How to Restore Old Leather Shoes?

Do you throw your favorite pair of shoes away when they get old? Probably not! In this post, I will discuss all the methods to restore old leather shoes.

Restoring old shoes is better than spending money to buy new boots. I know it is not easy, but it is necessary when you are out of budget.

The main motive is to bring the shoes back to life without replacing them. If you don’t like repairing your leather footwear, you can replace the damaged parts.

how to restore leather shoes

How to Restore Old Leather Shoes?

  • Dye the shoes with a brush in a circular motion. Add a layer of polish to give them a shine.
  • Start conditioning your footwear to give life to faded shoes
  • Apply a thin layer of shoe cream to enhance their color.
  • Repair a cut in the leather boot by cutting a scrap of leather in the same shape. Attach it with Glue.
  • Use coconut oil or mink oil to fix dried-out leather boots.

Can You Restore Old Leather Shoes?

The procedure of renewing the old shoes is simple and easy. A shoe conditioner is applied to provide nourishment to the boots and to fix the scratched parts.

You can restore them if they are dry out, cut off, or their color is faded. For this purpose, you need to clean and condition them carefully. It might look very difficult, but it is not. Just perform all the techniques with focus.

Methods of Restoring Old Leather Shoes

Even our skin color becomes dull when we don’t treat it properly. The same case is with leather which is built with animal skin. There are some methods to restore old leather boots.

  • Restoring faded Leather footwear
  • Bringing leather back to life
  • Fixing cut in the leather shoes
  • Restoring dried-out Leather footwear

1. Restoring Faded Leather Shoes

Follow the following steps to fix the faded leather boots.

Material Required

  • Horse hair brush
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Shoe polish

Step1. Cleaning

The first and foremost thing that you have to do before restoring your boots is to clean them. Wipe the dust and grime by using a horsehair brush.

Step 2. Rubbing

Firstly I made a solution of water and vinegar in a bowl. Then, I started to rub the solution with a clean cloth. You can use a blow dryer to dry the footwear.

Step 3. Spreading the Polish

I coated the polish layer on my boots equally. If your leather shoes are faded a lot, you can apply several layers of polish. Rub those areas gently which are most faded.

Step 4. Buffing

Then I removed the excessive polish from my footwear by using cloth. Remember to dry them in a cool place. In this way, your boots will shine like new ones.

2. Bringing Leather Back to Life

Some essentials are required to bring the old shoes Back to Life.

Required Materials

  • Shoe Conditioner
  • Footwear cream
  • Horsehair brush

Step 1. Preparing

Rub the leather gently using a brush. You can also take a wet piece of cloth. I clean shoes with a soft brush and let them dry completely.

Before moving to the next step, ensure that your old boots are fully dried.

Step 2. Conditioning

Apply the footwear conditioner equally over all the sides of the leather. This step is helpful in conditioning and repairing the leather from cracking. I applied the conditioner thoroughly over the scratched parts of the shoes.

Step 3. Buffing

In the third step, I buffed off the boots and clear the extra conditioner from their surface.

Step 4. Applying the Boot Cream

Lastly, spread the high-quality shoe cream. Try selecting the matching cream with your footwear. Wait for at least 12 hours and repeat the procedure of buffing again.

This method will give outstanding shine to your leather boots.

3. Fixing Cut in The Leather Shoes

Leather shoes are more likely to tear out with time. I do have a solution for footwear that wear out quickly.

Required Things

  • Leather Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Leather scrap of a similar color to the boots
  • Stick
  • Vinegar solution

Step 1. Cleaning

Use a clean cloth to apply the vinegar solution to the leather footwear. Move to the next step after drying them fully.

Step 2. Make the Rough Surface Area

I used sandpaper to make the cut surface rough and started to rub it. The main purpose of this step was to make the desired area uneven. In this way, new leather scrap will fit equally on that part of the shoes.

Step 3. Cutting the Leather Scrap

Put the leather scrap on the cut part of the footwear. Cut the designed hole carefully and avoid cutting the good part of the shoes. Paste the Glue equally on the scraps.

Make sure to remove the extra Glue from the leather.

Step 4. Drying

I used the dryer to dry the sticky part. You can also place your leather shoes under the fan.

4. Restoring Dried-Out Leather Footwear

Exposure to Harsh chemical cleaners and hot temperatures results in drying out the leather shoes.

Required Things

  • Coconut oil
  • clean cloth
  • Bowl

Step 1. By Using Coconut Oil

Heat the coconut oil in a warmer to turn it into liquid form. Apply the coconut oil from the toe to the Heel of the leather shoes and start rubbing them. I leave the boots for a few hours and clear the excess oil using a clean cloth.

If necessary, apply the coconut oil’s second coating on the leather shoes. You can also spread the mink oil in the same way.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Restore Leather Shoes at Home?

Add pine gum to the small clean cloth. Rub the gum, especially on small scratches of the leather footwear. This is quite an effective technique for repairing stylish leather boots.

How Do You Fix Ruined Leather Shoes?

  • Take vinegar and add it to the bowl. Apply the vinegar cleaner on the small scratches.
  • Then treat the scratches by rubbing the coconut oil using a damped cloth.
  • Dry the leather boots by using the blow dryer

How Can I Make My Leather Shoes Look Good Again?

You can make your leather footwear look great by polishing boots, applying conditioner, and waterproofing them with beeswax. If you are not satisfied with the results then double-coat them for a shiny look.

Does Vaseline Help Leather Shoes?

Vaseline is ideal for giving softness and shine to leather boots. Not only this, Vaseline is incredibly effective in cleaning boots. It is built with waxes and mineral oil that are beneficial in dissolving dust and dirt.

Is Wd 40 Good for Leather Shoes?

WD 40 is used for waterproofing shoes that are dark in color. Its coating doesn’t allow water to seep into the leather. However, it is also great for cleaning leather boots.


All the techniques I shared with you are way too easy, and you should try them carefully. These methods of restoring leather shoes are less expensive than purchasing new ones.

Not every person can afford to buy new leather shoes, so I concluded these procedures to help you. Gather your courage and start repairing your best leather work boots.

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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