Do you find your leather shoes turning out to be less attractive? Are you tired of using various products to improve the shine of your old leather shoes? Are you looking out for ways to darken your leather shoes for a good reason?
Leather shoes tend to fade over time, but darkening them not only infuses life into your old shoes but also saves you from spending extra bucks on spending new ones. So if you are someone who has been struggling with darkening your leather shoes, here is a quick guide on how to get it right:
Steps to Darker Leather Shoes
Preparing Your Leather
- The very first step in darkening the leather is to clean and dust the surface. Ensure that the surface of leather boots doesn’t have any accumulated dust or dirt particles. You can also consider using a vacuum brush for the same.
- Next, you can use a damp cloth dipped in a mild soap and water mixture to clean the dirt and remove all stains from the surface of your leather shoes. But make sure that you do not use the soap in excess.
- Leave your shoes for a while and allow them to dry. Never place your shoes in sunlight for drying; instead, allow them to dry in the air. Once your boots dry off completely, you can try any of the following hacks to darken your leather.
How to Naturally Darken Leather Boots?
Shiny leather shoes are highly desirable and speak a lot about the person who is donning a pair. But a distressed pair of shoes, at the same time, can ruin your looks and may also cause your shoes to go for a toss in no time.
Darkening leather shoes is a resort in such a case, which is being adopted by more and more people these days to bring back the shine and confidence in wearing a pair of leather shoes. So here is how you can get started:
Synthetic blends are a bit towards the pricier side but have a high hand in providing effective darkening of your boots. Not only do they darken and make your shoes shine, but they also aid in giving your boots waterproofing conditioning.
They even let out a pleasant smell and allow you to walk in style with a pair of shoes that has turned out darker than before. They do not stain your shoes and keep them in good health for years.
Another method for darkening your old leather shoes is by oiling them. You can consider purchasing mink oil, neatsfoot oil, or leather honey to condition and darken your leather boots. The process is very simple; All you need to do is dip a soft cloth in the oil & gently rub it onto your leather shoes.
While applying the oil, make sure that you apply it uniformly over the surface until you get the desired results. You can consider applying more coats of oil onto the surface of your shoe to darken it further.
Using Leather Dye
Leather dye works the same magic on your leather shoes as hair dye does to your hair. Leather dyes are usually available in two variants oil-based and water-based; both the dyes can darken your leather, but they can also cause your shoes to dry up over time.
Thus, it is mandatory to condition your shoes before you dye them. Oil dyes can serve you prolonged periods. On the contrary, you can consider using water-based dye if you want to change the color of your leather shoes later on.
Using a Polish
For this, firstly, you are required to purchase a dark-coloured leather polish that is darker than the shade of your current leather shoes. Further, dab some polish on a cloth and work it on your leather shoes evenly. Within minutes, you will be able to see your leather shoes turning out new, a shade darker than the previous color of your shoes.
Problems with Choosing Wrong Materials
There are plenty of DIY hacks that you can use to darken your leather boots, but make sure that you do not fall for any scouring hacks available on the internet. Even the slightest of a mistake that can happen due to using the wrong materials can cause your leather shoes to face the wrath. Here are a few things that can happen if you use inappropriate materials on your leather shoes:
- Using oils that are high in rancidity can cause your leather shoes to deteriorate and penetrate deep inside your shoes, causing your shoes to fall apart.
- Using oils that are not prescribed for leather shoes can also cause staining over the shoes and may spoil them instead of nourishing them.
- In some cases, using the wrong type of oils over leather shoes can also cause your shoes to stink and expel a foul odor.
- Some oils that are not meant for leather, if used on your boots, can cause more harm to your shoes, causing them to deteriorate over time.
Oils to Avoid While Darkening Leather
When you talk about using oils to darken leather, you cannot use any random oil that you come across. So, here are a few oils that you shouldn’t use for leather darkening purposes:
If you think that olive oil can help you fight the discolouration of your leather boots, sadly, you are mistaken. The olive oil can cause deterioration in your leather boots rather than nourishing them. It has lower levels of saturated fats and can turn out to be highly rancid. Apart from decreasing the life of your boots, it may also cause your shoes to stink.
The rancidity factor of canola oil can penetrate deep inside your leather boots and cause your shoes to smell. Also, it can cause staining on your shoes. Thus, it is always better to use oils that work well on leather rather than picking up any random oil.
Baby oil can cause your shoes to darken and may also make them shine and present a smooth effect. But baby oil is not capable of protecting the leather fiber of your boots. Thus, you should consider avoiding using baby oil on your shoes.
The bottom line
Darkening products need to be chosen with proper care and precaution and should not be taken as an experimental challenge; instead, they should be dealt with care. So if you are someone who has been hitting the internet to find out ways to darken your leather shoes, we hope that this article proves to be helpful for you to add that dark tone to your old-looking leather shoes.
Brandon R. Katz is a registered professional nurse who has been instrumental in providing us with an informed opinion on the medical aspects of footwear. He graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and currently provides his services at a non-federal long-term care hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Brandon proves to be the champion in the group of expert writers with his in-depth knowledge in foot health, how to take care of it adequately, and what shoes, socks, or insoles will be supreme for you. He has previously worked with hospitals where he has foreseen both inpatient and outpatient departments and has been a practicing nurse since 2009.
Brandon hails from Jersey City, NY, and has a loving family of four with a small popper called Rozo. His decision to become a nurse arises from the desire to be in the position of helping and rehabilitating people.