How to Restore Leather Shoes

by Laura Dixon

High-quality leather shoes are a solid investment for any wardrobe, suitable for special occasions as well as everyday use. After gaining some mileage, most pairs of leather shoes will begin to show signs of wear, such as scratches, discoloration and stiffness. Fortunately, there are some effective methods of restoring your beloved leather footwear to its former glory.

Items you will need

  • Damp cloths
  • Pine gum
  • Leather conditioner or lanolin
  • Tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil
Step 1

Pour a quarter-size drop of pine gum onto a damp cloth and gently rub the product onto the leather surface of the shoes wherever there are scratches or small cuts. This will help restore the shoes’ overall appearance and color by covering any minor rubs.

Step 2

Apply a bit of leather conditioner or lanolin to your shoes with another damp cloth to help soften and revitalize the leather and prevent any further drying and cracking.

Step 3

Do not neglect the inside of your leather shoes. Apply a layer of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil on the inside of each shoe to help keep them clean and well conditioned.

Step 4

Take your leather shoes to a shoe-repair shop if you notice any breakage in the stitching of the shoe or along the soles. For a relatively low cost, a shoe repairman can fix your shoes where needed to help restore them to their former condition and ensure that they’ll last for years to come.

Tips

  • If you don’t have access to specifically formulated leather-conditioning and -restoring products, rub in some petroleum jelly such as Vaseline. Wipe off after about 15 minutes to help restore the leather’s luster.

Warnings

  • Do not use the aforementioned products on patent leather or suede, which require different products to restore.