Ru-Sn/SiO2 catalysts were prepared by the sol-gel method. The influence of the reduction procedure and modification with sodium was investigated. The properties of the chemically reduced catalysts were compared to non-reduced and sodium-modified catalysts. The influence of Ru/Sn metals ratio was also studied. Physical characterization and liquid-phase hydrogenation of cinnamaldehyde demonstrated the high importance of the chemical reduction in the preparation of tested sol-gel catalysts. The highest selectivity to cinnamylalcohol was achieved on catalysts of 5%Ru-2.5%Sn/SiO2 type (70%). Sodium modification of catalysts decreased the formation of acid catalysed side products and increased the yield of saturated aldehyde. The hydrogenation properties were dependent on Ru/Sn ratio.