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5 Best Leather Conditioners for Boots That Shine in 2024

Real leather is always worth the extra investment, especially when it comes to a quality pair of boots, but it needs maintenance in order to last longer. Without the best leather conditioners for boots, you’re essentially throwing money down the drain as the leather cracks and fades.

I must say, conditioning my boots has turned into a bit of a hobby. I enjoy the ritual of cleaning my boots, brushing them down, applying the cream or oil, and letting them dry back into the gorgeous, supple state I found them in.

The entire process doesn’t take longer than twenty minutes, and it needs to be done only every couple of weeks, barring you wearing them most days.

But to accomplish this, you really need the best leather conditioners for boots. I’ll admit, it can be stressful to swipe some brand new product all over your prized shoes, but I’ve made sure all the conditioners I’ve highlighted here are up to par. I can assure you that they will moisturize, protect, and soften your boots in a manner you can trust.

Before we take a peek at the best leather conditioners for boots below, I want to quickly go over the best method for conditioning leather boots so you feel confident in that arena.

How to Condition Leather Boots

  1. Clean the Boots
    Using a horsehair brush (a toothbrush works, too—unused, of course) brush down the boots. This warms the waxes and oils present in the leather itself. It also removes dirt and dust that you don’t want to push into your boots with the cream. If your boots are particularly grungy, then you can use a leather cleaner first. I typically wipe down my city boots with a damp paper towel.
  2. Work in the cream
    You can use either a clean cotton cloth or your hands to work in the cream using circular motions. This gets the conditioner into all the creases. Less is more. You’ll want to work it in well, but don’t go overboard using too much conditioner.
  3. Buff it Out 
    Using the horsehair brush, buff it into a nice luster using downward strokes. This works the polish into the leather, removes excess product, and evenly coats the entire boot.
  4. Wipe + Dry
    A nice wipe down with a clean, soft cloth completes the job. Set them aside at room temperature to let them dry, using shoe trees if you prefer. It’s best not to condition them right before you need to wear them. Overnight is best.

Key Takeaways 

When searching for the best leather conditioners for boots, I started by peeking through my shoe cabinet, examining all of the internet’s offerings, and meticulously sifting through buying guides, customer reviews, and the wisdom of the experts.

Undoubtedly, topping the list of the best leather conditioners for boots is Cobbler’s Choice because it tackles the three most important things: weather resistance, moisturization, and covering up scuffs. It does all of this by transparently listing its all-natural ingredients.

If a bit of tried-and-true luxury is what you’re after, you’ll surely be pleased by the ‘gold standard’ cult favorite brand Saphir Renovateur, which uses mink oil to condition and shine boots into a gorgeous luster.

Our Top Picks

man holding a cloth and a bottle of leather conditioner by cobbler's choice
cobblerschoice / Instagram

Tops among the best leather conditioners for boots: Cobbler’s Choice Leather Conditioner

Why it’s great: Cobbler’s Choice is easily the top pick among the best leather conditioners for boots because it moisturizes leather, improves weather resistance, and covers up scuffs like a charm.

But what sets it apart is transparency. It’s the only company I’ve come across that actually lists out their all-natural ingredients. It uses beeswax for water resistance, seed oils to soften, and naturally occurring lipids to help the seed oils penetrate the leather’s pores.

With this option, you can snag the conditioner plus a microfiber cloth and brush, essential tools for conditioning leather boots. They also have a handy how-to guide for suede boots and shoes.

Who is this for?: If boots are an everyday accessory for you, then you’ll love this durable leather conditioner. It’s perfect for boots that are frequently exposed to the elements.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: It does slightly change the color of the leather, but not by much. This is pretty typical of leather conditioners, unfortunately.

Feature: All-natural, transparent ingredients | Leather type: All | Product type: Cream  | Application Process: Cloth and brush

Venetian Shoe Cream

Why it’s great: I like Venetian shoe cream because it conditions and softens pretty much any type of leather at a great price. It’s non-toxic, free of silicones, and odorless, which is great for those who are averse to strong smells.

Regardless of smell, I think you’ll love its effect on your boots. One reviewer in particular loves using it as the final step in polishing because it gives boots that ‘spit-shined’ look adopted in the military.

Who is this for?:  Everyone can appreciate getting a longer life out of their boots without much darkening of the leather.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Despite this making my list of the best leather conditioners for boots, I do wish it were better at waterproofing.

Feature: Silicone-free, non-toxic | Leather type: All | Product type: Cream | Application Process: Cloth and brush

Saphir Renovateur

Why it’s great: This leather conditioner is beloved by boot aficionados, and not just because it won the Medaille d’Or in Paris for unmatched quality way back in 1925. It softens, waterproofs, and preserves leather without changing the color much.

What seems to set it apart is the brand’s use of mink oil, which is more self-stable than other animal fats, meaning it lasts longer. This, combined with a variety of waxes, comprises their all-natural formula that conditions and shines, enhancing the boots’ patina as they age.

Who is this for?: Whether the leather on your boots is cowboy thick or top-grain thin, this leather conditioner is perfect. It’s a good, safe choice among the best leather conditioners for boots, with generations of satisfied customers to back it up.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: It claims to be solvent-free, but it does contain some alcohol. However, that hasn’t seemed to taint its cult following thus far.

