A decent pair of leather shoes can last a long time if you take proper care of them. If you don't have any shoe polish on hand, however, you can use petroleum jelly -- like Vaseline -- as a substitute.
Photo by Guy Sie.
It doesn't take very long to give your leather items the care they need, so don't put it off any longer than you need to. Mindi Cherry at parenting blog Mums Need to Know suggests a dab of petroleum jelly is enough to bring the clean, shine back to most leather products, and you probably already have some sitting in a medicine cabinet already.
The petroleum jelly will soften the leather and help prevent it from cracking. This will work on leather and patent leather shoes, bags, and other items, but shouldn't be used for rawhide leather. Be sure to use a clean, lint-free cloth to apply it.
10 Uses for Vaseline [Mums Need to Know]