These top-rated leather conditioners help hydrate and protect boots

ByIleana Morales Valentine

Leather boots can be a big investment , and they’ll look their best over time with a little maintenance. The best leather conditioner for boots moisturizes your shoes with balm or oil so they retain pliability and prevents and treats damage.

Balms and beeswax blends are popular leather conditioners, and they’re easy to apply, which is especially great if you’re new to this. Just keep in mind these thicker formulas are commonly used to protect leather, but they won't soften it the way an oil conditioner can. Oil conditioners absorb more quickly into a leather boot, but some users may find pure oils a bit slippery for application. Mink oil in particular is a popular choice to condition and help protect boots from the elements. Whichever option you go with, manufacturers recommend testing conditioners in a small, less noticeable area because they may darken your boots and this way you can get a sense of what the overall effect will be.

If you’re outdoors a lot and want further protection for your boots, look for conditioners that protect against water, mold, and mildew. Some conditioners can also be used for other leather goods, like saddles or bags, if you like a multi-purpose product.

With all this in mind, below are the best leather conditioners to keep your boots looking like new. Each one is highly rated on Amazon — including a $5 option that will revive your favorite pair of boots.

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The shoe cobbler’s conditioner

One of the best leather conditioners for boots is an industry favorite with a 4.8-rating and over 1,300 reviews on Amazon. Its mink oil-based formula combines the best of both worlds, offering the ease of waxes and the saturation of oil.

This product deep-conditions and helps restore color and shine to your leather boots, as well as other leather shoes, handbags, and accessories. It's safe to use on all leathers and skins for cleaning, conditioning, smoothing, and polishing, according to the brand.

This one is also an award-winner, earning a gold medal at the 1925 Paris International Fair. Reviewers loved that this tried-and-true conditioner hydrates boots without darkening them too much from their original color, and a little goes a long way.

One reviewer wrote: “[...] I recently bought somewhat pricey shoes and decided to look into a better maintenance product than what I used before. I went to my local cobbler and was recommended using the Saphir Renovator. I bought it on his advice. When I first used it, I was amazed at how thirsty my shoes were. It pretty much absorbed all of the product that I put into it. The sheen on the shoes improved as well. It made me a believer.”


The handmade conditioner

Huberd's Shoe Grease, originally made in 1921, quickly became a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts in the perpetually wet Pacific Northwest, and it's clear why they loved it. This beeswax blend is a waterproof leather conditioner for boots that restores uppers to a soft, pliable texture while conditioning with essential oils that protect against drying.

One hundred years later, Huberd's is still mixed and poured by hand in the U.S. With a 4.8-star overall rating and more than 3,000 reviews, this formula has impressed fans on Amazon with how well it protects and preserves their leather boots. You can also use it on other leather goods, like saddles, apparel, and sporting equipment, or even wooden tools to prevent drying and splintering.

One reviewer wrote: “First of all, this stuff smells just like a wonderful roaring campfire. I absolutely love it. Yes, it definitely does change the color of some leathers. But I have found so far that richness it gives to my fancy boots while protecting them from the Portland rain is completely priceless. I know Huberd's is meant for workboots. But, I'm telling you, all those fancy black boots you're afraid to wear in the rain and snow will absolutely love this. I also have a couple pairs of brown boots and my favorite pair of burgundy booties that I used the Huberd's on and was very pleased to find that the mousy brown boots are now a rich brown that looks great, and my burgundy booties are now a spectacular deep rich red. Plus they're now shiny as heck and practically waterproof. [...]”


The budget-friendly conditioner

There's no better deal than this affordable leather conditioner for $5. This tin of mink oil is a bit of a cult favorite on Amazon, with over 10,000 reviews, including one from a fan who noted that it "restored 23-year-old doc [Martens] to look like new."

This leather conditioner creates a waterproof barrier on boots to protect against water, salt, and perspiration. Use it to condition and preserve boots, as well as purses, jackets, hats, saddles, and baseball gloves. Plus, it dries within minutes after application, according to reviewers.

One reviewer wrote: “Great value. I have used other mink oils that cost twice as much, and can not tell the difference. Will purchase again.”


The heavy-duty conditioner

An Idaho firefighter created this beeswax leather conditioner, which has a propolis suspension formula to protect leather boots against fire retardant chemicals, ash, heat, water, and abrasion. It's heavy-duty stuff, and the beeswax blend's natural oils gradually release into leather so they remain hydrated for a long time. As the leather is exposed to heat or flexing, the oils release faster to provide your boots with extra protection.

This waterproofing conditioner is also unique for its protection against bacteria growth, mold, and mildew. Use it on boots or other leather goods, like saddles, holsters, baseball gloves, and auto or motorcycle leather. It'll also help protect against scuffs, manure acid, salt, stitch tear, dry rot, perspiration, and cracking from heat. This is a much-loved conditioner with a 4.8-rating on Amazon and over 4,000 reviews.

One reviewer wrote: “I love this stuff!!! I have more pairs of leather boots than I care to admit and all of them take a pretty good beating. I work on forest fires, have horses (so I am always walking through manure and mud in the pastures and corrals) and wear my boots in all types of weather and this stuff protects and preserves them. I highly recommend this!!”