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How to Fix Scuffed and Scratched Leather Shoes

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Don’t let unsightly scuffs and scratches take the shine off your leather shoes. Simply follow this guide and keep your footwear looking as good as new. When you wear leather shoes regularly, you can expect to pick up a few marks from time to time. However, the good news is that you can usually repair scratched and scuffed leather shoes – providing you know what you’re doing. The key to making the right move is to understand the differences between scratches and scuffs. In this blog, we shed some light on this and give you some proven ways to treat them both. How to fix scuffed leather shoes There are two different types of scuffs you can pick up on your leather shoes – material transfer scuffs and deep scuffs. A material transfer scuff occurs when your shoes make contact with other objects. For instance, when you bump into a wall or someone steps on your foot. These types of scuffs are easy to fix because it’s just the transferring of material from another object and the actual leather shoe hasn’t been damaged. The key to removing material transfer scuffs is to gently remove the added material without spoiling the leather. Here are some solutions you should try:

  • Shoe brush – in most cases, you can simply brush your leather shoes and it’ll remove a material transfer scuff.

  • Pencil eraser – a pencil eraser isn’t just good for rubbing out crappy doodles. It’s soft enough that it won’t damage the leather and will remove the added material with ease.

  • Toothpaste – for stubborn scuffs, you should resort to toothpaste. Just like baking soda, it has similar abrasive qualities and can work wonders. Simply apply it to a soft cloth and work it into the leather.

For deeper scuffs, you’ll need to take your scuffed leather fix game to the next level. This type of scuff usually leaves the leather looking lighter in colour and rougher. Unfortunately, deeper scuffs can’t always be completely fixed. However, you can minimise damage and do a great job of hiding them. To do this, you should think about:

  • Conditioning – leather conditioner works like a skin moisturiser. When your shoes absorb the conditioner, it causes the leather to swell, which in turn, minimises the appearance of deep scuffs. We highly recommend Red Wing Natural Leather Conditioner.

  • Polishing – if applying a conditioner hasn’t fixed your leather shoe scuff, try polishing to add a shine to the outside surface. You can pick up a tin of our beautiful smooth wax polish here.

How to repair scratches on leather shoes Scratches are very similar to material transfer scuffs, in the sense that an object has left a mark on your leather shoes after making contact. Although, scratches are often a lot deeper than scuffs and can be more challenging to fix. The best thing you can do to repair scratches on leather shoes is to lessen the appearance by conditioning and polishing. If you feel like the scratch is too deep or the leather has been cut, you can use leather filler products to repair it. Furniture Clinic’s Leather Heavy Filler is a great product for the job. However, leather fillers are often used in conjunction with redyeing, buffing, and sanding processes, so we highly recommend you acquire the services of a top UK cobbler. Enjoyed reading this? Then you may like some of our previous shoe care blogs:

  • Repairing Shoes – 6 Ways to Extend Their Life

  • How to Clean Leather Shoes – 5 Best Products

  • The 5 Best Cobblers for Shoe Repair in the UK

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