You should probably restore your leather boots if they have seen better days. A pair of used leather boots that are severely worn will likely require restoration.

In the event of catastrophic damage, such as a tear in the leather, quality leather boots can be brought back to life.

As well, there may be limits to what you can do, as some repairs and restoration may require expert attention. In spite of this, you'd be surprised at how much you can do to restore leather footwear with a few inexpensive tools and some hard work.

In fact, I'll show you the simple five-step process.

If the soles or uppers of your leather boots need replacing, you can have them resoled or reconstructed.

restoring leather work boots

If the upper of your boots or shoes is loose or falling apart, the first step is to have them resoled or rebuilt.

You'll have some say in this.

Don't fret if you notice a subtle decline in the freshness of your boots but still have plenty of tread left on them. If the soles are visibly worn or if you purchased used boots to refurbish, it is recommended that you have them resoled before beginning your project.

Once that's done, it's time to bring the leather back to life.

Spruce Up Those Leather Shoes

First, you'll want to give your leather boots a good cleaning.

Begin by sweeping or scrubbing away as much of the dirt, mud, dust, and grime as you can. Make sure it's as clean as possible. The upper is simple, but an old, unused toothbrush is ideal for the welting (the part of the shoe where the outsole meets the upper).

Remove as much dirt and debris as you can from your leather boots or shoes. Saddle soap should be used on the boots once you're finished.

In case you're not aware, saddle soap is a leather cleaning compound that not only cleans, but also hydrates and nourishes leather products with its all-natural ingredients. It's the go-to for leather maintenance because it does such a good job.

Lather the saddle soap with a wet sponge or washcloth. Leather boots require a thorough cleaning, so use a circular motion to remove all traces of dirt and grime. Use a clean cloth to remove any excess.

How to Remove Folds from Leather Footwear

Leather shoes or boots that have been worn frequently or are old will likely have wrinkles. These occur because leather stretches as you walk.

If you want your boots or shoes to look good for a long time, this is a necessary step that some people ignore.

Cedar shoe trees are the gold standard and should be used whenever possible. Inserting these somewhat foot-shaped tools into a shoe or boot restores the upper's natural shape. Stuff your boots with crumpled newspaper if you can't find them.

Your boot leather will be slightly softer and more hydrated after using saddle soap. Here, you'll be using heat to mold the leather to your boot shapers, whether those are shoe trees or rolled up newspaper.

Employing a heat gun is the recommended method. Bring it close enough to heat and soften the leather, but not close enough to scorch. Apply gentle, even heat in a slow, steady motion to the upper-body crease.

There should be much less of a crease, if any at all, after it cools.

Leather oil for boot conditioning

The following step is to apply leather oil to the leather in order to rehydrate, nourish, and condition it. This restores the leather's natural moisture and provides a protective layer of material over the leather.

Your boots probably weren't oiled or given any leather conditioner for a long time if they are dry, cracked, and beaten up like they owe you money. Leather shouldn't feel completely dry; instead, it should have a slight dampness.

The boot only needs to be wiped down until the entire surface is evenly coated, and then left to sit for a few hours. Afterward, take them in your hands and examine them closely. What's the moisture level like? That step needs to be repeated.

A telltale sign that the leather has gotten wet is a noticeable darkening of its color. As expected When the leather becomes tacky, however, it is time to stop working with it.

Boots, please grease or polish the leather.

As a next step, you should either grease or polish your leather boots. The boot and your intended use will determine which option is best.

You should polish your shoes or boots if they are more casual or vintage. You can choose a shiny mirror finish or keep things more subdued with a matte finish. All of that depends on you

You shouldn't bother polishing a pair of rough-out leather work boots or other working footwear before putting them to use. Make use of boot grease if this occurs. Apply like you would oil, wipe off the excess, and let them dry overnight.

To begin the polishing process, we advise using a cream polish to add an extra layer of nourishment and to fill in creases and cracks in the leather. Create a wavy design, then spread the coating out over the entire boot.

After the boot has been creamed, apply a thin, even coat of wax polish using a circular motion to ensure complete coverage. Use a horsehair brush or buffing cloth to remove the polish and achieve a matte finish.

To achieve a high mirror shine, make small, circular motions with a damp towel wrapped tightly around your index finger all the way around the boot. In fact, you aren't polishing the leather at all—just the wax. Then, buff the shoe's heel and toe cap to a brilliant shine.

The next day, put them on and enjoy!