There is no comparison to leather boots. Everything from the cut, the shape to comfort and aesthetics, leather boots are second to none. If you’ve worn footwear made of this supreme material, then you understand why we cannot stop singing its praises.
But just like all good things in life, leather boots can become cracked and wear out eventually. Irrespective of how well you take care of your shoes, it will undergo wear and tear.
This isn’t just a trivial thing when it happens to your favorite pair of boots. It can be distressing to see your most worn footwear undergo such travesty.
So in this post, we will talk about how you can repair cracked leather boots.
Causes of cracked leather
Leather is a natural material. This means that it has a porous surface through which dirt, moisture, and oil can enter it. These substances break down the texture of the leather, which ultimately leads to cracks. But along with cracks, there can be discoloration as well.
If you take proper care of your leather boots, this breakdown can be slowed down considerably. Leather is essentially animal skin. Under normal circumstances, the natural oils from the animal keep it nourished throughout its lifetime. Therefore, regular conditioning with a good quality conditioner is a must. This will prevent your leather boots from cracking and prolong its life as well.
Repairing cracked leather boots
If you have a pair of boots that have cracked, don’t despair. There is a way you can repair them. Of course, you can always choose to take it to a well-qualified cobbler. But repairing genuine leather boots is not cheap. So why not try it yourself.
Things you’ll need:
- A soft and dry shoe brush. Alternatively, you can also use a cloth which has the same characteristics as the above-mentioned brush.
- A second brush with fine bristles or a shoe dauber
- A bar of saddle soap or leather cleaner. Alternatively, you can use a mild soap as well
- Good quality leather cream or conditioner
To repair the cracked leather, follow the steps given below:
Cleaning the leather.
Using the soft dry brush or the cloth, clean the surface of the boots. Try to get rid of as much dirt as possible.
Next, follow it with a shoe dauber or a fine bristles brush to get rid of all the dirt and dust.
Use the same brush to apply the saddle soap or the leather cleaner to the cracks and other areas of the boots.
Before you do this, make sure to conduct a test patch to confirm that the saddle soap and the leather is compatible.
At the end of this step, the leather that constitute the shoe should be soft and flexible. This is important for the next step to be effective.
Smoothening the leather.
- After you get the leather all smooth and flexible, you can apply the cream or the conditioner. You can use a cloth to apply the cream to the cracks. You can also use mink oil to smoothen the cracks as well.
- Continue applying the cream until you see that the cracks have lessened in intensity.
- You need to conduct a spot test for this as well. Test it out on a hidden area such as the tongue to test that the cream or oil does not change the color of the leather.
- After you are satisfied with the improved appearance of the cracks, wipe off the excess with a soft cloth.
Drying the leather.
- After the treatment is completed, the leather needs to dry completely. It is best to let the treated leather dry naturally overnight.
- This will allow the shoe to absorb the conditioner thoroughly for optimum results.
- Depending on the condition of the cracks, you may need to reapply the conditioner one more time. However, this should take care of slight cracks in any type of leather boots.
If the cracks in your boots are deep and substantial, you will need to sand it and use filler as well.
- After cleaning the surface with saddle soap, let it dry overnight.
- The next day use super fine sandpaper to sand the surfaces of the cracks. When the surface has become smooth, clean it with a dry cloth or a brush.
- Next, use a palette knife to fill in the cracks with filler. You can use a brush to push in the filler in the cracks. Continue doing something until the cracks are filled completely, and you are satisfied with the appearance.
- Allow the filler to dry for six hours or more in a well-ventilated room. But do not expose the leather to direct sunlight.
- After the filler dries, you may need to apply another layer as it will shrink.
There is another method of repairing cracked leather boots, but you need some experience for this one.
- In this method, you will clean and smooth the cracked surface with a brush and sandpaper. After this step, you need to use a leather dye to repair the cracks in the shoe. You need to make sure that the color of the dye and the boots are a close match.
- To make the dye dry faster, you can use a hairdryer on a low setting.
- To complete the whole repairing process, spray the treated boots with a leather sealer. Allow it to dry completely before you wear the shoes.
Pro tip: To make your leather boots last longer, and to prevent cracks, make it a habit of conditioning it once every month. This will keep the leather from drying out and also retain its texture and quality.
Leather boots are the crème de la crème of all shoes. Irrespective of the design, the shape, and the type of boots they belong to, nothing beats it.
It remains a classic and also enjoys a cult status both equally among men women. So it demands to be treated with a little bit of TLC to prevent the cracks from developing.