Use Shoe Polish to Change the Color of Your Boots

Updated on November 29, 2016

If your love affair with cute white or brown leather boots has started to wane, don’t break out your credit card to buy a new pair just yet. If you still love the style of those boots, you can use shoe polish to temporarily change the color to suit the season. Breathing new life into old leather boots takes a little time but will save you cash that you can use for other chic accessories.

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Shoe Polish Types

When changing the color of your boots, you may be tempted to pick up a cream shoe polish thinking it’ll make the transformation process quicker. However, cream shoe polishes have a tendency to leave streaks, so unless you’re trying to start a new trend, stick with liquid shoe polish. Also, trying to lighten the color of dark brown or black boots won’t give you the result that you want, unless you’re going for the bovine look.

The Procedure

You want to start with a clean canvas before applying liquid shoe polish, so use a cotton cloth or cotton pad to wipe away dirt and old shoe polish residue. Apply the liquid shoe polish with even strokes, to avoid streaking. Let the polish fully dry before applying a second coat. If you touch your finger gently to the surface of your boot, and no polish comes off, you’re good to go for the second round. You may need to apply up to three coats to fully change the color of your boots.

Maintenance

You’ll need to reapply new coats of liquid shoe polish as the previous layers wear off. Using a liquid shoe polish that protects against moisture damage may extend the life of your temporary color change. Those leather boots were made for walking, but take care when going up stairs. An inopportune scuff on the toe may reveal your boot’s true color to the world. If you love the new color, consider investing in leather shoe dye, which will permanently change the color of your boots.

Winter Considerations

During the winter, your shoes may be exposed to snow and chemicals used to break down ice patches. Magnesium chloride might prevent you from slipping on the ice and having to sport a cast all winter, but it can also eat away at the polish on your boots, causing the original color to show through. In order to avoid having to apply new shoe polish every day, use common sense before stepping out in your boots. If you peek outside in the morning and see slush and ice, allow your leather boots to take a sick day.

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