How to Restore Leather Shoes

Shoe care involves more than just dusting, vacuuming, and occasional polishing. As any shoe enthusiast knows, leather shoes require special attention and can often benefit from a thorough restoration process in order to prevent them from becoming worn out too quickly or damaged beyond repair.

How to Restore Leather Shoes

In this blog post, we’ll look at how to restore leather shoes and the tools required for leather shoe restoration as well as provide tips on avoiding damage in the first place. Never throw away an old pair of scruffy shoes again – keep reading to learn how restoring your leather shoes will help you save money while keeping your footwear looking stylish!

Can Worn Leather Shoes Be Repaired?

Worn leather shoes can definitely be repaired. Depending on the extent of damage to the shoes, there are a few different restoration techniques you can use to make them look as good as new.

One of the most common ways to repair worn leather shoes is by using conditioner or polish. You’ll want to start by cleaning your shoes with a mild soap and water solution. Once your shoes are dry, apply a generous amount of conditioner or shoe polish to the leather. This will help nourish the leather, restore shine, and protect against further damage.

If you’re dealing with scuffs, scratches or tears in your shoes, you may want to try using a leather dye or a shoe repair kit. Both of these methods can help to restore color and texture to your leather shoes, making them look brand new again.

Finally, if you have deep scuffs or rips in your leather shoes, you may want to take them to a professional cobbler who can assess the damage and provide more specialized repair.

Take Them to a Professional Cobbler

No matter which restoration method you choose, make sure to use products that are specifically made for leather shoes so you don’t damage them further. With the right care and maintenance, your worn leather shoes can be restored to their former glory!

10 Methods How to Restore Leather Shoes

1. Clean Your Leather Shoes:

The first step to restoring your leather shoes is to clean them thoroughly. You can use a soft-bristled brush or a clean cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the surface of your shoes. If your shoes are heavily soiled, you can use a leather cleaner to remove the dirt. Make sure to use a non-abrasive cleaner and only lightly scrub the surface of your shoes.

2. Condition Your Leather Shoes:

After cleaning your shoes, the next step is to condition them. Conditioning your leather shoes helps to replenish the natural oils in the leather, making them soft and supple. You can use a leather conditioner or a leather balm to condition your shoes.

Apply the conditioner or balm to a clean cloth and rub it onto your shoes in circular motions. Make sure to cover all parts of the shoes and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping off any excess. Allow it to dry fully before using your shoes again. Regular conditioning of your shoes will help keep them in great condition for years to come.

3. Polish Your Leather Shoes:

Polishing your leather shoes is an excellent way to restore their shine and luster. You can use a high-quality shoe polish that matches the color of your shoes. Apply the polish to your shoes using a soft cloth and rub it in circular motions. After the polish has dried, buff your shoes with a clean cloth to give them a shiny finish.

Use a Conditioner or Wax

You can also use a conditioner or wax to help protect your leather shoes from future damage. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product packaging, as not all conditioners and waxes are the same. With regular polishing, your leather shoes will look like new!

4. Remove Scuffs and Scratches:

Scuffs and scratches are common issues that leather shoes can face. You can use a leather conditioner or a leather repair kit to fix minor scratches and scuffs. Apply the conditioner or repair solution to the affected area and buff it with a clean cloth. Don’t use harsh chemicals as this may damage the leather.

For deep scratches, you may need to apply multiple coats of the repair solution or conditioner. Let the coats dry completely before applying the next one. Once you’re done, buff the area with a clean cloth to restore the original shine. You can also use a colorless leather wax or shoe polish to help hide any remaining scratches.

5. Re-dye Your Leather Shoes:

If your leather shoes have lost their color or are faded, you can re-dye them to restore their color. You can use a leather dye that matches the color of your shoes. Apply the dye to your shoes using a soft cloth and allow it to dry.

You can apply a second coat if necessary. Once the dye has completely dried, apply a leather sealant to help protect it from water and other elements. This will also help preserve the color of your shoes. And, with a bit of hard work and the right products, your leather shoes will look like new again.

6. Use Leather Stain Remover:

If your leather shoes have been stained, you can use a leather stain remover to remove the stain. Apply the stain remover to the affected area and rub it with a clean cloth. Repeat the process until the stain is removed. You may need to use additional cleaning products depending on the severity of the stain.

After removing the stain, allow your shoes to dry completely before applying any additional treatments. If the stain persists after removal, it’s best to seek professional advice. However, if the stain is minor, you can try treating it yourself with a simple leather conditioner.

 Allow Your Shoes to Dry

7. Replace Damaged Laces:

If the laces on your leather shoes are worn or damaged, you can replace them with new ones. You can purchase replacement laces from a shoe store or online. Thread the new laces through the eyelets of your shoes and tie them in a knot.

Once the laces are securely fastened, your leather shoes should look like new. To add extra protection to your laces, you can apply a leather conditioner or waterproofing product. This will help keep the laces from getting damaged and frayed over time. Although laces may seem like insignificant detail, they can make a big difference in the overall look of your shoes.

8. Apply Water Repellent:

Water can damage leather shoes, so it’s essential to protect them from water. You can apply a water-repellent spray to your shoes to protect them from water damage. Spray the water repellent evenly on your shoes and allow it to dry. Be sure to apply a new layer of water repellent every few months or so.

To ensure that your shoes stay protected from the elements, you can also use a wax-based water repellent to provide an extra layer of protection. With this extra layer of protection, your shoes will stay looking great for years to come. Try to avoid getting the leather wet as much as possible, and if it does get wet, don’t forget to dry it off quickly.

9. Use Shoe Trees:

Shoe trees are an excellent way to maintain the shape of your leather shoes and prevent them from creasing. Insert shoe trees into your shoes when you’re not wearing them to maintain their shape and prevent them from developing creases. You can get shoe trees in a variety of materials, including cedar and plastic.

Either type will do the job, but cedar is slightly better as it absorbs moisture, odors and other impurities from the shoe. To use, insert the shoe tree after you take off your shoes and allow them to dry and regain their shape. This will keep your leather shoes looking pristine for a longer period of time.

10. Store Your Shoes Properly:

Storing your leather shoes properly is essential to keep them in good condition. Store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Use shoe bags or shoe boxes to protect your shoes from dust and debris.

Avoid storing your shoes in plastic or vinyl containers for long periods of time, as this can cause the leather to become brittle and cracked. For some extra protection, stuff your shoes with newspaper or other absorbent material before storing them. This will help to keep the shape of the shoe and prevent moisture build-up.

Avoid Storing Your Shoes in Plastic


With the right materials and techniques, it’s possible to make worn or badly scuffed leather shoes look as good as new. Knowing how to properly repair and care for them will save you money in the long run and extend their life for several years. Not only that, but a clever repair job can also add an extra layer of flair – like adding antique buckles or subtle color highlights to emphasize the details of your design.

We hope this guide has given you the confidence to tackle your own shoe repairs, so take out your supplies and get ready to be amazed at your handiwork! Follow these simple instructions outlined in this blog post about how to restore leather shoes and you’ll be able to get the job done with ease. 

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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