, Lexol did well, except that it required a much longer drying time. The Saphir product dried in a few minutes. Lexol took several hours. For the price, around $7, it’s a great product, but not the best choice if you’re in a hurry. 

FAQs

Otter Wax Cream

What other products do I need to polish my shoes?

Besides conditioner and polish, there are a few basics you’ll need to do the job right. A horsehair dauber brush, which typically has a round head that tapers down to the handle, is good for applying saddle soap to clean the shoes before polishing. Some people also use this type of brush to apply polish. Kiwi makes a good one. 

A horse hair brush is important for buffing your shoes once you’ve applied the polish and have let it dry. The brush helps bring out the shine. Kirby Allison makes an outstanding version. 

Some people like to use a microfiber cloth for applying conditioner and polish and for a final buff for a higher shine. I personally use old cotton T-shirts cut into strips to apply polish, a trick I’ve seen professional shoe shiners use.


Do I need to clean my shoes before polishing them?

Yes. You can take a damp cloth and wipe away any visible dirt. If they’re very dirty or have stains, you can use saddle soap, like Fiebing’s, that can be applied using a slightly damp dauber brush. Rub the brush in the soap until you get a light lather and then apply on the shoes. Wipe away with a dry cloth. Now you’re ready to condition the shoes followed by shining them.


How often should you polish your shoes? 

“That’s the age old question,” Pecorella said. “It differs by person and wear. If you wear the same shoes every day, once every two to six weeks. If you alternate shoes, maybe once a month to two months. It really is based on the eye test and nobody knows your shoes better than you do.”


When should I use a wax polish versus a cream polish? 

According to a Saphir rep I spoke with, cream polish is more for nourishing and recoloring, while wax polish is for creating a high shine. It’s mainly for dress footwear where you want a high gloss.


Can wax polish damage my shoes? 

Tony Pecorella warns that wax polish, unlike cream, doesn’t moisturize the leather and can build up over time and dry the leather out. Cream polish won’t harm the leather, even if used frequently. 

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The 10 best places to buy men’s athleisure, and the best pieces we’ve tried

  • The best athleisure brands are saving people from wearing the same boring sweatpants every day.
  • With pieces from our favorite brands, you can be comfortable and presentable at the same time.
  • Brands like Nike, Twillory, Vuori, Uniqlo, Public Rec, and Everlane are among our favorites.

Over the past few years, athleisure has been one of the quickest growing categories in clothing, but now it’s more popular than ever – and for good reason. Drawing cues from true performance athletic wear and cozier loungewear styles, athleisure fills the gap between the two categories, which makes these pieces some of the most versatile clothes you can own and wear.

Whether you’re shopping for clothing that’s stylish enough for Zoom meetings yet comfortable enough for sitting on your couch, or you want clothes that you can wear to work out in before running errands and grabbing lunch, athleisure has you covered for it all.

Think of it as the easiest way to get dressed for daily life without having to put much thought and effort into it. No longer will you have to choose between form and function when it comes to your clothes.

Here are the best athleisure brands for men in 2021:

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Nike

Nike

Nike‘s clothing is dependable, sporty, and fashionable all at the same time.

Nike has a massive selection of tried-and-true sportswear that’s been backed by some of the world’s best athletes. The iconic branding translates well to the full spectrum of style — from casual everyday wearers to sneakerheads and streetwear enthusiasts. In other words, pretty much anyone can wear Nike products, and look good in them too

On top of that, Nike’s clothing is relatively affordable. You’ll find that in some instances it’s actually cheaper than up-and-coming athleisure or performance wear companies.

Another plus side of Nike is its ability to create inclusive clothing. Although some styles favor a more masculine or feminine silhouette, a good portion of Nike’s clothing is unisex.

You’ll be able to find shorts, T-shirts, hoodies, compression pants, socks, and basically anything else you could possibly think of. Also, don’t forget that Jordan Brand and Converse are part of the Nike family, making the selection seemingly endless. 

What to buy:

Product Card (small)Sportswear Swoosh Shorts (small)
Vuori

Vuori

Vuori’s clothing is both lightweight and comfortable, which makes it a breeze to both live in and work out in.

