How to Protect Leather Shoes from Cracking?

Who doesn’t like lovely pair of leather boots? In this post, I will tell you different methods to protect your leather shoes from cracking.

This is so frustrating when you see your favorite pair of leather boots ruined by cracking. Cracking has become a very common issue in leather shoes.

What are the things that make the leather crack? This type of problem occurs when you wear your shoes in harsh weather. Cracks often occur when you repeat your footwear frequently.

how to protect leather shoes from cracking

How to Protect Leather Shoes from Cracking?

  • Make a habit of cleaning your boots regularly
  • Loose the laces of black leather boots before taking them off
  • Don’t place your boots near the heat because it can damage them
  • Water is not good for leather products so don’t get them wet
  • Last but not least, store them in a dry or cool place

Reasons Why Leather Shoes Crack

I am going to share `the 9 main reasons for leather shoe cracking.

  • Lack of maintenance and proper care
  • Use of harsh cleaners
  • Lack of good storing place
  • Growth of the mold
  • Formation of dirt
  • Lack of creases treatment
  • Wearing the wrong pair of shoes
  • The manufacturing material of leather is poor
  • Aging

Lack of Maintenance and Proper Care

Leather is a type of material that is made from the skin of animals like a cow. Before taking off the animal’s skin, it takes all the nourishment from the blood of the animals.

Once they develop the skin into leather, you have to keep them clean in certain ways. When we don’t take proper care of leather shoes, they crack.

You should clean brown leather shoes with neatsfoot oil or mink oil. If you don’t treat them carefully, leather cracks. Daily cleaning is necessary to protect your boots from drying out.

Use of Harsh Cleaners

Another reason for cracking is using harsh chemicals to clean the leather footwear. No doubt, cleaning is necessary but harsh cleaners can damage the leather badly.

I know you want to remove the dirt and stains from your genuine leather boots fully but using ammonia or bleach for this purpose can dry them out.

Keep in mind to use those cleaners that are specially made for cleaning leather shoes. Vinegar and water solution work very well to clean this type of shoe.

Lack of Good Storing Place

When people place their real leather shoes at very extreme temperatures, humidity cracks shoes. These porous leather shoes should be avoided to store in direct sunlight or harmful radiation.

Before putting them in a storage place, make sure to place them in a cool place for one day. Allow these shoes to air out and protect them from cracking.

Growth of The Mold

Mold formation is a very common issue in leather shoes. Essential oils are required to keep the material flexible.

Mold grows due to exposure to moisture in leather boots. If you don’t remove the mold regularly then it results in the cracking of these shoes. Protect your suede leather shoes from mold as quickly as possible.

Formation of Dirt

The dirt buildup is another reason for cracking these shoes. Caked-on dirt affects the breathability of the leather conditioner shoes. Remove the grime daily to prevent shoe cracks.

Not only this, but dirt also ruins the look of your footwear. It is good to clean your boots every day to prevent cracks.

Lack of Creases Treatment

Creases appear on certain parts of the shoes. You will notice these creases, especially on the heel or the toe sides of the leather shoes. Creases occur due to the movement and weight of your feet.

There is nothing to worry about because this can happen to any person who wears leather boots. Leather conditioner is suitable for the treatment of creases.

Wearing the Wrong Pair of Shoes

If you are wearing smaller shoes than your feet size then it can also cause the cracking of the leather shoes.

Shortly, I want to tell you that the wrong size of boots is not just uncomfortable but also causes cracks.

The Manufacturing Material of Leather Is Poor

If your footwear is built with faux leather material then you will notice lots of cracks. It doesn’t matter how much you take care of them.

Real leather quality material is sourced from the animal’s skins. Poor leather is most likely to crack and will wear out quickly.


Do you take proper care of your leather boots but still they are cracking? When the shoes start to age, they dry out more often.

Leather cracking is part of aging. In most cases, if you take proper care of them, these leather footwear last more than 5 years.

