How to Darken Leather Boots | 6 Best Tips & Techniques

  • By: Christopher
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Leather boots are a timeless shoe option that never goes out of style. However, with frequent wear, they can start to lose their luster and appear dull. That’s when it’s time to darken those leather boots, giving them new life and character.

With a few easy steps, you can revive the shine of your leather boots, making them look as good as new. The process may seem intimidating, but it’s really quite simple. All it takes is the right product and a little bit of elbow grease.

So, don’t let your favorite leather boots get lost in the shuffle. Darken them up and let them shine! Discover the best method for darkening your leather shoes and achieving the perfect look. Read on to learn how.

How to Darken Leather Boots

In this section, we’ll discuss several methods for darkening leather to get a look that works for you, from natural oils, chemical products such as shoe polish or wax, mink oil, and coconut oil to even boot grease!

1. Neats Foot Oil

If you plan to darken your leather boots, Neats foot oil is a clever way to go. Neats Foot oil is an animal oil and is extracted from cattle shinbones and feet. This type of oil is excellent for conditioning leather boots too.

We recommend using Fiebings or the Bickmore 100% pure Neets foot oil. This is because when the oil is absorbed into the leather, it moisturizes and softens it, enhancing its flexibility and durability while also darkening and revitalizing the leather.

To use Neat’s foot oil, you will need a microfiber cloth and horse hair shoe brush to darken your shoes. 

Steps To Follow:-

  1. Dabb a little oil into your microfiber cloth and apply it to your leather boots in a round or circular motion. 
  2. Apply some pressure when applying the Neets foot oil to ensure it reaches the fibers of your shoes. 
  3. To make your shoes even darker, consider applying more oil using circular motions after every ten to twenty minutes. 
  4. Once you are satisfied with the quality of the dark shade, let the oil set for 20 minutes, and then use the horsehair brush to buff your shoes and excess oils. 

2. Mink Oil

One of the best products to use to darken your leather is Mink Oil, specifically the Red Wing Heritage Mink Oil or Fiebing’s Golden Mink Oil (Available on Amazon). 

Mink Oil is an animal oil product that saturates the fibers of your leather, giving them a rich color. Besides darkening your leather boots, mink oil protects your shoes from harsh weather. 

If you choose to use mink oil, you will need a microfiber cloth and a horsehair shoe brush to darken your shoes. 

Steps To Follow:-

To darken leather boots using mink oil, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the boots to remove dirt and stains.
  2. Apply mink oil evenly to the entire surface of the boots using a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Let the mink oil sit on the boots for a few hours or overnight to allow absorption.
  4. Remove excess oil with a clean cloth.
  5. Buff the boots using a dry cloth to enhance shine and smoothness.
  6. Allow the boots to dry completely before wearing them.

Remember that mink oil may darken leather, but the extent of darkening can vary depending on the type and color of the leather. It’s always a good idea to test the mink oil on a small area first and gradually build up the darkness as needed.

3. Imperial Venetian Leather Balm

If you do not wish to have a darker shade like that caused by mink oil, you can try out Venetian leather balm. Imperial Venetian Leather Balm darkens your shoes three shades lighter compared to mink oil. 

To use this product, you will need a microfiber cloth and a horsehair shoe brush to darken your shoes. 

Steps To Follow:-

  1. Clean the boots to remove dirt and stains.
  2. Test the Venetian Leather Balm on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather to ensure it doesn’t cause any unwanted changes.
  3. Apply a small amount of the balm to a clean, soft cloth and rub it onto the leather in circular motions, covering the entire surface of the boots evenly.
  4. Allow the balm to penetrate the leather for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Wipe away any excess balm with a clean cloth.
  6. Buff the boots using a dry cloth to bring out shine and smoothness.
  7. Let the boots dry completely before wearing them.

Remember to test the product first and apply it gradually to achieve the desired darkness.

4. Leather Dye

If you do not wish to go through the time-consuming process of using mink and Neet’s foot oil, you can simply use leather dye to darken your boots. 

We recommend that you use Tarrago Quick Color Dye Leather and Canvas Repair since it is safe for your shoes and provides further protection for you your leather boots. The product also comes in a wide range of colors to choose from.

To use dye products, you will need a sponge. 

Steps To Follow:-

  1. Dabb the sponge into the dye and carefully spread it evenly across the shoe until you achieve the desired shade. 
  2. Repeat the process if necessary.
  3. Allow the dye to try thoroughly before wearing the boots.

5. Boot Grease

Another product you should consider using is Huberd’s Shoe Grease on your leather boots. It not only darkens your shoes but also softens and conditions the leather ensuring your boots are more durable. 

To use this product, you will need a microfiber cloth and a horsehair shoe brush. To apply Huberd’s Shoe Grease and restore leather boots, follow these steps:

Steps To Follow: –

  1. Clean the boots to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Soften the grease slightly for easier application.
  3. Apply the grease using a cloth or brush, covering the entire boot surface evenly.
  4. Massage the grease into the leather to help it absorb.
  5. Let the boots sit for a few hours or overnight to allow the grease to penetrate.
  6. Gently buff the boots with a clean cloth to remove and polish excess grease.
  7. Repeat the process if needed for optimal results. Refer to the product instructions for any specific guidelines.

6. Coconut Oil

Finally, another product you should consider using is coconut oil. We recommend the Viva Naturals Organic Coconut OilAvailable on Amazon. 

This is because this product is also 100% Coconut Oil Made From Fresh Organic Coconut and is both Keto & Paleo Certified.

The coconut oil also hydrates your leather boots, leaving them soft and silky, never greasy or sticky. 

Its natural formulation is rich and super nourishing to the boot leather, leaving your shoes darkened and moisturized.

Steps To Follow:-

  1. Apply and reapply coconut oil to your shoes to achieve the desired shade. 
  2. Repeat the process if needed.
  3. Allow the boot to dry thoroughly overnight in a cool, dry place.

A point to note is that coconut oil does not darken your shoes as much as the options provided for you above. Secondly, to darken your shoes using coconut oil, ensure that you slightly melt the oil to spread it evenly on your shoes. 

Final Words

In conclusion, Leather boots are a beauty, and having a pair of dark leather boots can provide a timeless look that exudes sophistication.

With the step-by-step methods described, everyone can get the dark leather boots of their dreams at home without spending much money. From applying mink oil to using coconut oil, you have multiple options that won’t make a frequent dent in your wallet.

Keep in mind, though, that even with properly caring for your new dark leather boots, you should expect some fading to occur eventually. By treating your shoes with the respect they deserve and following these techniques, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful pair of dark leather boots for many years to come!

Last update on 2024-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API