It’s possible to repair your cracked leather boots using products like saddle soap, leather conditioner, mink oil, leather filler, and shoe cream.
Leather boots are a favorite choice of every stylish man and woman. But like any product, they’ll be subject to wear and tear over time.
While replacing a pair of leather boots is not an affordable—or even preferred—solution, many people come up with this question at these moments, “Can I repair my cracked leather boots?”
In this article, we’ll show you how to repair cracked leather boots, what causes these cracks, and how you can save them from future cracks.
What Causes Leather Shoes to Crack?
Before we start focusing on how to repair cracked leather boots, it’s good to resolve this question, “Why do leather shoes crack at all?”
The answer is three harmful factors: harsh sunlight, dryness, and dirt.
If you have dry skin, you probably know how forgetting to apply moisturizer can cause a bark-like appearance to your skin. Leather is no different since it was once the skin of a living animal, and it no longer enjoys the natural oils of their body.
So, if you fail to apply a leather conditioner regularly, the leather fibers get stiff, start scrubbing each other and, therefore, provoke unsightly patches on the surface of the leather.
Another factor that makes leather prone to cracking is its natural porosity. As with any animal skin, leather has a porous texture that can trap specks of dirty or dusty particles. These specks can later break up the leather thread and lead to fractures.
The UV radiation from sunlight can also induce damage in leather shoes. To avoid that, you can use a UV protection leather conditioner or leather spray. However, if you’ve failed at this so far, here’s how you can fix it.
Can You Repair Leather Boots?
Frankly speaking, you can’t repair your leather cracks, but there are many ways to hide them efficiently. Once done, there will be no signs of cracks on your beautiful leather boots. Read on to learn more about these leather healing hacks.
How Do You Fix Cracked Leather Boots?
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend big bucks to make these ugly marks on your leather shoes disappear. However, depending on the severity of the damage, the methods may vary.
How To Repair Small Cracks on Leather Boots
If there are slight scratches on your leather boots with no deep openings, it doesn’t take much effort to make them fade away. All you need is a leather conditioner, a shoe cream, and a piece of soft cloth.
- Use mild soap and a gentle rag to clean the surface of your leather boots. If they still look dusty or greasy, you can also do this with a soft-bristled brush.
- Moisturize the scratched area with a quality leather conditioner. But before anything, test it on a hidden part of boots to make sure it won’t harm your leather type. Depending on the intensity of scrapes, use your fingers or a spoon to apply pressure and flatten the scratch. Then, rub out the excess material and let it dry overnight.
- Once the leather entirely absorbs the product, you can see the magical results. If not, repeat the process. But make sure you remove the excess oil each time because putting too much grease can harm your boots.
Note: If you have long boots, fill them with newspaper while the leather conditioner is drying out because they may lose their form in the process.
How To Repair Deep Cracks on Leather Boots
When it comes to treating deep cracks, a leather conditioner can’t do the job. So, you need to replace it with more powerful options such as mink oil, leather fillers, saddle soap, and sandpaper.
Here are two ways how to repair cracked leather boots with minimal cost:
Method 1: Using Shoe Cream and Mink Oil
This is the easiest method to eliminate massive leather cracks:
- As with the previous method, the first step is cleaning your shoes, and if your shoes are very dry, the best way to clean them is by using saddle soap. Saddle soap contains emollient properties and, therefore, helps to soften the leather. It also has preservative factors that protect your leather shoes.
- Stuff your shoes with newspaper, rags, or sock balls. This keeps the shoes in a firm position where you can see the cracks in your leather in their most stretched manner.
- Apply mink oil all over the shoe surface to restore its moisture. Then, rub it until the cracks appear less visible. Let it dry.
- Using a shoe dauber, spread some shoe cream over the boots and push it inside the cracks in a circular motion. This will fill in the cracks and create a more consistent color for your shoes.
- Finally, buff your shoes with a clean cloth, and you’re good to go.
Method Two: Using Leather Crack Filler
With this method, you need to buy a thing or two from an equestrian shop or hardware store, but they won’t cost you more than a few dollars. Here’s a short list of items you need:
- Low-grit sandpaper.
- Leather crack filler.
- Leather dye.
- Saddle soap.
- Leather sealer.
After buying the equipment, follow these steps:
- Apply some saddle soap and use your dishcloth to pull all the gunge out of the leather poles. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry like the previous method. (You can also use a leather cleaner to escape the long drying hours).
- Once completely dried, use 600-grit sandpaper to smooth the cracks. Press it against the cracked area with gentle force and continue until the surface feels soft to the touch. Then, wipe out the sanding dust with a clean, gentle cloth.
- Apply a fair amount of filler compound and use a broad dull knife such as an icing spatula to push it over the cracks. Keep going until it seems perfectly stuffed.
- Let the filler dry for about 6 hours, and repeat step 3 as many times as needed because the filler paste tends to recoil when it solidifies. You may need to redo the process anywhere from three to five times until you’re satisfied with the result.
- Before dying, sand the area to make sure it’s completely flat. Spread a thin layer of dye onto the filled cracks. Then, tap the leather dye with a sponge to even the surface. You may need up to five coatings before achieving the desired outcome.
- Between each dying step, blow the boots with a hairdryer—but make sure it doesn’t last more than two minutes and keep it on the lowest setting.
- Finish your work by spraying some leather sealer. This will block the dye, protect it from fading, and keep the leather shinier.
Note: When buying a shoe color, try your best to choose the same color shade as your shoes, because nothing can ruin their appearance than an unmatched color.
Note 2: If you’re treating both pairs of your shoes, time how long it takes to sand, dye, or polish each pair to avoid mismatch. Also, make sure you repeat the same process for each pair and apply the same amount of material.
How Do I Keep My Leather Shoes from Cracking?
As mentioned, dryness, grime, and UV radiation are the primary causes of leather cracks. So, you should do whatever you can to lessen these factors. Here are some recommendations:
- If you live in a dry climate, use a humidifier to keep your setting at a specific humidity level.
- Don’t expose your leather shoes to direct sunlight, if possible. And after long hours of walking under the sun rays, wrap them with a thick towel or blanket to minimize the damaging effects.
- Keep your shoes away from excessive heat.
- Moisturize your shoes in regular practice. You can use a natural oil, leather conditioner, or leather honey.
- Clean your leather shoes with water-based cleaning agents.
How Do You Repair Damaged Leather?
You can repair damaged leather with either natural or factory-made compounds, such as leather conditioner, leather cream, mink oil, or baby oil. However, depending on the affected object and intensity of the case, you may need other tools such as sandpaper, a brush, and a blunt knife as well.
How Do You Fix Cracked Leather Shoes?
You can fix cracked leather shoes with a few simple steps. All you need is to wash them, fill the cracks with mink oil, shoe cream, or leather filler, and then use a dye or polish to fix the new appearance.
Can I Use Olive Oil on Leather Boots?
You can use olive oil on leather boots to keep them hydrated and prevent them from cracking. However, it’s not a good idea for fixing your boots because olive oil is too greasy and makes it hard to add a layer of shoe polish after filling the cracks.
Nothing’s more disappointing than the sight of cracking leather boots, especially when you know how much it costs to invest in a new pair. But there’s no need to worry anymore. Make use of a quality conditioner, and follow our steps so you can restore your shoes to their former magnificence.