How to Fix peeling Leather Shoes?

Leather shoes are considered a symbol of class and elegance, but nothing is more frustrating than seeing your favorite pair of leather shoes peeling, flaking, or cracking. It’s not just unsightly, but it also adversely affects the longevity of the shoe.

Many factors can cause peeling leather shoes, such as poor storage, moisture, exposure to direct sunlight, or even daily wear and tear. But do not worry, in this article, we will explore the best tips and tricks on how to repair peeling leather shoes and give them a new life.

Determine the extent of damage

Before jumping into repairing your peeling leather shoes, you need first to identify the extent of the damage. If the peeling is minimal, it can be fixed with simple steps. However, if it is severe or affects the structure of the shoe, it might require professional expertise.

How to fix peeling leather shoes
How to fix peeling leather shoes?

Start by examining the affected area and check the surrounding leather for any signs of damage. Also, determine the severity of the peeling; is it just the top layer, or has it peeled down to the inner layers? Once you have assessed the extent of the damage, you can move on to the next step.

Clean the shoes

The next step is to clean the shoes thoroughly. Use a soft-bristled brush or a cloth to remove any dust or dirt from the surface of the shoe. Then, use a leather cleaner or saddle soap to clean the shoes further.

Apply the cleaner using a soft cloth, and gently rub it on the surface of the shoes in a circular motion. Once done, wipe off any excess cleaner and let the shoes dry naturally away from direct sunlight or heat.

Apply leather conditioner

After cleaning the shoes, apply a leather conditioner to restore the moisture balance in the leather. Leather conditioner is essential to prevent drying, flaking, and cracking of the leather. Apply a thin even layer of conditioner on the surface of the shoe using a soft cloth, and let it dry for at least an hour before proceeding to the next step.

Repair the peeling leather

To repair peeling leather, you will need a leather repair kit, which usually comes with instructions on how to use it. A typical repair kit contains a leather filler, adhesive, and color-matching dye.

Start by applying the leather filler to the damaged area by spreading it evenly using a spatula. Let it dry for a few hours before sanding it gently with sandpaper to smoothen the surface. Then, apply the adhesive to the leather and press the peeling part of the shoe back in place. Once the adhesive has dried, apply the color-matching dye to the repaired area.

Polish the shoes

Once the repair is complete, polish the shoes to give them an elegant finish. Use a matching color shoe polish and apply it evenly on the surface of the shoe using a soft cloth.

Gently rub the surface in a circular motion until the polish is well distributed and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, use a brush to buff the surface gently, giving your shoes that desired shine and glimmer.

Store the shoes correctly

Finally, once the shoes are fixed, store them properly to avoid future damage. Avoid exposure to heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Place them in a cool and dry place or use a shoe tree to maintain their shape and structure.


In conclusion, peeling leather shoes can be frustrating, but with the right approach, they can be rescued and brought back to life. Start by assessing the extent of the damage, clean your shoes properly, apply leather conditioner, repair the peeling area, polish the shoes, and store them correctly. These steps will ensure that your shoes stay in good condition for years to come. So, take care of your leather shoes, and they will take care of you.

FAQs – How to fix peeling leather shoes?

1. What causes leather shoes to peel?

Leather shoes can peel due to a variety of factors, including exposure to moisture, heat, or harsh chemicals, as well as normal wear and tear over time. Low-quality leather or synthetic materials may also be more prone to peeling.

2. Can I prevent my leather shoes from peeling in the first place?

You can take several steps to minimize the risk of your leather shoes peeling. Regularly clean and condition your shoes with products specifically designed for leather care. Avoid exposing them to excessive heat or moisture, and store them in a cool, dry place when not in use.

3. How do I fix peeling leather shoes once the damage has occurred?

First, gently remove any loose or peeling leather with a soft brush or cloth. Then, apply a leather repair compound or filler to the affected area, carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the compound to dry completely before buffing the area with a clean cloth to blend the repair with the surrounding leather.

4. Can I use shoe polish to cover up peeling leather?

While shoe polish can temporarily improve the appearance of peeling leather, it is not a long-term solution. It’s essential to address the underlying issue by properly repairing and conditioning the leather to prevent further damage.

5. Is it possible to fix peeling leather shoes at home, or should I consult a professional?

Minor peeling can often be fixed at home using a leather repair kit or compound. However, if the damage is extensive or you’re unsure about the proper technique, it’s best to consult a professional cobbler or leather repair specialist for assistance.

6. How can I maintain my leather shoes after repairing the peeling?

To keep your leather shoes in good condition after repairing the peeling, regularly clean and condition them using appropriate leather care products. Store them in a cool, dry place and avoid exposing them to excessive heat or moisture. Additionally, consider using a protective spray specifically designed for leather shoes to help prevent future damage.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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