Do you have a favorite pair of shoes that are starting to peel and look past their best? If you do it feels such a shame to throw them away especially if there is a chance that they can be repaired. Learn how to fix peeling leather shoes so that you save money and preserve your shoes with our simple hacks.
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What Causes Leather Shoes to Peel?
So why does leather start to crack and peel? Peeling leather shoes are frustrating because your shoes start to look scruffy and ready for the bin. Whilst there can be manufacturing faults behind some of the shoe problems it is usually these common issues that cause them to start peeling.
You Get What You Pay For
Good quality leather is highly unlikely to peel. When you are buying a pair of leather shoes make sure that you are buying the real deal rather than faux leather shoes or bonded leather.
Bonded leather in particular is prone to peeling. This is because it is made from leftover portions of real leather mixed in with faux leather. They are bonded together to create your shoes but in many cases, they may have less than 20% real leather in the product.
Do your research before you buy your next pair of leather shoes and pay for quality leather. Your shoes will look great and last for considerably longer.
Too Much Moisture
Leather is just animal skin. It needs to be treated carefully in order to keep it looking at its best. This means if you mistreat your shoes they are going to be more prone to peeling or they will eventually crack.
Too much moisture can be one reason for problems with leather. If your shoes get wet which they will inevitably do it makes sense to make sure they are completely dry before storing them away. If you leave them in a damp place and mould starts to take hold that can ruin them.
Wet or damp shoes can also impact the bonds of faux leather causing the problem of leather peeling away.
Too Little Moisture
Equally too little moisture can also cause a problem. Leather products can often benefit from leather conditioners being used to keep the leather supple and strong. If you neglect to take care of your leather boots and shoes they can start to deteriorate.
You also need to take care of where you are storing them and how you let them dry overnight. Placing them in front of a heater or fire can dry them too quickly causing a problem. Leaving them in direct sunlight can also cause a problem. Take care of quality leather properly however and you are less likely to experience a problem.
Cleaning Them Incorrectly
As with any shoes make sure that you remove any dirt or debris from them when you get in from outside to keep them looking good.
Do not use strong chemical products or household cleaners on your shoes that are not designed for leather shoes. Leather peels when people use inappropriate products on them. Instead, buy leather products specially designed for shoes and use them instead.
How Do You Preserve Leather Shoes?
To preserve genuine leather shoes so that you keep them looking as good as new follow some simple steps.
- Make sure that you clean your shoes when you come back home to keep them dirt free.
- Alternate the days when you wear the same pair of shoes. This gives them time to dry out between uses.
- Use a leather conditioner on your shoes to keep them nourished.
- Avoid wearing your best shoes in extreme weather such as snow or heavy rain.
- Polish your shoes regularly to keep them looking good.
- Store your shoes carefully.
- Prevent creases by using a shoe tree to keep them looking smooth.
- Inspect them regularly for signs of wear and tear. Take them to a cobbler for any minor repairs.
How to Fix Faux Leather Peeling – Try Sandpaper and Shoe Polish
Learning how to fix peeling leather shoes, bonded leather or even faux leather isn’t that difficult in most cases as there are some great products that you can use to make the surface of your shoes look like new.
If you have some sandpaper at home that is often the first port of call for helping to smooth the shoe surface. Use the lowest grit sandpaper you can find and gently sand your peeling shoe to remove the parts which are causing a problem.
When you have a smooth surface then find a shoe polish that matches the colour of the leather that you need and use a cloth to rub it in.
If the shoe polish is not sufficient to hide the problem then use a colour matched permanent marker to colour in the problem area and then use the shoe polish over that. The key here is matching the shoe color as closely as possible so that the repair looks invisible.
How to Fix Flaking Leather – Try Leather Filler
If you are looking to fix peeling leather shoes then using a leather filler can also be a great solution to the problem.
