How to Repair Cracked Leather Boots Like a Pro

Spoiler Alert: Cracks in leather boots are irreversible. Luckily, some workarounds repair them and make them less prominent. But, these workarounds only hide the cracks.

The aging of leather and lack of proper care for leather boots is why your pair develops cracks.

Over time, leather loses its essential moisture and begins to dry. Unless you restore the moisture from time to time, the leather fibers start to break apart.

To repair the cracks in leather boots, you need to fill the gap with a filler compound and allow it to set. The compound will bridge the gap and make the upper look uniform.

I wrote this guide to teach you the nuances of repairing cracks in leather boots step by step in great detail. Here you are:

3 Steps to Repair Cracked Leather Boots

cracks in leather boots

The process of repairing cracks in leather boots is not difficult. Attention to detail is the key here. Follow the steps laid out below, and you will have no issue restoring the luster of your leather boots. Here you are:

Clean Your Leather Boots Properly

Later you will be filling the cracks in leather boots with a filler compound. So, it is crucial to lift off any dirt in the cracks before applying the compound. Otherwise, the dirt will bake in with the compound.

To clean your leather boots:

  1. Remove the laces and insoles of your leather boots.
  2. Take a horsehair brush or a clean & lint-free piece of cloth.
  3. Rub the leather well in a circular motion with the brush.
  4. To remove any remaining or stubborn bits of dirt, wash your boots with saddle soap.
  5. Before moving further, make sure your boots are fully dry.

Rehydrate the Leather With Mink or Neatsfoot Oil

Cracks in leather boots usually happen when the leather loses its essential moisture. So, to repair the cracks, you need to restore the healthy hydration level of the leather.

Mink oil or neatsfoot oil should be your weapon of choice here. You can go for a branded oil online, but that is unnecessary.

Here is how to hydrate your leather boots again:

  1. Apply a liberal amount of mink or neatsfoot oil on the leather.
  2. Spread the oil all over the surface using your fingers.
  3. Rub the oil deep into the surface with your thumbs.
  4. Wipe the excess oil with a clean piece of cloth.
  5. Let the boots air dry overnight or for a few hours.

Once dry, the oil will seep deep into the leather and nourish every fiber of it.

To your surprise, you will notice that light cracks are already gone. Mink and neatsfoot oil also act as a filler compound when applied to the leather. Thus, half of the battle is already won by this point.

Fill the Filler Compound Into the Cracks

You will need a professional leather repairing kit to make them go away for deep cracks. Here’s how to apply filler compound in leather cracks:
  1. Apply the filler compound only on the affected area of your boots.
  2. Leave the pair for at least 30 minutes for the filler to cure.
  3. Buff the boots very well with a horsehair brush to smooth out any color patches.
  4. Polish the boots to hide the filler patches and restore the uniform color of your boots.
  5. Read manufacturer guidelines for any specific instructions about the use of the compound.

What’s Next

As you saw, repairing cracked leather boots is super simple. All you need to do is clean your boots, hydrate the leather, and fill in the cracks with a filler compound.

Once you have repaired the cracks in your leather boots, it is time to prevent them from appearing again.

Make it a monthly habit to nourish your leather boots with mink or neatsfoot oil. That habit alone will keep the cracks away from your boots. Thanks!

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Liam Scout

Hey, I’m Liam Scout. I teach my readers how to style boots & shoes with different pieces of clothing and how to take better care of them. Follow my guides to double the charm and lifespan of your footwear. Thanks!