How to repair cracking in a leather shoe

Updated February 21, 2017

With a little elbow grease and patience you can repair cracking in a leather shoe and extend the life of the footwear. Most of the supplies you'll need can be found either at shoe stores or an equestrian tack shop, where you will find products for cleaning, treating and restoring leather goods. Regular buffing with mink oil and polishing with a quality shoe cream help prevent cracks from developing.

Clean the leather around the crack thoroughly with saddle soap, using as little water as possible.

Allow the shoe to air dry completely. Don't apply heat, as this could make the crack worse.

Help the shoe hold its shape by stuffing old rags into the shoe while working on the cracks.

Work the mink oil deep into all cracks and crevices, and let dry.

Apply a liberal coat of shoe cream over the entire leather surface and over the cracks, ensuring that the shoe cream matches the colour of the leather.

Buff the shoe to a high lustre, then polish and buff the other shoe to match.


Work with shoe polishes and creams in a ventilated area, as the fumes can be noxious.

Things You'll Need

  • Chamois cloth or old rags
  • Mink oil
  • Shoe cream or paste
  • Saddle soap
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.