It’s obvious that Vuori takes its inspiration from the beach that’s just a stone’s throw away from its headquarters in Encinitas, California. And that means that its clothes maintain an easy, laidback California aesthetic that is effortlessly cool without looking sloppy.

The brand’s Ponto Performance Pant is the absolute best for people who want to seamlessly transition through different environments in one pair of pants.

While most performance wear is based strictly on sportiness, Vuori is centered around performance in more than just sport. The pants are made from a light and stretchy material that’s soft against the skin. Whether you’re doing yoga, running, working out, riding a bike, lounging, or dressing casually, the Ponto Performance Pants can handle it in comfort.

If you’re looking for a great shirt, I would recommend the Tradewind Performance shirt. The Tradewind Tee is the company’s “most technical” in the lineup, featuring micro-perforation for ventilation, flatlock seams, and a front chest pocket. The shirt promises to wick moisture and dry quickly, making it perfect for a run, a hot yoga session, and any errands you may need to run in between.

What to buy:

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)
Uniqlo

Uniqlo

If you simply need a good T-shirt without spending a lot of money, Uniqlo’s Dry T-shirts are the way to go. 

Although Uniqlo isn’t an athleisure brand specifically, it’s my favorite place to get comfortable basics at affordable prices. You’ll find an array of T-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, hoodies, and other pieces that fall into the category of athleisure. 

Despite Uniqlo’s affordable prices, the brand does a great job of offering variety. There are a handful of different materials available to help make clothing more comfortable or useful for specific activities or seasons of the year.

AIRism, a lightweight material that makes clothes more breathable, UV Protection, which blocks sunlight, BLOCKTECH, a water-resistant material, and HEATTECH, a warmth-trapping material, are just some of the many technologies you can find.

In terms of style, Uniqlo definitely pays close attention to fashion trends and regularly collaborates with designers to create more elevated basics.

What to buy:

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)
Rhone

Rhone

Rhone’s athleisure clothing is made with its special GoldFusion technology, which keeps odors at bay no matter how long your day drags on.

Back in 2016, Rhone managed to raise nearly $113,000 to bring GoldFusion technology to its line of activewear. And now, it can be found in a wide range of activewear and athleisure clothing. 

GoldFusion technology is Rhone’s proprietary, eco-friendly fabric treatment that leverages real gold particles to help fabrics dry up to three times faster. In addition, it’s UV protective, and looks great, too.

The technology goes a long way in keeping your clothes fresh for extended periods of time, whether that means long and active days on the go or simply getting a couple wears out of your workout clothes before having to wash them.

Beyond the odor-blocking technology, Rhone has proven itself to be a versatile brand, offering everything from workout apparel to casual comfort styles.

I absolutely love Rhone’s Commuter Pant, a great pair of trousers that you would actually feel comfortable wearing to an office. Well-tailored and sharply cut, these pants prove that looking good and feeling good can be two sides of the same coin. Similarly, I love the Reign Long Sleeve Shirt. Combined with a pair of shorts, you’ll be ready for a workout, but if swapped for a nice pair of chinos, you could even be ready to go on a date.

If you’re more interested in Rhone’s athletic gear, you might check out the 7-inch Swift Lined short. Perfect for running, these shorts feature a perforated venting system for cooling, as well as two side zipper pockets to hold essentials during a jog. Plus, a soft performance liner promises an exceptional fit.

We’ve tested a handful of items from the brand and have loved them all. Read our full review of Rhone products here.

What to buy:

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)
Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder fuses old school style with high-quality materials to make super stylish, yet sporty clothes.

Todd Snyder is an all-encompassing menswear brand, but its Champion collection specifically is a great place to find stylish athleisure wear. The collaboration brings together the best of both worlds — high-end looks from Todd Synder and the undeniable sportswear history from Champion — to create timeless pieces you’ll want to wear casually and during workouts.

Todd Snyder has sweatpants, shorts, T-shirts, hoodies, and a lot more — and everything is available in plenty of colorways, so you can pick out your favorite shades or stock up on a few good ones to rotate between.

Almost all of the pieces use a super soft french terry cotton, garment-dyed treatment for a worn-in look, and vintage Champion branding.