Feature: All natural, waterproofs, softens, preserves | Leather type: All | Product type: Cream  | Application Process: Cloth and brush

Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner

Why it’s great: Leather Honey is the best-selling leather conditioner on Amazon, but it doesn’t apply evenly. For your precious boots, that just won’t do.

Like many others on this list of the best leather conditioners for boots, Bickmore is a heritage brand with 142 years of expertise, which is a good sign. It’s considered a 4-in-1 product, meaning it conditions, cleans, polishes, and protects your boots, although I would still recommend cleaning your boots before applying this product.

Unlike the other leather conditioners on this list, it’s wax-free, which ensures the pores of the leather won’t seal up, keeping things breathable and soft.

Who is this for?: I love this leather conditioner because it’s truly safe for any pair of boots, regardless of color. That’s because it won’t darken the leather.

 Flaws but not deal-breakers: Although softness, breathability, and shine are Bick 4’s forte, buffing out scuffs and waterproofing fall a bit to the wayside.

Feature: Will not darken leather, natural, wax-free | Leather type: All | Product type: Cream  | Application Process: Cloth and brush

Huberd's Shoe Grease

Why it’s great: Isn’t that the cutest tin? In all seriousness, though, Huberd’s is hardly cute, it’s downright tough, especially if you need extensive waterproofing.

Beeswax and pine tar do an excellent job of creating a protective barrier around the leather. It also rejuvenates old, scuzzy leather to avoid cracking while also aiding in that break-in period of new leather. Overall, it adequately waterproofs, softens, and conditions leather boots.

Who is this for?: This leather conditioner for boots is ideal for high-usage leather, like your go-to pair of boots.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Reviewers have noted a strong ‘campfire’ or ‘bacon’ smell. And it indicates that it will darken most leather.

Feature: Natural, Wax Free | Leather type: Soft | Product type: Grease  | Application Process: Cloth

a bottle of venetian shoe cream and shoe brushes
mocchan_xoxo / Instagram

Buying Considerations for The Best Leather Conditioners For Boots

Ingredients

For the most part, you can expect the best leather conditioners for boots to use all-natural ingredients. Just don’t expect them to be fully transparent about it—unless you’re Cobbler’s Choice. Although some brands avoid waxes, most use them to prevent the leather from drying and to keep the natural oils in.

Seed oils, pine tar, and mink oil are other common, safe ingredients found in the best leather conditioners for boots. You’ll want to avoid silicones, which is easy, considering none on this list contain any.

Leather Darkening 

Whether you already know a lot about leather conditioners or this article is your first foray, you’ve seen me mention whether a conditioner darkens the leather. Typically, they all do because they are natural and the oil saturation becomes apparent, but the question usually is, by how much?

Fortunately, all of the options on this list of the best leather conditioners for boots are pretty safe in that regard, but if you’re especially precious about the exact tone of your boots, then your best bet is Bick 4.

Waterproofing 

Out of all the features of the leather conditioners, I think this one bears a call out. All of the products on this list adequately moisturize the leather by keeping it healthy and soft, but not all of them waterproof your boots.

This might not matter to you if you don’t do a ton of outside walking in your leather shoes,; but if you live in a city or spend time outdoors in your boots, be sure to choose a conditioner that will take care of that. You can always purchase a specific water-proofing product like Otter Wax to ensure that your boots are safe.

a collection of leather shoe care essentials
aj2603 / Instagram

How We Chose 

With so many products out there from so many different retailers, it can be hard to sift through it all and know which leather conditioner for boots is really good or not.

So, I’ve made it my mission to do my due diligence by searching for the most time-honored, reputable brands that utilize effective, transparent ingredients. I always read through customer reviews to find which products customers love and why, and if they purchase them again.

Company reputation: When it comes to the best leather conditioners for boots, this was actually fun. The youngest brand on the list is from the ’70s, and the oldest is from 1882!

Although it’s not necessarily a company’s fault if they’re newer, I definitely take into account how long a company has been effectively providing its service and how well it treats those customers over the years.

Customer reviews: Are they glowing, or do people seem pissed? Customer reviews are a valuable tool that helps me gauge how people feel about a leather conditioner after having purchased it and used it on their boots. Honestly, what did people do before the internet?

Price: This was pretty easy for me, considering how well-priced leather conditioners are in general. However, there are some options that just seemed too cheap and others whose price was too steep for what you’re getting. Overall, I tried to account for a variety of price ranges so everybody’s happy.

Why trust us?

As you can tell, staff writer Rachel Cascella knows more than a thing or two about boots. A seasoned writer here at FashionBeans, Rachel has written extensively on many topics in the men’s fashion realm.

Her ability to compare, test, and research a wide array of products means you’re getting advice that’s not only fashionable but also functional, meeting the needs of a discerning audience. By leaning on her vast experience and a keen eye for what truly works, Rachel has established herself as a trusted voice in the grooming and fashion space.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, the best leather conditioners for boots should use natural ingredients to revitalize old leather into a supple, moisturized state while also improving its resistance to water and inclement weather, much like my top pick, Cobbler’s Choice. A great product will also soften newer boots to ease the break-in process.

FAQ

    • Using leather conditioner on new boots will soften the leather to ease the break-in process, and it will protect and help waterproof the leather before you hit the streets.

      • A leather conditioner protects the leather from the elements while keeping it soft and supple. However, it can’t restore color like leather creams can.

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