How to Darken Leather Boots: 2 Easy Guaranteed Methods

To darken leather boots, use a leather conditioner or dye specifically made for leather. Leather boots are a staple of any wardrobe, but sometimes you may want to darken them to give them a new look or to cover up scuffs and scratches.

Luckily, it’s easy to darken leather boots without damaging the material. You can use a leather conditioner, which will not only darken the leather but also keep it supple and moisturized. Alternatively, you can use a leather dye that is specifically made for leather boots.

This will give you a more even and long-lasting color change. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire boot. With a little effort, you can have a stylish and refreshed pair of boots.

How to darken leather boots

Understanding The Leather Type And Quality

Darkening your leather boots is an excellent way to give them a fresh and bold new look. However, before you jump straight into the darkening process, it is essential to consider the type and quality of leather your boots are made from.

Understanding this information will help you achieve a successful and satisfying result.

What Is The Type And Quality Of Your Leather Boots?

Identifying the type and quality of your leather boots is crucial when it comes to darkening them. The three common types of leather are full-grain, top-grain, and split-grain leather. Full-grain is the highest quality and the most durable, while split-grain is the least durable.

How Does The Leather Quality Impact The Darkening Process?

The quality of the leather will determine how well it will take the darkening process. Full-grain leather is the easiest to darken, while split-grain and corrected-grain leather may not take the dye as effectively.

It is important to note that the darkening process may affect the original texture and grain of the leather. Cheap leather may not take the dye as well, and the results may not be as satisfying compared to using high-quality leather.

Things To Consider Before Darkening Your Leather Boots

Before starting the darkening process, here are a few things to consider:

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions on your boots to ensure the leather is suitable for darkening.
  • Test the dye on a small area of your boots, preferably in an unnoticeable spot, before applying it to the entire boot.
  • Clean and condition the leather before darkening it to ensure the best results.
  • Follow the instructions for the dye carefully, ensuring you use the right amount and apply it evenly.
  • Pay attention to the finish you want to achieve, whether it is a matte or gloss finish, and choose the appropriate product.

Understanding the type and quality of your leather boots is key to making the darkening process a success. With the right preparation and product, you can give your leather boots a refreshing new look that will have everyone turning their heads.

How to Darken Your Leather Boots Naturally

You either a roofer who walks on a metal roof all day long or a worker in a warehouse or even a lineman, most of us wear leather boots either for the sake of profession or hobby. But you need to take care of your boots. With the right tools and methods darkening boots is so easy and it’s good for conditioning the boot leather. The following steps will help you to darken your leather boots.

Apply Boot Grease to darken your boots

You can use boot grease or some sort of leather conditioner and brush them with a horse hair brush to darken your leather boots. But make sure to clean off the dirt first. It is one of the easiest methods to darken leather boots. It also helps to protect your leather boots from getting damaged, thus, increasing their longevity.

The material of your leather boot item is animal skin. So, applying the grease or conditioner helps them to rehydrate. The concept is similar to applying moisturizers or lotions to your skin. Basically, you are using creams to keep your skin cells hydrated. Thus, you are preventing dryness or other skin-related problems.

However, some people might not appreciate this darkening effect, especially if it’s their first pair and the color is not black. But this darkening effect is perfectly normal and great. It means the leather is healthy and hydrated and will run long. So, for your leather boot maintenance, use boot grease or lotions, and the existing color will automatically darken.

boot greases for darkening boots
How to darken leather boots applying boot greases

Use Boot Polishes without Sheen

You can also darken your leather boots with boot polishes. The process is less time-consuming and involves the usage of wax polish like Kiwi or other alternatives. However, you must avoid polishes that add extra sheen to the boots. The process darkens your boots while applying a coat of protective boot polish.

It creates an even layer on the surface of the leather. The concept is similar to painting your walls with even coats of colors. After you’ve completed the procedure, wipe off the excess polish with a piece of cloth. But be careful, and avoid rubbing too hard.

Sometimes, you might need multiple coats of polish to achieve the leather’s even surface; don’t worry, it’s normal. Remember, a matte finish is all you desire. Hence, avoid applying materials that add extra shine or gloss to your boots.

boot polishes for leather boots
How to darken leather boots applying boot polishes

Use a Darker Shade of Boot Polish

Use a darker shade of boot polish to give your leather boots the desired darkening effect. Remember, choosing the shade of the boot polish in the context of the boot’s shade is essential. You can also perform a test by applying a darker shade of cream polish on the heels of your boot.

If you notice that the darker shade is appropriate and gives the right darkening effect, that’s your color! You have to select a similar shade of boot polish and apply it to the surface of the leather.

However, this process has its own limitations. If your leather boots are black or white-colored, the process won’t show desired results. If only you have a vintage brown pair, the magic works.

Wear Your Pair

Often, we avoid wearing boots on regular days in the fear of getting them damaged. But the truth is, if you have invested in a pair of leather boots, then why not wear them! The best way to keep your leather boots dark is to wear them at regular intervals.

You might have picked these boots for special occasions, and the purchase might have blown your wallet. But, putting them on shelves will do no good. Wearing and maintaining your boots will help them last longer.

If the leather of your boots gets naturally tanned, i.e., without any chemicals, it means your pair of boots are aging beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Materials Do I Need To Darken Leather Boots?

You’ll need leather dye, rubbing alcohol, leather conditioner, and a clean cloth.

How Do I Prepare My Boots Before Dyeing Them?

Clean your boots with rubbing alcohol and let them dry completely.

Can I Use Regular Fabric Dye On Leather Boots?

No, regular fabric dye won’t work on leather. You need special leather dye.

How Do I Apply The Leather Dye?

Use a clean cloth or brush to apply the dye in even strokes. Let it dry before applying another coat.

How Many Coats Of Dye Do I Need To Apply?

It depends on how dark you want your boots to be. Start with 1-2 coats and add more as necessary.

Do I Need To Condition My Boots After Dyeing Them?

Yes, it’s important to condition your boots after dyeing them to keep them soft and supple.


Finally, giving your leather boots a darker shade is a surprisingly simple process with straightforward options. Whether using natural products like tea or vinegar, or specialized leather dyes, you can easily achieve a darker, stylish look for your boots. Remember to choose a color that complements your outfit, shoes, and personality, while taking necessary precautions to ensure the process doesn’t damage your leather items.

Additionally, after-darkening care including proper cleaning, polishing, and storing will extend the lifespan of your boots, maintaining their shine and color. With the right techniques and products, you can transform your leather boots, improving their aesthetic appeal and giving them a more sophisticated and edgier look.

Get started today, and you could soon have brand new-looking dark leather boots that are sure to turn heads.

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