It’s no secret that keeping leather in a good condition is a lot of work. From dust to dirt, the smallest particles can leave nasty smudges. Leather is a great material that is hard-wearing so it lasts a long time, if you take care of your shoes well they’ll look great for years and years – that’s why it’s time to invest in a good leather conditioner!
As a shoemaker I see so many people come to me with scuffed and stained leather shoes, asking if I can fix them. The best way to fix a scuffed shoe is to use a good conditioner from the start. Prevention is the best way! As you’re reading this, you know it’s time to start taking care of your shoes – that’s the first step to owning beautiful leather products.
So, here are the best options out there for leather products!
A well-trusted brand is Bickmore; their Bick 4 Leather conditioner is one that I recommend all the time. It can clean, polish, and protect all types of leather products. That includes boots and shoes – but extends to jackets, purses, and even furniture! Very great if you’re a fan of buying leather goods. The formula is tested on all types – so no need to worry. Bickmore uses a great wax-free formula, which is an added bonus!
The wax-free formula ensures that the leather’s pores will not seal up – this keeps the leather soft and allows it to breathe. Also, as there’s no wax in the ingredients the conditioner won’t leave any sticky or gummy residue. This is great, as you don’t want to accidentally ruin your shoes whilst trying to clean them – trust me I’ve seen it before! The formula won’t darken your leather either, so no need to worry about accidentally changing the shade of your shoes.
This conditioner offers a great finish, without the risk of damaging the product. Shoes will be left looking smooth and soft after using, without their breathability compromised. This extends the lifetime of leather products, keeping them looking new for longer.
Though I specialize in shoemaking, I also own a lot of other leather goods. I can resist them! I’m sure many others of you reading this own various leather products, so when looking for a good leather conditioner you’ll want to be able to use it on your shoes, as well as the other leather goods. Finding a leather conditioner that cleans shoes and other products saves you time and effort.
A great multi-purpose conditioner is the Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovator. This is a great conditioner; it provides deep conditioning to the leather and also rejuvenates it with essential nutrients needed to restore the original color and shine. The formula is mink-oil based, mixed with waxes, which allows the conditioner to cover all bases of shoe care. The renovator is known for polishing, cleaning, and all-around exceptional care.
The formula is easy to use; to clean your leather all you need to do is gently apply after wearing to keep the leather looking its best. The conditioner is safe to use on all leathers and skins – even exotics. Saphir is a very well-known brand, so if you’re unsure or want a quality guarantee check them out!
Has it been a while since you cleaned your shoes? Perhaps you’ve never cleaned them and now you’re wondering if the damage is past the point of return? There’s no shame in scuffing your shoes, it happens to the best of us! If you’re looking for a leather conditioner that can repair or cover deeper scuffs, do not worry! The best option for you is the Lexol Leather Conditioner – this provides a deep condition to nourish the shoe.
The Lexol conditioner preserves and protects the leather from cracking, whilst also maintaining the flexibility of leather – all without leaving a greasy residue. I’ve tried to condition client’s shoes before with a bad quality conditioner and it’s left residue all over the shoe – so it’s well worth investing in one that leaves no grease! Pair this conditioner with a care kit to get the best results.
Lexol recommends that you use the product frequently to get the best results, and I would agree. Once you start cleaning and conditioning your leaver products you won’t go back! The difference you see after even just one use of a leather conditioner makes such a difference; you’ll be showing your clean shoes off to everyone!
It’s great when a product is multipurpose, however, there are times when you want a specific product to really give your shoes a good condition. The Cadillac Boot And Shoe Leather Conditioner is built to give the best care to your footwear, protecting it from any scuffs and cracks. The conditioner cleans, polishes, and protects from any harm. This is great for enhancing the life and luster of shoes that need a little love and care.
This conditioner is also great for getting rid of water spots, once applied the conditioner will work to restore the shoe and prevent it from cracking. This is particularly great if you wear the shoes a lot, leather is durable – but with this conditioner, the shoe’s lifespan will increase. The conditioner is also safe to use on a range of exotic skins and even reptile skins – for example, alligator, crocodile, elephant, and many more.
If you’re after a wax-free conditioner, this one is also great. The wax-free formula makes sure that the product doesn’t harden after usage, keeping leather in its optimum state for a better look and feel. This product is great for those who want to keep leather boots, or shoes, in the best condition, and want the longest life possible for their shoes.
When it comes to leather conditioners, the question is to wax or not to wax? This comes down to personal opinion and the type of leather you have. If you are looking for a wax-based conditioner, consider using Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner as this uses premium quality beeswax and natural oils. The beeswax and plant oils are designed to melt when spread on by hand, giving a good condition.
The heavy-duty nature of this conditioner waterproofs and resists acids, petroleum, salt, and chemicals on leatherwork, which is great if the boots are worn frequently. The formula also works to restore dried and sun-faded leather furniture and leather auto interiors – perfect if you own other leather goods that need some care. The conditioner is also proven to resist scuffs and cracking, giving the product a longer life. The natural oils are gradually released into the fibers for long-term lubrication, oiling the leather when needed.
The leather conditioner was originally produced for protecting and waterproofing firefighter’s leatherwork boots, from day one this brand has been dedicated to providing a deep condition and protective layer for fine leather products. This makes for an excellent leather boot conditioner.
