How to Fix Cracked Leather Shoes

Leather shoes can crack over time due to dryness, sun exposure, or general wear and tear. Cracks in leather shoes not only look unsightly but can also allow moisture to seep in and damage the shoes further. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to repair cracked leather shoes and restore them to look and wear nearly as good as new.

Before attempting to fix cracked leather shoes, thoroughly examine them to determine the severity and location of cracking. Look for cracks along the seam lines, toe box, heel counter, or anywhere the leather has become stiff and inflexible. The deeper and more numerous the cracks, the more intensive the repair process will need to be.

Clean and Condition the Leather

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Start by cleaning your cracked leather shoes to remove any dirt, salt stains, or residues. Use a specially formulated leather cleaner and a soft brush to gently scrub the uppers. Avoid submerging the shoes in water. Once clean, apply a leather conditioner by massaging it into the cracked areas. Let it soak in for a few hours before buffing off any excess. Conditioning makes the leather soft and supple again.

Fill Small Cracks

For minor cracks, you can use a specialty leather filler cream. Rub the filler into the cracks, let dry per the product instructions, then buff the area with a soft cloth until smooth. The filler will bind the leather pieces back together while adding moisture to prevent further cracking.

Seal Wider Cracks

Wide cracks will need the edges bonded together before filling. Apply a thin layer of flexible silicone adhesive sealant into the cracks using a small spatula or your finger, pressing the leather pieces together. Once the sealant dries, apply filler cream over the top to smooth it out. The sealant prevents the filler from just cracking again.

Consider Professional Help

Deep cracks across large portions of the shoes may require the help of a professional cobbler. They have access to more heavy-duty adhesives and fillers that can reconnect separated sections of leather and rebuild lost volume in damaged areas. A cobbler may also be able to restitch parts where the original threads have broken.

Protect the Repair

Once your shoes are repaired, regularly apply leather conditioner to keep the fibers flexible. Consider applying a leather protector sealant spray as well to guard against salt, chemicals, and UV damage. Avoid exposing leather shoes to excessive moisture or heat which can break down adhesives. With proper care, your repaired kicks can look great for many more wears.

Showing Off the Repair

Some people will use a contrasting filler color on purpose for a visible mending style that highlights the repair lines. This can add character to well-loved shoes. Others may prefer dyeing repaired areas to match the original color for a seamless fix. Either way, bringing cracked leather shoes back to life saves money and reduces waste. With a bit of time and elbow grease, those favorite kicks don’t have to be retired just yet.

About the author

Hello, I'm Freddie, the driving force behind 'One Running Shoes Solution.' As a passionate runner and aficionado of the sport, I've dedicated myself to helping fellow athletes navigate the often daunting task of choosing the perfect pair of running shoes

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