Scuffed up your work shoes? Of course you did. It’s nearly impossible to avoid, especially in a work setting. So here are some ways you can get rid of or at least minimize the appearance of scuffs and scratches on your leather shoes.
Start by cleaning off your shoes. You should be cleaning them regularly, but sometimes a scuff isn’t actually damage to the leather, but residual paint or residue from whatever caused the markings in the first place.
Cleaning your work shoes is often all you need to do. Start with a brush to remove excess dirt and debris. Then go in with a microfiber cloth and your go-to leather cleaner. Allow them to air dry and decide whether or not you need to take further action.
If the scuff or scratch is still visible but not that deep, you might be able to buff it out with a microfiber cloth and your choice of leather shoe polish or oil. In this case, the surface layer of leather just needs to be resealed. Applying the polish or oil to the entire surface of your shoes will help to conceal the damage by evening out the leather’s color.
If the leather is more severely damaged, you may need to put in a little more work to get your work shoes looking back to normal. Deeper or larger scuffs cause weak spots where the leather is thinner than it should be. This may make it less resistant to water and are likely to get worse over time if left untreated.
In this case, you’ll want to apply a leather filler to fill the leather. Make sure to buy a filler that matches your shoe color. Follow the product application instructions as they will vary. But typically you’ll have to apply multiple coats until the damage is completely filled, waiting for the product to dry in between each layer. Once you’ve applied enough product to fill the damage, you’ll then have to sand down the excess for a smooth finish. The last step is to apply a sealer for a final layer of protection.
If all else fails and the boots are too damaged, you may have to turn away from a DIY fix and take them to a cobbler to get some professional help. Otherwise, it may be time for a new pair.