If leather isn’t oiled it can become tough and crack, that’s why so many of these conditioners promote the fact they lubricate your leather. If you’re worried about cracks, or your shoes are already feeling dry, consider buying a conditioner that lubricates and replenishes the oils in the shoe. The Kiwi Leather lotion is perfect for this – it replenishes the oils for all finished leather goods and is great for keeping shoes in good condition.
Kiwi Leather lotion leaves a soft luster after application; this prevents the leather from drying out. The product can also be applied to all colors of smooth or imitation leather – so even for those of you who own faux-leather shoes! It can also be applied to any color surface, no need to worry about accidentally ruining the shoes. If you own any other leather goods (such as luggage, garments, or any other accessories) it can be used on these too.
This product is great as it can be used on fake and real leather, don’t let this worry you though – it provides good care to both! As long as the surface is smooth it will leave a soft finish, just avoid applying it to any rough surface or suede. This will keep your leather goods smooth and well lubricated for a long time.
A product well known in the shoemaking industry is the Care & Cool leather cleaner – this brand has been producing great leather care products since 1976 and they know what they’re doing. This particular leather cleaner is one I always go to when I want to bring a leather shoe back to life and restore its vividness. The leather cleaner is great for returning brightness and can be used on a range of products, from shoes to upholstery – it can bring any product back to life.
The leather cleaner is essential for durability, it ensures the leather can breathe whilst also protecting it from scuffs and cracks. Not only that, but the cleaner is great for removing dirt and stains – this is perfect if your shoes are well worn and need a good clean. The formula is pH balanced to protect the leather; this also prevents the growth of harmful molds that can form. The cleaner penetrates the pores of the leather to remove embedded dirt and restore the original tone and finish from when they were new.
The formula for the leather cleaner is not harmful to human skin, so if perfectly safe and easy to use. Frequently use this on any shoes to give them a good clean and they will always look new.
Sometimes we all want a simple option – there’s no shame in this! Why search for a good cleaner and conditioner, when you can just buy a bundle with three in? This complete care set from Leather Honey contains a great leather conditioner, along with a cleaner and a lint-free application cloth. This is perfect for those who want to have everything they need in one bundle, plus the products will all complement each other.
The conditioner penetrates the leather to rejuvenate any dry areas. The formula is non-toxic and doesn’t include silicone, solvents, or animal products – it’s not sticky and completely odorless. This conditioner protects from all types of weather (snow and rain!) due to its water repellent nature. It can restore all types of leathers and colors, but it can’t be used on suede, faux leather, or any vinyl surfaces. It’s still recommended to spot test it on a small patch before you use it on the whole surface though.
This set comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not pleased with how the products are you can get a full refund – great customer service. This is a great bundle set for anyone new to the leather world; it can even make a great gift for any leather fanatics in your life! Treat yourself to the perfect trio of leather care products.
If you’re after a product that softens leather and vinyl, I have good news for you. Unlike many others on this list, Fiebing’s Mink Oil Paste can be used on leather and vinyl. This is great if you want one product that can be used on both the materials, instead of buying one for each. In my line of work, I specialize in leather only shoes – however, I know many people swear by this paste as they can use it on both materials.
The Mink Oil is a natural byproduct that softens and preserves the leather, whilst also waterproofing all smooth surfaces. This is very helpful if you know your shoes will end up getting wet this winter. It can also be used on leather interiors, horse saddles, baseball gloves and so many more. The formula doesn’t contain silicone, and the natural oil element of the formula helps it get absorbed faster by the leather. The paste leaves no residue, so no need to worry about cleaning it up.
Be careful when using the paste on lighter colors, always patch test so you don’t end up turning the shoe a different shade. The paste is easy to apply and only a small amount is needed per use meaning the product will last for a while – just like any shoes after being treated with it!
When it comes to taking care of leather shoes, we all have our own preferences about what we use. For those that prefer an oil-based conditioner, you might want to consider the Angelus Brand Prime Neatsfoot Oil Compound Conditioner. This allows for a liquid application, instead of a paste. This protects the leather items whilst also replenishing natural tanning oils and also waterproofs the product. The solution is not intended for use on suede or nappy leather.
It’s ideal for any leather products that need lubrication to prevent cracks and scuffs. It contains natural preservatives for items that have endured rugged use and outdoor exposure, so if anyone needs to give their hiking boots a good clean this may be the conditioner for you! The formula maintains the suppleness and strength of the original leather, keeping the shoes looking fresh and new.
A bonus with this conditioner is the fact it doesn’t rot stitches or laces, so if you have some leather boots that need restoring there’s no need to worry about any of the detailing. Note that this formula has the potential to darken leather, so patch test or use on darker shoes.
Leather is a great material and some of the best parts about owning it are taking care of it and keeping it in great shape. This conditioning shouldn’t be tedious, nor should it be difficult if you choose the right conditioner! There are so many out there, hopefully, this list has enlightened you to which will suit you and your leather shoes best. There’s no one fits all for leather shoes! Always try and test the conditioner out in a patch test first, just in case the formula isn’t right for you. Have you got a favorite leather conditioner? Let us know in the comments!