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How To - Repair scratched leather shoes

Polishing time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Check the bottom of this page to see all the products we used in this guide!

Scratches on leather shoes can make your shoes look unkempt within an instant. Surface scratches can often be easily repaired however with a few simple steps. Deeper scratcher can often be masked reasonably well too, but can also require a bit more work. In this guide we will discuss the options and show you how you can repair scratches on your leather shoes.

First tips

-          Treat the entirety of the shoes with the shoe cream you used to repair the scratch. That way you avoid unevenness in the colour of the shoes.

-          Applied shoe cream can often be removed/corrected using Saphir Renomat.

-          Use small amounts of shoe cream per application. It is better to gradually colour the leather step by step than to apply a large amount of cream. This way you have more control over the colour you apply to the leather.

The steps

1. Brush your shoes with a shoe shine brush to remove any dust and dirt.

2. Apply Saphir Médaille d’Or Pommadier shoe cream on and around the scratched area on your leather shoes. Use light to medium pressure to gently massage the cream into the leather. Pommadier cream will help the scratch blend in with the rest of the leather making it invisible to the eye. The Beeswax will also create a protective layer on top of the exposed scratched leather to avoid further damage. To pick the right colour shoe cream please read the “Colour choice” section below.

3. Shine your shoes using a horsehair brush or cloth and check the results. If the scratch is still visible, you can apply more shoe cream. Only about 10% of the pigment in a cream will adhere to the leather, so it could be you need to apply the shoe cream multiple times. Make sure you shine your shoes after each application.

4. (optional) Apply a layer of Pate de Luxe shoe wax in the same colour as the used cream to camouflage the scratch even more. The wax will also offer additional protection against moisture and scratches. That way you basically scratch the wax and not the leather which is easy to repair by applying new shoe wax.


The pair of Crockett and Jones (Malton model) is heavily scratched on both the toe cap and the heels. The scratches on the nose cut through the built up layers of wax exposing the lighter original colour of the leather. For an optimal result we would recommend removing the wax mirror shine first in this case, but for the sake of this guide we will leave it on to show how well you can camouflage damage simply using Pommadier cream and Pate de Luxe wax.

Dyeing leather
If the scratches do not disappear after treating your shoes with Saphir Pommadier cream you can also try dyeing the leather using Saphir Teinture leather dye. Please note that the applied dye is permanent and cannot be removed afterwards. You can choose to dye a certain section of the shoes such as a patina on the toe cap or simply change the colour of the entire shoes. You can only dye the leather to a darker colour. Do this at your own risk or simply if you enjoy working with leather as a hobby. You can read our leather dyeing guide here for some insights.

Mirror shine
A deeper scratch can also be filled up by wax. By creating a mirror shine on the toe cap or heels of the shoes you can create a smooth layer of wax camouflaging the leather. Be sure to use a darker colour wax for this since wax is translucent. If the wax is too light of colour you will be able to see the scratches through the wax.

Colour choice
To camouflage scratches or any deep cuts into the leather we do recommend using a coloured cream and wax. Also, using a neutral or colourless polish for a long period of time can cause the colour of your shoes to fade a bit so alternating between a neutral and a coloured shoe polish is best recommended. If you are doubting between two shades for example brown we recommend picking the one that is slightly darker than the colour of your shoes. A Pommadier cream that is slightly darker than your shoes does a better job at masking scratches and bringing up faded colour. Check here for a complete colour guide.

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