What to buy:

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)
Adidas

Adidas

If you’re a fan of the classics, then look no further than Adidas to supply you with great performance gear that looks good, too.

Even with the emergence of what seems like an endless supply of athleisure brands focused more on the leisure than the athlete component of their names, one company has maintained a position at the top of the mountain. And that company is Adidas. Whether you’re looking for great athletic wear or just great clothes to wear, Adidas has you covered.

Adidas remains one of the most sought-after brands around the world. That’s likely thanks to its expert combinations of quality and classic style that manages to be both fashion-forward and reminiscent of the brand’s roots — plus, its pieces easily transition across a variety of environments with just a few small adjustments.

Thanks to a wide range of styles, Adidas can match just about any aesthetic. While many of its bestsellers are the brand’s trademark sneakers, you can also find a great selection of performance clothes that work well at the gym and just hanging out.

One of my favorite pieces to wear is the Adidas Must Haves 3-Stripes Shorts. The brand describes them as “sporty everyday shorts with a strong Adidas look” and that’s precisely what they are.

They feature 3-Stripes branding along the sides of the legs and a small Adidas logo on the left leg. You’ll also find basic requirements for any good pair of shorts like side pockets and a drawstring waist.

In addition to having good-looking performance clothing and classic designs like the shorts, the Three Stripes has teamed up with dozens of brands.

Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, White Mountaineering, A Bathing Ape, Reigning Champ, and Alexander Wang are just a few of the many collaborators they’ve worked with for more elevated designs. 

What to buy: 

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)
Public Rec

Rhone

Brought to life by a former JP Morgan banker, Public Rec makes the kind of athleisure clothing that you’d be comfortable wearing to work.

It started with a pair of sweatpants so popular that it attracted a 1,200-person waitlist. And things have just ballooned from there. Public Rec specializes in technical leisure apparel for men, operating under the mantra that if you feel good, you’ll look good. The brand actually got its start on Kickstarter back in 2015, when it designed and sold its first pair of public-appropriate sweatpants. But since then, it has expanded its offerings to include a number of presentable yet comfortable pieces for everyday life.

The original bestseller is, of course, the All Day Every Day Pant. While they feel like sweatpants, they’re sized more like jeans, which means that they fit your body instead of hanging off of them. You’ll feel totally at ease wearing these pants out and about in your daily life, and if you’re working in a more casual environment, you could certainly wear them to the office as well.

Also popular is the extremely versatile polo shirt, the Go-To Polo. Designed to wick moisture, be breathable, and never lose its shape, it can be dressed up or down, and could even be workout appropriate. Plus, at under $70, it’s surprisingly affordable — most name-brand polos will set you back significantly more, and certainly wouldn’t stand up to an hour at the gym.

The shirt is made from a proprietary fabric blend of Pima cotton, Tencel, and spandex, which is designed to wick moisture and never shrink while staying soft and stretchy. The material is actually the same as the brand’s Go-To Tee, but thanks to the polo design, it’s much more versatile in terms of wearability.

We’ve also noticed that Public Rec apparel never loses its shape. Despite several wears and several washes, both pants and tops alike look as new as the day we got them, and that durability is a major win in our book.

Read my full review on the Public Rec All Day Every Day Pants here.

What to buy:

Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)Product Card (small)
Twillory

Twillory

Twillory might be best known for its performance dress shirts, but the brand’s venture into athlesiure shouldn’t be overlooked.

The collection includes a zip-up hoodie, joggers, T-shirts, polos, and henleys — and they’re all designed to be stretchy, moisture-wicking, cooling, and quick-drying.

However, the standout pieces are the joggers and the hoodie. The joggers have a nicely-tapered fit, slanted side pockets, and a single pocket on the right side of the rear. Combined with the pattern of the material, these joggers look more like your favorite chinos than a sloppy pair of gym sweats.

The hoodie, which comes in matching materials and colors is just as comfortable and completes the set. You can save $20 on the set when you bundle the Althouger Joggers and  Athlounger Hoodie

Athlounger Jogger (small)Athlounger Hoodie (small)
Oliver’s Apparel

Olivers Apparel

Olivers Apparel covers the full gamut of athleisure with workout gear, loungewear, and performance gear you can get away with at work.

