How To Repair Leather Shoes | Best 5 Simple Ways

Leather shoes are a good investment, and they get more comfortable the longer you wear them.

Unfortunately, time can wear down leather shoes, causing them to crack and tear, particularly on the upper surfaces of the shoes.

But don’t worry; you can easily repair leather shoes. Read on to learn how to repair leather shoes with damaged leather, including how to restore torn and cracked leather as well as how to repair leather shoes to avoid such issues.

How To Repair Leather Shoes

Why Do Leather Shoes Eventually Crack or Tear?

The fact that leather has a porous surface retains dirt and grease is the major reason why most leather shoes eventually crack or rip. The texture and dye on the surface are then broken down, causing them to crack or tear.

Because real leather is made of animal skin, it must be carefully cared for and moisturized. It’s best to take care of your leather shoes when you first get them rather than dealing with cracks and tears later or, worse, throwing out your beloved pair.

Fixing Minor Scratches Download Article

1. Use a moist cloth or a shoe brush to clean the shoe. Wipe down the leather shoe’s surface with a dampened clean towel. Water can damage untreated leather, so if you’re not sure if your shoes have been treated, use a horsehair brush meant for buffing shoes to remove any dirt or dust before you start restoring them.
If you wiped the shoe down with a damp towel, let it dry fully before fixing it.

2. Apply petroleum jelly to the leather to quickly fill up a scratch. Apply petroleum jelly on a clean cloth and rub it into the scratch in circular motions. Allow 10 minutes before wiping away any remaining petroleum jelly with a clean towel.
The jelly should fill up the light scrape to the point where it is no longer visible.
Colored or perfumed petroleum jelly should be avoided.

How To Repair Leather Shoes

3. Use white vinegar to cover a small scratch on the leather. In white vinegar, soak a cotton ball or a clean cloth. Apply the white vinegar to the scratch, which will cause the leather to swell, masking the scratch and making it unnoticeable.
If feasible, use a shoe polish on your leather shoes after applying the vinegar to keep them looking shining.

4. Fill in a light-colored scratch with a leather marker or recoloring balm. If the scratch on your leather shoe stands out from the rest of the shoe’s color, find a leather marker that matches the color of your shoe and fill in the scratch with it. You can also use recoloring balm, which is colored shoe polish that comes in a variety of colors, instead of a leather marker.
To hide your scratch, match the color of the leather shoe as closely as possible to the color of the leather marker or recoloring balm.
Apply recoloring balm to the leather using a clean rag.

5. Use a hair dryer to heat the leather and use swelling to repair a scratch. The scratch will vanish when the leather swells. Aim a hair dryer set to medium heat on the scratch and wait for it to warm up a little before massaging the scratched area of leather with your fingertips.
If you use a hair dryer to dry your hands and it becomes too hot, the hair dryer will also get too hot for the leather.

6. To mend very shallow scratches on your shoes, rub olive oil on them. It’s sometimes enough to dab a little olive oil on a scratch to make it go away. Dip a cotton ball or paper towel in olive oil and gently dab it into the scratch. Using a clean rag or paper towel, wipe away any excess oil.

How To Repair Leather Shoes

Repairing Deeper Scratches Download Article

1 Remove loose leather using sandpaper or small scissors. Deep scratches tend to leave pieces of leather sticking out from the shoe’s surface. To remove these pieces, use a fine grit sandpaper to gently rub off the extra leather, creating a smooth surface. Alternatively, snip the extra leather off using tiny scissors
If you use sandpaper, be sure not to rub too aggressively so you don’t mess up the leather.
Use 120- to 220-grit sandpaper.

2. Clean the shoes using a shoe brush or damp cloth. It’s important to remove any dust or dirt before you fill in the scratch. Wipe the leather shoe down using a damp cloth or use back and forth strokes to clean the shoe using a shoe brush
Let the shoes dry if you used a damp cloth on them before filling in the scratch.
Pay extra attention to the spot where you’ll be filling in the scratch when you’re cleaning the shoe.

3. Fill in the scratch using a leather cream polish that matches the shoe. Leather cream polishes come in many different shades, so select one that most closely resembles the color of your leather shoes. To test the color out, dab a small amount on the shoe and rub it in, seeing if the color blends in with the rest of the shoe
Look for a leather cream polish at a specialty shoe store or online.

4. Rub the cream polish into the scratch and whole shoe using circular motions. Once you’ve determined the right color for your leather, dip a clean cloth into the cream and apply it to the scratch. Rub it into the scratch using small circular motions. Apply the cream polish to the rest of the shoe as well to be sure the color blends in well.[10]
Rub the cream polish into the shoe gently to avoid causing damage.

5. Wipe away excess cream evenly and let the shoe dry. Once you’ve filled in the scratch, wipe away the excess cream polish using the rag. Let the cream polish dry completely before using the shoes or adding another coat.[11]
Consider buffing the shoe with a horsehair brush after the polish dries for a final sheen.
Image titled Repair Scratches on Leather Shoes Step 12

6. Apply additional coats of the cream polish if needed. If the scratch isn’t fully filled in yet, apply a second layer of the cream polish to the scratch. Use circular motions and remember to apply the cream to the entire surface so it blends in well.[12]
To be sure your leather shoes match, apply the colored cream polish to both shoes, even if only one of them had a scratch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Prevent Cracks and Tears Forming in Leather Shoes?

You should clean and polish your leather shoes on a regular basis to avoid cracks and holes, and to ensure that they last and look new for many years to come.

To keep your leather hydrated and prevent the chance of cracking, purchase and use a leather conditioner. Apply the conditioner with a clean towel in small circular motions.

Read our guide, “Best Oil for Leather Boots,” to learn more about how to properly care for your leather shoes and the products available on the market.

Can You Super Glue Patches on Tears or Holes in Leather Shoes?

Super glue should never be used on leather shoes or any other leather items. Super glue is not flexible, and once it hardens, it will damage the leather even more. The leather will be discolored as well.

The glue within a leather repair kit is made specifically for leather. So, rather of using another type of adhesive, stick to this one.

What Are The Benefits of Leather Shoes?

One of the most significant advantages of leather shoes is their long-term durability. Real leather shoes may last much longer than shoes made of synthetic materials, and high-quality leather can hold up in harsh job conditions that need a lot of walking.

Another advantage of leather is that it is permeable, allowing airflow to keep your feet cool and avoid sweating, so your leather shoes will not stink as often.

Your shoes will be water resistant if the leather is treated with a waterproof spray or waxed. They’re also quite comfortable and provide much-needed support for your feet.

By following our step-by-step guide on how to repair leather shoes with torn leather, you shouldn’t need to pay out a fortune to the cobbler. See more useful article at my website


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