How To Darken Leather Boots - 3 Effective Ways

How To Darken Leather Boots

Planning to darken your leather shoes? Doing so will give them an upgraded classic look. Dark leather boots are versatile and can complement any outfit, making you look sharp and trendy. Plus, darkening your leather boots is a great way to revive old worn-out shoes or make new ones look vintage.

Discover different ways to darken leather boots and keep them looking new for longer.

Benefits of Darkening Leather Boots

Before we go through some of the ways to darken leather boots, it's important to understand why this process is beneficial.

Easy and Affordable

Darkening your leather boots at home is a do-it-yourself project. You don't need to spend a lot of money at a shoe repair shop. All you need are a few items like leather dye or oil, which you might already have lying around.


When you darken your boots, you get to pick the shade. So whether you want a deep, dark brown or a subtle tan, you're in control. You can also reapply the dye or oil until you get the shade you want.

Protects Your Boots

Darkening your boots isn't just about the look. It also helps protect them. The oils and dyes used can help make your boots water-resistant and protect them from sun damage. This means your boots will last longer.

Revives Old Boots

An old pair of boots can look new again with a fresh coat of darkening oil or dye. Maybe there are scuffs or stains that bother you. Darkening can help hide these imperfections and give your old boots a fresh look.

Easy to Maintain

Once your boots are darker, they're easier to maintain. Light-colored boots show dirt and scuffs more easily. But with darker boots, you won't have to clean them as often. Plus, if they do get a scuff, you can easily touch up the spot with a bit of your darkening product.

Darken the Leather Shoe With Oils

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Get your mink oil kit here!

Arguably the easiest way to darken your leather boots is to use oils. Let's take a look at some of the common ones:

  • Mink oil: It can darken your leather significantly. Simply apply the oil to the boots with a cloth in a circular motion.
  • Neatsfoot oil: This is another great oil to darken your leather boots. Like mink oil, it should be applied in a circular motion using a cloth.
  • Darken leather with coconut oil: Coconut oil is a natural way to change the color of your boots. It also helps to condition the leather.
  • Natural oils: Other natural oils like olive oil can also be used. They will darken your leather to a lesser degree but still give a rich, conditioned look.

Before you get started, make sure to clean the boots thoroughly. You can use a horsehair brush to do this. Once clean, apply your chosen oil to the boots. Remember, the oil should be applied in a circular motion to ensure even coverage. With these simple steps, you can darken your boots to your desired shade.

horsehair brush

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Coffee Method

Another method you can try out at home to darken your leather boots is the coffee method. Yes, coffee! Not only is it a morning pick-me-up, but it can also change the color of the leather on your boots.

Here's how to do it:

  • First, make sure the surface of the leather shoes you want to darken is clean. This will help the coffee absorb better.
  • Then, brew a strong cup of coffee, let it cool off, and apply it to your boots using a cloth. Ensure you buff the coffee into the leather well so it soaks in evenly.
  • After applying the coffee, leave the shoes for about 30 minutes to an hour. This allows the coffee to sink in and darken the leather. You'll notice it will make your shoes darker, giving them a rich, deep color.
  • Finally, wipe away any excess coffee with a clean cloth. The result is a beautiful, dark color that enhances the overall look of your boots.

The coffee method is a natural way to alter the color of the leather. Plus, it's something you can easily do in your kitchen!

Use Shoe Polish

Use Shoe Polish

The next way to darken your leather boots is by using shoe polish. Shoe polish comes in different types: cream polish, wax polish, or leather conditioner. Each one has its unique use and benefit. Cream polish or leather polish, for instance, can make shoes darker than their original color.

Here is how to use shoe polish:

  • First, clean your boots with a rag or a brush to remove any dirt and dust.
  • Then, apply a generous amount of polish on a rag or sponge. Make sure to work the polish into the leather fibers thoroughly.
  • After applying the polish, leave the leather to dry for a few hours. As the polish dries, it darkens the leather, giving your boots a well-conditioned, rich color.

Remember, cream polish can sometimes go rancid, so it's a good idea to check the smell before applying it to your boots.

If you want a shiny finish, you could use wax polish. Just like the cream polish, apply it with a rag or sponge, then leave the leather to dry. This method is not just for boots, this can be used for other leather items too, like jackets or bags.

Tips to Make Darkened Leather Last Longer

Now that you know how to darken your leather boots, here are some tips to help maintain that color:

  • To keep your shoes darker for longer, clean the leather after every use. This helps remove dirt and particles that might fade the color.
  • Let the leather air dry after cleaning or darkening. Heat can fade the color and damage the leather.
  • Buffing the leather regularly can extend the life of the darkening product and keep your boots looking their best.
  • Use quality shoe care products when darkening and maintaining your boots. Better products tend to last longer and provide better protection for the leather.
  • For natural darkening, consider using ingredients like coffee or natural oils. These can darken your boots without harsh chemicals.
  • Regular leather care is key to maintaining the dark color. This includes cleaning, conditioning, and protecting the leather.
  • Invest in quality shoe care products. While they may cost more upfront, they can extend the life of your boots and keep them looking great for longer.

Closing Thoughts

Treat your leather boots with care, and they will provide you with years of use. With these simple methods, you can give your old boots a fresh new look without breaking the bank. Whether you prefer natural methods or want to try out some shoe polish, it's important to maintain darkened leather to keep it looking its best.

So go ahead and darken those boots for a beautifully rich color! And don't forget to use quality shoe care products for long-lasting results just like what we are offering here at Stone and Clark.

shoe shine kit

Check out Stone and Clark's Leather Shoe Shine Kit here!

12PC Leather Shoe Shine & Care Kit for Men & Women

3.5 oz Mink Oil Leather Care Kit with Applicator

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