How to fix Peeling Boots

Your leather boots are worn down. Sucks, doesn’t it? And now you think you have to replace it. Not so fast! Chances are you spent a hefty amount of money behind those boots. Can you somehow fix it? Well, yes, You can definitely fix your peeling boots- whether it be of leather or any other material.

Bear with us as we guide you step-by-step on how to fix peeling boots.

Why and when boots start to peel

The quality of the leather determines the time before boots start to peel. Real leather is made of animal skin. Just like your skin, leather needs nutrition! When you don’t take good care of your boots, the lack of moisture starts to roughen the boots’ surface. 

Ultimately, it starts cracking and peeling. So, you need to make sure your boots stay moisturized! It’s a good idea to clean your boots regularly. We will elaborate more on this later.

How to fix your peeling boots

Your leather shoes are peeling off and you want to fix that. Don’t be sad. You can fix the leather of your favorite shoe. Whether you have a leather shoe or any other kind of shoe, if you polish them regularly, they will have a smooth surface.

Alright, then. Let’s help you repair your peeling shoes and retain their original look!

 Read More: Why do the Back of my Shoes wear out

How to fix peeling faux leather boots

Real leather shoes don’t peel or flake. So, if your shoes are peeling or flakes are coming off, it’s not genuine leather. Read along to find out how you can fix those peeling faux leather beats.

How to fix peeling faux leather boots

The things you’ll need to repair faux leather shoes

A permanent marker will help you mark the peeled area of the faux leather. It works best if you have a black shoe. Other leather color markers are hard to match sometimes.

a permanent marker

The sandpaper will help you wipe off the peeling leather and make sure your shoe has a smooth surface.

180 grit sandpaper

Leather shoe polish is a must-have. Beware, normal shoe polish won’t work on leather shoes. Rather, it will worsen the condition of your faux leather shoes.

There are more than 25 color variations of leather shoe polish. Pick the one that matches most closely with your shoe.

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  1. Use the 180 grit sandpaper to remove the faux leather particles of your shoe. It will become smoother. 
  2. Take a permanent marker to fill in the peeled places. Do make sure it matches your shoe color.
  3. Finally, take the shoe polish and rub it on your shoe properly. You can use an old toothbrush if you don’t have a horsehair brush. But it’s best to use a horsehair brush. Let it dry.

Ta-da! Your faux leather pair is repaired. Your shoe should have a much better look now.

How to fix cracking leather shoes

High-quality leather shoes don’t peel off. However, lack of moisture can crack your leather shoes. If you have an original leather shoe, you will need to take more care of them. And for that obviously, you’ll need more tools to fix them. 

Your boots are worn down, looking underwhelming. Is it time to replace the pair? NO! We will now tell you exactly what you need and how you can fix them. 

How to fix cracking leather shoes

What you’ll need to repair cracked leather shoes

You will need to be more gentle with cracked leather shoes. So, let’s get started.

Shoe tree

Shoe tree helps your leather shoes to retain shape and protects from developing creases.

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Horsehair shoe polish brushes

As I said before, horsehair shoe brushes are a must-have. It cleans all the dirt of your boots while not damaging it. Check to make sure the brushes are ideal for leather shoes.

A rag

Any rag will do. If you have a piece of soft cloth, just soak it. We’ll tell you what to do with it in a bit.

Saddle soap

Saddle soaps are specifically designed for leather boots. Never use regular soap or detergent to clean your boots. If you do, It’s a recipe for disaster.

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Shoe polish

You will need a good quality shoe polish that matches closely to your shoe color. Make sure the polish is for leather shoes.

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A clothing iron

You need an iron to repair the boots. If you don’t have one, get one from here. You will know what to do with it shortly.

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A shoe conditioner

A shoe conditioner will help your boots to retain moisture after they have been prepared. It will help your shoes last longer. 

A shoe conditioner

Cream dye polish

If your boots have worn out, you need to dye them. But make sure the cream dye matches your shoe color.


An applicator brush

Lastly, you will need an applicator brush for leather shoes to apply that cream dye polish.

An applicator brush

So, now let’s see how you will repair your cracked leather boots.

Directions for repairing cracked leather boots

  1. First, place your boots on a rag or a big newspaper piece. Remove the shoe laces before you start working.
  2. Brush off the sand: Take a horseshoe hair brush and dust off the sand and any other dry dirt from your boots.
  3. Place the shoe tree in your leather boots so it maintains its shape while working.
  4. Clean the boots: Saddle soap is the gold when it comes to cleaning leather shoes. Soak an applicator brush in water and take some saddle soap to clean your shoes. Form a lather and rinse your shoes properly. When you are done, wipe off the excess soap and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Pro tip: Before applying any type of cream or soap, test it on an inconspicuous spot to test whether the color stays unchanged.
  6. Clean the shoe lace: If the shoe lace is also dirty, put them in some lukewarm water. Use an old toothbrush to clean the dirt.
  7. Fixing the creases: If your shoes have some nasty creases, don’t worry. You can repair them.  Heat a clothing iron. Place a wet towel or a rag over your boots. Remember, the moisture of the towel is key or your shoe surface may crack. 
  8. Press the iron gently over the towel. However, don’t overheat the iron. The heat, steam and gentle pressure will get rid of the creases. 
  9. Then, remove the towel and stretch gently to fix any remaining creases.
  10. Recoloring: If your leather shoes have lost their original color, you need to dye them. You can use the shoe cream I have suggested. But use a cream that matches your shoe color. Leave it for 30 minutes-60 minutes. 
  11. Conditioning: You need to repeat this process from time to time to avoid getting cracks. Your shoes need moisture. Apply the shoe conditioner specifically for leather shoes. Let your shoes dry for 1-2 hours.

It takes some time to repair the shoe. But you love your shoes! Don’t be disheartened to put on this extra work.

How to prevent shoes from peeling

Whether it is a faux leather boot or a natural leather boot, you need to take good care of it to ensure durability. No matter how expensive the shoe is, if it is not handled properly, it will lose its color and peel or crack sooner than you think. Let’s help you take care of those shoes. Shall we?

  • Always put shoe trees inside your boots after wearing them.
  • Use conditioner regularly to ensure your shoes are moisturized.
  • Keep your shoes in an insulated place. Proper humidity is important. Too much humidity will spoil it, lack of humidity will also damage your shoes.
  • Leather boots are not for running. Fix the occasion. They are mostly casual shoes. So don’t overuse them.


Well, that’s it. Remember the things we shared here. Now you know how to fix peeling boots. If your shoes are really worn down, no cobbler will take them. You will need to fix them on your own. 

So, it’s better to take care of your shoes. Rather than changing shoes frequently, put some effort into taking care of them. It will increase the durability of your shoes. 

Don’t overuse leather boots, always put shoe trees after use, clean them properly and condition your shoes occasionally. That’s it! Your shoes will last a long time.

If you follow our advice thoroughly you will never have to wear worn down shoes. Let us know if you have any queries. We will be happy to answer them.

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