Smooth leather is fine-grained with a buttery finish. Most leather shoes are made from smooth leather.
Remove dirt by cleaning with a leather cleaner made specifically for smooth leathers. You can use saddle soap or a smooth leather shoe cleaner.
After cleaning, let the shoes dry for a few minutes and begin shining the shoes with a soft cotton cloth - either a shoe shine cloth, or even an old t-shirt, as long as it's soft and made of cotton.
To condition your leather shoes, rub a small amount of conditioner into the shoe over the entire surface of the leather. After a couple of minutes, wipe any remaining conditioner off of the shoes, as the leather will only absorb what it can.
To polish your leather shoes, apply a shoe polish to a small, less conspicuous area of the shoe to test and be sure the color is right. Rub the polish into the shoe with a soft cotton cloth, and allow it to dry thoroughly.
After the shoe polish is dry, shine your shoes by buffing them with a soft cloth or brush made specifically for shining shoes.
Suede is made of calfskin and is rubbed to create a distinctive ultra-soft & textured look and feel.
Shoes with a nap, such as suede or nubuck, can't be polished. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping suede shoes in top condition. After purchasing a pair of suede or nubuck shoes, you'll first want to apply a protectant to repel water and stains. Repellant only lasts for a while, so you'll need to reapply it every 6 months or so.
Gently brush suede and nubuck footwear to remove loose dirt on a regular basis. Stains should be treated immediately with a solvent-based suede cleaner.
Patent leather is a leather that has been coated with a high gloss finish, so that it has exceptional shine.
Cleaning is easily done with a mild soap and a wet cloth or a gentle leather cleaner.
To condition patent leather and give it it's high gloss look, use Vaseline. Thoroughly rub the product in with a soft rag or old T-Shirt and spread the product evenly.
Sheepskin or lambskin that has gone through a limited shearing process with the wool still attached.
Shearling requires delicate care when being cleaned. You can try using an all-natural cleaner that's safe for wool and other delicates. Be sure to dilute your cleaner in cold water according to the instructions.
Next, use a cloth soaked in cold water to dampen the outside surface of your boots, being careful not to thoroughly soak through the entire sheepskin. Apply a small amount of your cleaner to a sponge, and gently scrub the entire area in small circles. Rinse off all the cleaner with your cold, wet cloth, stopping to rinse and ring it out as you go.