Olivers Apparel came to life after a 2013 Kickstarter and has since become one of the best brands for stylish athletic wear. If your sense of fashion is clean and simple, then Olivers is perfect for you. While many sportswear brands use bold colors and patterns on its gear, many of Olivers’ clothes use solid colors and logo-less designs. 

Some of our favorite items include the Classic Sweatpants made from Supima cotton, and the Convoy Tee, which is made from 100% merino for a cozy, yet relaxed fit. 

What to buy:

Classic Hoodie (small)Classic Joggers (small)All Over Short (small)
Everlane

Everlane

Everlane is a dependable place to buy all wardrobe essentials, including athleisure.

We love Everlane for everything from its cashmere sweaters and jeans to footwear and outerwear. The brand’s products are always responsibly made with a high level of quality and keen attention to style. 

While you can always rely on Everlane to find clothes that will help you look your best, you can also rely on them to find clothes that will help you feel your best. 

The brand just launched its new Track Collection, which includes a variety of organic cotton sweatsuits. You can find T-shirts, sweatsuits, and even sneakers at Everlane.

What to buy:

Track Crewneck (small)Track Pant (small)Cotton Crew (small)The Trainer (Men’s) (small)

 

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The 10 best leather jackets for men – from classic moto styles to sleek bombers

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Taylor Stitch The Cuyama Jacket

  • Style shorthand for “rebellious” and “cool,” the best men’s leather jackets are statement pieces designed to stand out. 
  • Originally worn for outdoor activities and by bikers, the leather jacket’s rugged durability makes it a staple, regardless of what your day-to-day style is. 
  • Our favorite men’s leather jackets come from a variety of brands including Orvis and Topman.
  • Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

Worn by men the world over, from James Dean to Jay-Z, the leather jacket is the go-to piece of outerwear for when a man wants to look cool and confident. Hard-wearing by nature, the leather jacket was originally crafted for outdoorsmen and later adopted by motorcyclists for its ability to protect against road rash. From there, it slipped into the mainstream, permeating modern style and culture.

The best men’s leather jackets come in a few main styles: the biker, the bomber, the racer, the flight, and the field. Defined by shape, cut, zipper placement, lining, and collar, each iteration of the leather jacket offers a unique take on this wide-ranging style staple.  Whichever option you prefer, let our list of best men’s leather jackets inspire you with a variety of cuts and colors in a range of price points. 

Our picks are all true leather, which means their price tags are slightly higher than their faux counterparts. That also means that, with proper care, they will last for years. We explain proper leather care later on in this guide. But first, here are the best men’s leather jackets you can buy.

The best men’s leather jackets are:

Table of Contents: Static

Topman Black Leather Biker Jacket

Topman Black Leather Biker Jacket 2

A unique right-side zipper extending up to the lapel makes the relatively inexpensive Topman Black Leather Biker Jacket stand out from the crowd. 

Sizing options: XS-XL

As the name declares, this Topman has a total biker vibe, with its classic styling and standard fit. Built from supple leather, this jacket doesn’t require any breaking in. Dual front zipper-pockets are balanced with extra wide, button-snap lapels. 

The jacket’s main highlight, however, is its off-center front zipper closure. The zipper itself extends upward through the edge of the lapel, meaning when zipped-up, the jacket displays an attractive asymmetrical design that’s both striking and strident. Another bonus, this jacket comes in at $250, one of the most approachable prices on this list. 

Orvis Spirit II Leather Jacket

Orvis Spirit II Leather Jacket 2

With a removable shearling collar and a super supple leather, the Orvis Spirit II Leather Jacket serves rugged luxury.

Sizing options: M-XXL

Modeled off World War I pilot jackets designed to keep the chill out while flying in open cockpits, this jacket’s shearling removable collar also does its job on the ground, making the Spirit II a sturdy winter option. For even more warmth, the interior features a full lining and the hem and cuffs are ribbed knit, sealing out the wind and weather. 