Leather fillers are designed for all kinds of leather products such as sofas, clothing and luggage. Before deciding to use one try and find a filler that matches as closely as possible the shoes that you are trying to repair. Then clean your shoes properly so that the surface is ready for the filler to be applied.
Leather filler is usually applied in thin layers. Should you apply a layer and smooth it as much as possible and then wait for it to completely dry before applying the next layer. Build up the layers until you have solved the problem.
You can then polish the area you have filled to make your boots and shoes look great again.
How to Repair Peeling Shoes – Try Leather Dye
We have already talked about how to fix peeling leather shoes with sandpaper, permanent marker pens, filler and shoe polish but if the colour of your shoes is not looking great then think about using leather dye.
Yes, you will still need to follow the step of using fine sandpaper to remove the cracked areas. This step is all about trying to get the surface of the shoe looking right so you can’t notice the repair.
Leather dye comes in a large range of colours and is brilliant for disguising the areas that you have smoothed. Kiwi leather dye is so simple to use because it has a sponge applicator.
All you need to do is press it down on the area of the shoe that you want to cover to allow the product to penetrate the leather. Wait until it is dry and if it needs another coat repeat the process. When the dye has done its work just rub shoe polish into the dyed area and wipe it in with a cloth to get those shoes looking like new.
Repair Peeling Leather Footwear With Shoe Goo
Sometimes leather shoes are not flaky but a piece of leather is coming away from the structure of the shoe. In this case it may be able to stop your shoes from peeling further by using a product to restick the leather.
Shoo Goo is one of the most famous brands for helping people easily repair their shoes and boots. Just apply the Shoo Goo to patch up problem areas. Wipe off any excess product and allow the glue to dry.
If there are any noticeable outlines you can use a marker, shoe polish or shoe dye to hide those areas so that the repair is invisible.
Bonded Leather Repairs For Shoes With Nail Polish
If you need to know how to fix peeling leather shoes in a hurry then another product that can help in the short term is nail polish.
Use clear nail polish and gently place some of the product onto the area of the leather that is coming away from the shoes and then press firmly down so that it can stick.
When the nail polish is dry gently buff the leather surface with a polish to cover the peeling.
Remember nail polish is not designed to be used for leather shoe repairs but it can help you if you want a quick fix.
Use Leather Paint on Your Shoes
Whilst leather paint won’t prevent your shoes from peeling in the first place it is a great product to use for disguising the areas where you have removed peeling leather.
Leather paints work in a similar way to shoe dyes in that they will fix fading colours on your shoes or patch up areas that have been repaired. The difference however with many leather paints is that they are flexible which means that they won’t crack easily once dry.
Angelus leather paints are one of the biggest brands on the market that you can use. Just pain the product onto the patchy area of your shoes and allow the paint to dry to cover your tracks.
Using Duct Tape on a Peeling Shoe Lining
Whilst we have talked about solving the problem of peeling leather on the outside of shoes sometimes the problem occurs on the inside shoe lining as well.
As the repairs to the inside of a shoe can be less precise than the outside you could consider using glue and duct tape to create a temporary repair.
Just use Shoo Goo or another form of glue and place a patch on the problem area once you are removed any leather flakes. Then stick a small piece of duct tape cut to size over the area and allow to dry.
This repair is probably going to be most helpful if your shoes are irritated by the peeling leather and you want a relatively fuss-free fix rather than taking your shoes to a cobbler.
How to Fix Peeling Patent Shoes
Finally, if you want to know how to fix peeling leather shoes that are patent there are solutions available. You just need to know the right product to use.
Leather Luster is the go-to product to create that high shine look on patent leather shoes that are starting to lose their shine or look worn.
To use the product remove any excess patent from the shoe with the steel wool provided in the kit. Then you will need to use the pre-cleaner to remove any wax or dye from the shoes. The leather luster is then applied in coats to create a high gloss look.
Just make sure that each coat is totally dry before applying the next coat and your shoes will look as good as new again.
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