How to Repair Cracked Leather Boots in 3 Easy Steps

Once the shine starts to fade and cracks appear on your favorite pair of boots, it is tempting to move them to the back of the cabinet. I am begging you, please don’t! With a bit of effort and patience, you can definitely repair the cracks and extend the life of your boots. In this piece, I’ll share several ways you can clean your leather boots and also bring back life to the leather.

You’ll find most of the items mentioned herein in shoe stores or equestrian accessory shops. You can all buy all sorts of shoe cleaners and products for leather restoration from these places. Each of the items has a specific use. For example, polishing with mink oil prevents cracks from forming in the first place.

So dig in to find out the details!

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Are My Boots Damaged Beyond Repair?

That’s a concern we’ve all had about our leather boots. But in truth, leather is a very durable and resilient material: it’s not that easy to ruin a well-built pair of boots! If that doesn’t convince you entirely, your fears will be laid to rest when you realize how easy it is to repair your boots.

Even if your boots have gone through some wear and tear, you can get them looking brand new with a few quick fixes. And, do you know the best thing about it all? You can repair them just as well as professionals without spending a fortune.

Keep in mind that weather conditions are the prime culprits behind all harm caused to leather boots. For example, in an area where it’s scorching, and the sun is intense, leather dries up and starts to crack. Likewise, it starts to rot in humid climates. You can look up more solutions on our website or consult a professional if you wish to.

Things You Will Need

  • Dry brush
  • Shoe dauber
  • Saddle soap
  • Mink oil
  • Dishtowel
  • Metal spoon
  • Bitumen

Steps to Repair your Boots:

Step 1: Cleaning the boots

Cleaning boot

You should clean the leather first because it’s easier to repair cracks on a clean surface than a dirty one. Use a dry brush to remove the dirt from the boot. Then, use a shoe dauber and rub saddle soap on the leather. Finally, let the boot dry after the leather’s fully clean.

Step 2: Applying oil

Mink oil works wonders for leather. Use a metal spoon to rub mink oil on the leather. Turn the spoon back so that you can see the outer oval surface. Put a few drops of mink oil on the spoon and use it to rub the leather’s cracked area. Keep rubbing by applying gentle pressure on the crack until it disappears like magic.

Step 3: Conditioning


Rubbing oil on leather boots can make them look a little dull. We have to condition the leather to remove any dullness from the boots. Apply shoe cream all over the leather. It will turn your boots looking brand new in no time!
Also, if you regularly dust your boots, you can prevent the leather from cracking in the first place. For this reason, I prefer keeping my precious boots covered with a bag, or in a cardboard box, to keep the wretched dust away.

Putting the Final Touch

Now, the above steps are enough to get your boots up and running again, but this next trick will get them looking incredibly smooth. It’s simple: give the boots a good finish. By now you must’ve already applied shoe cream to the leather. Next, you have to carefully polish the surface in neutral bitumen to bring out a natural shine from the leather. And it’s best to keep the leather moistened with leather cream to prevent cracking in the future.

I know you’re itching to put on your boots after the makeover you gave them, but hold up! My advice is to let the boots relax for the next 24 hours so that all the work you put into them can settle in.

How to Protect Leather Boots From Cracking?

Now that you know all about repairing leather boots, I’m sure you’re curious if it’s possible to prevent the leather from cracking at all. You know what? It is!

After you’ve polished them, you MUST take care of them regularly. Prevention is better than cure and all that jazz, you know. But none of these steps are that hard to follow, you just have to keep them in mind.

For example, don’t let direct sunlight hit your boots. Otherwise, the leather will dry too soon and may get damaged a second time. Now that may not be possible when you’re outside, but when you store your boots, ensure that the area is dry and away from the sun.

How you store your boots matters, too! Do it the wrong way, and the surface may start showing scuffs and cracks. The boots may even lose their beautiful shape. If you want don’t want any of that to happen, don’t forget to wrap the nose of the boots with newspaper and place a piece of cardboard in the ankle when storing the boots.

After an evening spent walking outside, you should wipe your leather boot with a damp cloth, and rub a small amount of cream in the cracked areas. You can also use fish oil (castor oil), which will make the boots more resistant to water.

There’s another trick that I’ve learned about white leather shoes. Use a foam sponge or a soft brush moistened with detergent in water to clean them. After that, you can wash your shoes with plain warm water, dry them, and finally, treat the leather with a colorless cream.

It’s a bit different for woolen shoes, especially in hot weather or if you use automatic shoe polishes often. The varnish can disappear quickly and, you know the rest. The cracks start to appear! So, you should regularly wipe the shoes with a cotton swab and glycerin (or castor oil). After letting the boots rest for 20 minutes, remove the extra oil and rub the boot with a velvet cloth.

Final Thoughts

One problem that I often face is that I end making more of a mess than I would’ve liked to. If you’re anything like me, remember this! It’s better to perform the task of cleaning and repair by preparing ahead of time.

For example, you can place an old newspaper on a table before cleaning the boots on it. Likewise, always use one hand to clean and the other to hold the boot. Trust me, that’ll make your life easier. Also, if you hate getting shoeshine on your hands, why not use latex gloves?

Leather boots are a necessary part of anyone’s wardrobe. At least, for someone who wants to always look the best, that is! They’re also oh so comfortable. So, why not take a little time from your week to give them the care they need? If you love these tips, you can give them a spin on your farm boots as well.