Crafted from sheep nappa leather for a slightly dappled texture, the jacket provides plenty of pockets to keep your hands free. Two front button-flap pockets are complemented by an upper arm zip pocket so you can stash your wallet or some extra cash. The jacket has a roomier-than-normal fit, so feel free to pair with a chunky wool sweater. And, because it comes from Orvis, it’s backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 

AllSaints Swithin Leather Jacket

AllSaints Swithin Leather Jacket

Heavily textured leather and silver zips are the only adornments the minimalist AllSaints Swithin Leather Jacket needs.

Sizing options: XS-L

The simplest and most streamlined of all the jackets on this list, the AllSaints Swithin Leather Jacket can be worn with almost any outfit. Flat black with a wavy, almost dappled texture, the jacket’s beauty lies in its simplicity. Using silver vertical zippers for the front closure and breast pocket, the jacket looks just as good when worn closed as when worn open — not something you can say with most biker jackets. 

Handwarmer pockets are visually hidden and don’t impede the minimalist appearance, while an interior lined in polyester keeps the jacket light. This is an option best for spring days and summer nights.

Belstaff Fieldbrook 2.0 Jacket

Belstaff

Guys seeking a little more eco-friendly leather jacket will love the Belstaff Fieldbrook 2.0 Jacket‘s vegetable-tanned lambskin leather.

Sizing options: S-XL

Combining the length and pockets of a field jacket with the diamond-quilted shoulder and elbow patches and buckle throat latch of a moto jacket, Bestaff has managed to pull off a unique option that looks as at home in the field as it does on the bike. 

Made with vegetable-tanned lambskin leather that’s more eco-friendly than leather crafted with chemical methods, this jacket offers four snap-closure pockets and an adjustable back and cuffs for a truly custom fit. Wear it over an all-black ensemble paired with Chelsea boots to look as confident as you feel. 

Dunhill Leather Bomber Jacket

Dunhill Leather Bomber Jacket 2

British luxury brand Dunhill delivers a handsome, contemporary take with its Leather Bomber Jacket

Sizing options: XS-XXXL

A beauty to behold, you can’t get more classic than this Italian-made Leather Bomber Jacket. Supple, shiny leather in an inky black color comes together with a two-way zip closure in the front. An overall roomy fit is reigned in by a ribbed collar, a ribbed hem, and ribbed cuffs, which also do a great job of keeping out any wind or rain. 

Simply in its design, this leather bomber is infinitely wearable. Throw it on over a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, or dress it up with a sweater and chinos for a dinner date. No matter which way you wear it, you can be confident that its classic style will stay relevant for years to come, making it an excellent investment piece to enjoy and pass on.

Schott NYC Lightweight Cowhide Flight Jacket

Schott NYC Lightweight Cowhide Flight Jacket

For a dose of pure class, the Schott NYC Lightweight Cowhide Flight Jacket‘s clean design fits the bill without totally breaking the bank. 

Sizing options: S-XXL

Located in the flight jacket category — known for its tighter cuffs, cropped adjustable waist, and high collar — the natural pebble-textured cowhide of the Schott NYC Lightweight Flight Jacket immediately reads luxe, while the ribbed knit waist and collar proudly nod to its aviation inspiration. 

Dual entry pockets with flaps and snaps keep everything you need to carry in place as the snap-fly front zips up to conceal a cotton-lined interior with a quintessentially autumnal plaid pattern. This looker is built with a bi-swing back, adding a bit more of a boxy structure than you’d find in a biker or a racer jacket. 

Taylor Stitch The Cuyama Jacket

Taylor Stitch The Cuyama Jacket

A rich cognac color and full-grain cowhide leather make the Taylor Stitch The Cuyama Jacket a refined favorite. 

Sizing options: S-XL

It’s tough to find a Taylor Stitch piece that isn’t amazing — so it’s no surprise that the brand’s Cuyama Jacket takes the prize for most buttery-smooth and beautiful. Built from a full-grain cowhide leather, this jacket develops a natural patina as it wears, becoming like a second skin over time. On the interior, a cotton twill contrasts with the coats bold cognac color, while natural corozo buttons add a touch of monochromatic cool. 

Under the collar and cuffs, a corduroy lining ensures neck and wrist comfort and hidden collar stay snaps keep it firmly in place. To top it all off, the coat’s refined styling, attention to detail, and enviable collar mean it can work well anywhere from the bar to the boardroom. 

