If you’ve ever had a pair of beloved leather shoes that have gotten scraped and scuffed, you know exactly how frustrating it can be. Not only do the scratches detract from the overall appearance of the shoe, but also they decrease its lifespan by leaving them vulnerable to further damage.

Instead of settling for this new look or purchasing a whole new pair, there is actually something you can do about it! Here, we’ll explain exactly what steps you should take in order to fix scratched up leather shoes.

8 Ways to Fix Scratched Leather Shoes:

 Cleaning the Shoes:

Before you start any repairs, make sure to clean your shoes. Remove any dirt and debris with a damp cloth or shoe brush. The leather should be dry and free of any oils or grease before you start. It is also important to make sure that the scratches are not deep, as some repairs may not work for deeper damage.

Covering Up Scratches with Leather Balsam:

Leather balsam can be used to cover up small scratches on leather shoes. Simply apply a thin layer of balsam to the scratched area using a cotton swab or cloth. Let the balsam sit for about 10-15 minutes and then buff away any excess with a soft, dry cloth.

Petrolatum Wax:

Petrolatum wax is another great option for covering up small scratches on leather shoes. Rub a small amount of petrolatum wax onto the scratched area and buff away any excess with a soft cloth. The wax will fill in the scratch and help protect the leather from further damage.

Dyeing the Shoes:

If you have deeper scratches that can’t be filled with balsam or wax, you may want to consider dyeing your shoes. You can purchase shoe dye at many craft stores, department stores, or online retailers. Follow the instructions on the dye package to apply the dye evenly and make sure you use a color that is close to your original shoe color.

Using Leather Filler:

For deeper scratches, you may need to use leather filler instead of balsam or wax. You can find leather filler at most craft stores or online retailers. Apply the filler directly to the scratched area using a cotton swab or soft cloth. Let the filler set for 10-15 minutes and then buff away any excess with a soft, dry cloth.

Polishing the Shoes:

After filling in scratches, you can give your shoes an extra shine by polishing them with shoe polish or leather cleaner. Apply the polish with a clean cotton cloth and allow it to sit for about 10-15 minutes before buffing away any excess with a soft, dry cloth.

Protecting the Shoes:

To help protect your shoes from future scratches and damage, you can apply a thin layer of leather conditioner or protector to the entire shoe. This will help prevent premature wear and tear and keep your shoes looking like new for longer.

Hair Dryer: 

If your shoes are made of suede, you can use a hair dryer to help fill in smaller scratches and scuffs. Simply heat up the area with the hair dryer and then carefully buff away any excess with a soft cloth. Make sure not to overheat the area, as this could damage the leather.

Preventive Measures: Tips for Avoiding and Minimizing Leather Shoe Scratches

  • Clean your shoes regularly with a damp cloth. This will help to prevent dirt and debris from settling into the leather fibers. It is also important to make sure that the leather is completely dry before you put them away.
  • Avoid dragging or rubbing your shoes against any rough surfaces. This can cause scratches and damage to your shoes over time.
  • Invest in a good conditioner or protector for your leather shoes. This will help protect the leather from dirt, moisture, and stains while helping to keep it looking new for longer.
  • Store your shoes properly when not in use. Make sure to store them in a cool, dry place away from any direct sunlight or heat sources. If you have space, try using shoe trees or cedar blocks to help absorb moisture and keep the leather soft.
  • Be cautious of extreme temperatures. High temperatures can cause the leather to crack and dry out, while low temperatures can cause it to become brittle. If possible, avoid wearing your shoes in these conditions.
  • Keep your shoes away from any harsh chemicals. Chemicals such as detergents, bleach, or dyes can cause permanent damage to the leather. Make sure to read the label of any cleaning products before using them on your leather shoes.

What Benefits Does Leather Shoes Provide?


Leather shoes are highly durable and last much longer than other types of shoes. They can withstand regular wear and tear as well as constant exposure to the elements without showing signs of wear.


Leather is known for its breathability, which makes it an ideal material for comfortable footwear. It helps to keep your feet cool and dry even in hot temperatures.


Leather shoes come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and designs to suit any fashion sense. Whether you’re looking for a classic or trendy look, there’s something out there for everyone.

Water Resistance:

Because leather is treated with oils, it provides excellent water resistance compared to other materials such as canvas or cloth. This makes it a great choice for wet weather conditions.


Leather is flexible enough to conform to your feet, offering support and comfort when walking or running. The flexibility also helps the leather to hold its shape over time, even after extensive wear and tear.


To wrap it up, taking the time to repair your scratched leather shoes not only helps them look better, but it can add years to their useful lifetime. Taking proactive measures also helps you avoid having unexpected costs incurred from replacing them with new ones. Whether you choose to purchase a repair kit or make do with what you have in your home, keeping those beautiful leather shoes looking their best should be a priority.

Now that you know the steps for how to fix scratched leather shoes yourself, why not take charge and give it a whirl? You just might be surprised how well it works out and if not, at least you’ll have gained some peace of mind knowing you gave it your best shot!

Sniper Jones
Hi there, I'm Sniper Jones, mastermind of shoesviewer.com. My digital platform is devoted to sharing valuable knowledge about various types of footwear that can help refine your shoe selection process. Shoes have always intrigued me, leading to an impressive collection of over 1000 pairs! shoesviewer.com was launched in 2023 with the objective to provide extensive information that aids you in making well-informed shoe purchases. I've assembled a squad of shoe aficionados who share my enthusiasm for delivering unbiased reviews and thorough buying guides. Our evaluations are rooted in our personal experiences, ensuring the advice we offer is practical and usable. I always welcome feedback and discussions. If you have any questions concerning footwear, feel free to leave a comment. I'm here to assist!