How To Remove Deep Scratches From Leather Boots

There is no worse feeling than your favorite pair of shoes getting scratched, it is even worse when that pair is your leather boots. Although leather will naturally scuff and scrape over time, when the scratches are deep this can be worrying. You may be thinking that your shoes are irreparable. However, there are some ways in which you can salvage your leather boots and help the deep scratches look less visible. 

While it may be difficult to completely eradicate deep scratches, we have provided a few helpful tips in this article to help you remove deep scratches from your leather boots.

Can You Really Remove Deep Scratches From Leather Boots?

It all depends on how deep the scratches are on your leather boots. If they are surface level and are just little scuffs, there are ways to remove the harsh appearance of the scratches. 

If the scratches are particularly deep, you will never be able to remove them completely because there has been too much damage already done to the shoe. You must remember that leather is a form of animal hide. Once it has been damaged, you have to focus on masking the appearance and fixing them as much as possible, rather than removing the deep scratches completely.

However, do not feel disheartened by this, there are still many ways in which you can improve the appearance of your leather boots and mask the deep scratch so that it does not look as harsh as it previously did.

How To Remove Deep Scratches From Leather Boots

There are two ways in particular that will help you to reduce the appearance of deep scratches in leather boots. While you may have been tempted to try and buff out the scratches or use a conditioning oil, these techniques will only work for surface and medium scratches. To get rid of deep scratches you will need to hide their appearance with a marker pen or shoe polish.

Black Permanent Marker Pen

You may be thinking that this is an unusual idea, but it is surprisingly effective. Although, this technique will only work if your leather books are black. You will need to take your black permanent marker pen and draw over the deep scratch. While this will not remove the scratch completely, it will help to mask it. When the permanent marker dries, it should help the scratch to blend in with the whole shoe. If the scratch is on the side of the shoe or in a place that is not wholly noticeable, this is a great technique. If the deep scratch is at the front of the shoe, it may still be noticeable and shoe polish may be more effective. 

Shoe Polish

If your shoes are a different color leather, such as burgundy or brown then shoe polish is probably a better option for you. You can also try shoe polish if the black permanent marker pen has not covered the deep scratches as well as you hoped it would.

You will want to purchase a shoe polish that is the same color as the leather of your shoes. If it is the wrong shade it will be very noticeable and will not cover the shoe in the way you want it to.

To apply the shoe polish you will need to ensure your shoes are free from dirt and dust before applying. Purchase a shoe polishing brush and apply a liberal amount of polish to the shoe. You will want to apply the shoe polish to the shoe in circular motions. For the deep scratch, if it is not being fully covered with the shoe polish brush, you can use a cloth or a Qtip to get the polish right into scratch.

After you have applied your first layer of shoe polish, let the shoe dry and assess the deep scratch. If it is not completely covered, feel free to repeat the process a few times until you have used a few layers of shoe polish. As the shoe polish layers, you should notice the scratch becoming less visible.


If the deep scratch has also left some scuffing on the top of the leather, you may want to buff the scratch with sandpaper before applying permanent marker or shoe polish. By buffering the scratch, you will help to smooth out the top surface and this will help the marker and shoe polish to settle on to the shoe better.

Leather Repairs

If you have tried both of these techniques and have had no success, it may be worth purchasing a leather repair kit. These kits will help to further improve the look of deep scratches from leather boots. They contain adhesive and paint to help patch up any particularly big scratches.

If all of these techniques have not worked and the deep scratches are still very much visible, it would be worth visiting a shoe cobbler to see if there is anything they can do to repair the shoe.

Summary And Where To Purchase

We hope this article has helped you to learn how to remove deep scratches from leather boots. While you can never fully repair leather boots when they have been significantly damaged, the ideas we have shared above can help you mask the appearance of the deep scratches. Remember, there is always the option of taking your shoes to be professionally fixed if you have tried all of our tips or if the scratches are particularly deep.

If you would like to purchase any of the materials we have mentioned above to help you remove the deep scratches from your leather boots yourself, you can do so here:

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