Different Ways to Protect Leather Shoes from Cracking

Taking proper care of leather shoes is better than fixing cracks. Here are different ways to protect the leather from cracking.

  • Clean your leather boots daily
  • Keep rotating them
  • Polish them regularly
  • Store them in a proper place
  • Remove the creases from them timely
  • Avoid harsh chemical cleaners
  • Apply wax to your boots

1. Clean Your Leather Boots Daily

Cleaning leather is one of the most necessary rules to protect them from wearing out. Along this, grime leather causes discomfort and is hard to wear.

Try to remove all the dirt from the leather before placing them in a storage area. Apply a mild detergent solution for cleaning the shoes with a damped cloth. Also, use natural oils to keep them in good condition.

2. Keep Rotating Them

Wearing the same shoes, again and again, can cause cracks. Try to rotate your shoes after two days. In this way, they will not tear out quickly.

Cracking occurs when we wear one pair of shoes more frequently.

3. Polish Them Regularly

Develop a habit to apply the leather polish on your shoes. This technique increases the durability of leather boots.

Not just durable, but also leather shoes look shiny by applying polish.  This is helpful  in moisture trapping  in the leather and protects it from cracks. I polish my shoes with black leather polish.

4. Store Them in A Proper Place

Try to store your leather shoes either in the shoe tree or place them in a shoe box. Shoe trees work amazingly in absorbing moisture and providing proper ventilation.

5. Remove the Creases from Them Timely

Protecting your shoes from creases is also an essential task to make them look smooth. Remove the wrinkle immediately when you first notice them on your shoes.

I also use a shoe stretcher to clear all the creases from my favorite leather shoes.

6. Avoid Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Cleaners that have balanced PH should be used for cleaning the leather. You can read the PH from the packing of the cleaner. If it is not mentioned on the package then avoid using them.

7. Apply Wax to Your Leather Shoes

Applying wax is a very effective way to increase the lifespan of the shoes. The reason is that it creates a barrier between the elements and your boots.

Beeswax is the best wax to protect your shoes from cracking. Make sure to apply it to the leather from time to time.


I will tell you the necessary tips to protect your shoes from wearing out.

  • First of all, wear your gloves before applying the leather cleaner. There might be a possibility that cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can damage your skin.
  • Remove the dust before applying the detergent solution. You can use a soft brush for dusting.
  • There are different leather conditioners for shoes in the market. It is better to apply natural conditioners than synthetic ones.
  • Start rubbing the shoes for a few minutes and make sure to rub all parts of the shoes fully.
  • There are different waterproofing shields available to protect the leather from the water. Apply these products to your boots to form a barrier between water and shoes.
  • Apply the same color of the polish on your shoes. If you have brown leather shoes then apply brown polish on them.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Fix Cracked Leather Shoes?

  • Clean your shoes with a leather cleaner.
  • Wait for one night to dry them fully
  • Apply the leather filler on the cracks and clear the extra paste with a knife
  • Wait for 6 hours to dry the leather completely

What Do You Put on Leather Shoes to Protect Them?

Shoe polish provides an extra layer of protection to keep the dust and water away. This polish is available in the form of wax or cream.

How to Prevent Shoes from Cracking?

  • Clean your leather shoes from time to time to protect them from cracking.
  • Use leather conditioner for smoothing the boots
  • Prevent placing them in a harsh weather

How to Protect Leather Shoes from The Rain?

A layer of wax works best to prevent the shoes from damaging in the rain. Beeswax is famous and effective among all waxes.

Can You Use Vaseline on The Cracked Leather?

Applying Vaseline on cracked leather is an alternative way of shoe polish. You just have to put a bit of gel on the shoes and rub them.


If you want to maximize the lifespan of your leather shoes then you should take proper care of them. It doesn’t take much time to take care of your boots. Follow my instructions carefully if you want the best results.

Conditioning of the leather shoes after a week protects them from cracking. I hope that your all doubts are clear after reading my guide.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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