How To Darken Leather Boots? [6 Effective Techniques]

Written By Sunny

Are your favorite boots faded to their rich color, and do you want to bring back your boot’s previous color? Don’t worry, fading of boot color is a very common problem for every boot owner.


And returning your favorite boot color is not so difficult. In this article, I am sharing some amazing and inexpensive ideas that you can apply on your own and get back your previous shoe color easily.

So dive into the article to know the darkening procedures for your leather boots.

Let’s go!

Is it Possible to Darken a Leather Boot?

Yes, it is possible to darken a leather boot. Darkening boots is quite an easy process that anyone can do by themselves.

If you are buying a shoe online and the color of the shoe is a little lighter than you expected, you can change the boot color. Even if your old favorite shoe color is faded, that also possible to bring the old color back.

For darkening your boot, you can take the shoe to a cobbler shop or can buy some essentials to dark the shoe at home.

For darkening the shoe at home, you need these materials:

  • Shoe Polisher Brush: For cleaning your leather boot, a high-quality horse hair polish brush is best. Every leather boot owner should buy one polish brush to clean the boots. shoe-polisher-brush
  • Microfiber Cloth: For buffing or cleaning purposes, microfiber cloth is an important tool. It’s soft and doesn’t provide any scratches on your precious leather boot. microfiber-cloth
  • Mink Oil/Boot Oil/ Mixed Oil/ Leather Dye Or Polisher: Choose any oil (Mink oil/boot oil/ mixed oil/ leather dye or polisher) that is available in your nearby store or already has on your shelf to dye your shoe.
  • Applicator Brush: Applicator brush provides evenly strokes on leather and using a brush is convenient too. applicator-brush
  • Shoe Conditioner: After a few wears, your leather shoe gets dry. For protecting your shoe color, regular conditioning is essential. shoe-conditioner

How to Darken Leather Boots at Home

Since I am a boot enthusiast, I have a lot of boots and I have experimented with them a lot. In the beginning, I used to go to a cobbler shop to darken my boot. But after observing their work, I understood that the boot darkening job is quite easy.

After that day, I just bought some essentials and started darkening my boots at home. I have tried almost every process to darken boots at home.

Before starting the darkening process, you have to follow some steps for gaining good results:

Step 1: Wipe your shoe or use a rag for removing dirt.

Step 2: Use a damp cloth and leather cleaning soap to rub your shoe. Make sure the shoe is perfectly dirt free. Existing dirt particles will destroy your darkening process and give an uneven color tone.

Step 3: Now take a damp white cloth and wipe your boot to make sure there is no trace of soap or dirt, and let the shoe air dry.

Let me describe to you 6 easy methods of darkening leather boots by yourself:

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the most common and available oil to darken shoes. But this oil is not much effective

in darkening your boot. You have to use extensive coconut oil to gain dark color, but it might clog pores and your shoe will not breathe well.

Sometimes using coconut oil gives some spot on your precious shoe. Considering coconut oil is cheap and available, you can use it, but the outcome might not be that satisfying. If you want to darken your shoes a bit, then coconut oil is perfect.

2. Birchees


If you are finding an oil that not only darkens your boot but also works as a boot protector, birchees is a good option for you. It makes your shoe softer than before and also makes it water-resistant.

Birchees is an animal cruelty-free shoe darkening oil that gives your shoe a shine with great dark color.

3. All Weather Boot Oils

Boot oils are very popular boot-darkening materials. But it has the same problem as coconut oil. It might clog the pores of your shoe. Apply a dry rag as an applicator and brush evenly all over the boot. Maybe you need some additional layers to reach the expected dark color. After that, Dry the boot properly and be done.

4. Darkening Leather with Coffee

Coffee has a natural dark color and is available as food accessories in your home. Brew strong coffee, and boil it in a saucepan for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the coffee to make it more concentrated.

Take the saucepan off and let the coffee cool for 10–12 minutes. Now use a fiber cloth or soft brush for applying a layer of coffee on the leather shoes. Add extra layers until you get the desired color.

After applying, let the shoe dry perfectly for 12 hours. Take a damp cloth and wipe the leather surface for removing extra coffee extract. Now apply leather conditioner for restoring moisture to the leather shoe. And it’s done.

5. Use Leather Dye or Polish

For this process, you need dark brown or black shoe polish and a soft cloth or brush for applying. Take a small amount of polish on a cloth or applicator now rub it on the leather surface. Apply a double coat of polish until it gets dark. Buff the extra polish with a rag and air dry it overnight.

6. Mink or Animal Oils and Mixed Oils


Using Mink oil is a very effective and old darkening process.

Especially, mink oil is a very effective shoe-darkening material. And it’s also good for your shoe and has a long shelf life. Pure mink oil can darken your shoe up to two or three shades.

But if your shoe is almost new and has oil or moisture, applying mink oil might not work well. Even on too-old leather shoes, mink oil can’t work amazingly and give an uneven darkening effect. Mink oil is a great moisturizer for leather. You should often apply mink oil on your leather boots, it’s good for your shoe.

Do you have suede leather boots? The method I have described above won’t work for them. If you apply those on suede, it will ruin the shoe. Before darkening suede boots, you have to know How to darken suede boots for detailed directions.

What You Should Remember When Darkening Leather Boots

Some important tips and instructions you should keep in mind when you’re thinking about darkening or dyeing your leather boots. The darkening process is not so difficult or risky, but a little carelessness might destroy your boot permanently. So follow these tips and instructions for avoiding any unwanted, hassle.

  • Never use any cooking oil from the kitchen, especially olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. If you use this oil, your boot starts to smell after one or two months.
  • Sometimes you have to over-apply oil or polish for the darkest shade. Don’t apply too much oil or polish, it decreases the breathability of the boot. For darkening, you can take a few days and do the layering process slowly by using a little amount of polish each day.
  • Remember that once you make your shoe dark, you won’t get the previous lighter shade. If you are using oils for darkening, color may get light after the oil or moisture is removed from boots within few uses. But color or dye polish probably won’t go away that easily.
  • Never use a hair dry after dying. The hair dryer removes moisture and makes your boot dry. Always dry your boots naturally.
  • Try not to dye nubuck or suede leather shoes if it’s not essential.

That’s all, keep these things in mind and try to follow the instruction properly. For beginners, the darkening process might be little confusing, but all those tips and instruction will guide you and helps you to gain an excellent output.


I have covered all the essential things you should know for darkening boots. All kinds of confusion should end after reading this article.

If you have any other questions, ask me in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share your experience after applying those 6 easy methods.

Stay healthy, bye!

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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