Blackmeans Slim-Fit Leather Biker Jacket

Blackmeans Slim-Fit Leather Biker Jacket

Sturdy, thick leather and Japanese craftsmanship make the Blackmeans Slim-Fit Leather Biker Jacket a logical (and handsome) investment.

Sizing options: M-XXL

Leave it to the Japanese to create a leather biker jacket better than most American-made versions. This iteration is cut from hard-wearing, sturdy navy leather and sports a streamlined, super-slim fit typical of the East Asian moto scene. Offsetting the rich, dark color, the front closure sports a gold zipper and collared lapes. A set of zippers at the back of the sleeves afford the wearer a bit of customization when it comes to fit, while a single-sleeve pocket keeps your license and registration within arm’s reach. 

You don’t have to be a biker to appreciate the jacket’s four flap pockets. They’re perfect for holding onto car keys or wallets. And, for those worried about wind, the quilted lining means you’ll stay warm even when the weather turns. 

Cockpit USA Vintage Leather Naval Officer’s Coat

Cockpit USA

Look and feel like an admiral in the long cut of the Cockpit USA Vintage Leather Naval Officer’s Coat.

Sizing options: XS-XXXL

Cockpit USA consistently delivers excellent throwback design — and its Vintage Leather Naval Officer’s Coat is no exception. Harkening back to the hard-wearing leather version of naval pea coats, this topper hits below the hip. It also sports specially-treated goatskin leather that is lined with the brand’s signature emblem fabric. Double-breasted with military spec buttons, the coat offers an air of authority to the wearer while also helping to withstand the elements. 

Its wide lapels can be popped to keep out the wind, while two side-entry pockets keep your hands warm. Two additional front flap pockets also provide storage for your not-so-classified documents. American made, the Naval Officer’s Coat is an exceptional piece of craftsmanship you’ll be pleased to have for decades to come. 

Wilsons Leather John Accordion Moto Jacket

Wilsons Leather John Accordion Moto Jacket 2

Less ornately detailed than a biker jacket, but coming in a close second, the Wilsons Leather John Accordion Moto Jacket is loud and proud. 

Sizing options: S-XXL

Embrace the brash with this brown leather moto jacket that doubles down on its unique design. Bold burgundy trim and crimped, accordion patches and inserts at the shoulders and sides add an attractive texture and shape to the jacket. They also positively impact the utility of the jacket by offering a greater range of motion than a traditional leather shoulder seam. 

With that same combination of practicality and style in mind, the four burgundy-trimmed zip pockets allow for plenty of storage. A snap collar closes tight for when you’re ready to ride, while a mesh lining keeps you cool when things get hot. And a standard fit means it’s accessible to body types across the board. 

How to make your leather piece last for years

The best men's leather jackets

If some of the prices on this list cause you to reconsider your decision to buy a leather jacket, there’s a reason high-quality leather jacket options run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars. It primarily has to do with how leather is created. 

First, a cow or sheep must be raised — a process that takes at least a year. After harvesting the animal and cleaning its hide, the tanning process, which is the procedure by which leather is changed from skin to the material we know and love, begins. This can take up to a month or more if using a vegetable dye process. From there, the leather must be cut and sewn into a jacket. 

All of these steps take an intensive amount of time and resources, which equals a higher price tag. But the good news is, thanks to leather’s enduring strength and style, you won’t need to buy more than one in your life — unless you want to.

And the way to make leather last a lifetime? Proper care. 

Unlike your favorite leather boots, a leather jacket isn’t typically dragged through the mud and banged against rocks, so you’re likely not going to see scrapes or abrasions. For light soiling, simply grab a barely-damp rag and wipe the jacket’s exterior. Allow it to dry. If soiling is deep, there are special leather cleaning products, such as saddlesoap, that can help provide a deeper clean. 

It’s also a good idea to give your jacket a needed dose of moisture every year or so. Do this by lightly applying a leather conditioner and then removing any excess. If you find your jacket has totally dried out, is stained, or is otherwise in severe disrepair, seek the guidance of a leather repair professional. Taking these simple steps will ensure your jacket looks and wears well for decades to come. 

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