Can Neatsfoot Oil be Used on Non-leather Boots?

Obviously none of us wears leather boots for a lifetime. I mean we all really need some diversity in boots too!

I admit leather boots look the most elegant and sophisticated. But sometimes we want something more casual and comfortable for our feet and tend towards non-leather boots.

Talking of non-leather boots, there are many options like synthetic material boots, suede boots, faux leather boots, and the most trending vegan leather boots that are not made out of any animal skin.

But taking care of non-leather boots isn’t as easy as leather boots. We are all familiar with products used to tend leather boots. But those products do not really suit non-leather boots, and you cannot treat both with the same products.

Can Neatsfoot Oil be Used on Non-leather Boots

Likewise, Neatsfoot oil is one such great product that is used to condition and treat leather boots. It is known to soften the leather fibers, bring on shine and increase the shell life of leather.

But does Neatsfoot oil work the same way for non-leather boots as well?

Neatsfoot is an all natural oil. The word “Neat” is derived from an old English word meaning cattle. It is made from the shin bones of cattle and is an excellent agent for conditioning leather.

But when applied to non-leather boots, it stains them, making them look dull and also behaves like water making the fabric wet and ultimately damages them.

Let’s find out more about the use of Neatsfoot oil on various non-leather boots….

What’s Nubuck leather made of?

Nubuck is made of deer, elk or calf skin. It’s the outside part of the hide that’s taken to make the nubuck leather.

Though nubuck mimics leather, it’s nowhere close to the characteristics of leather and cannot handle the same rough elements as leather. 

Can you use Neatsfoot oil on Nubuck boots?

When you apply Neatsfoot oil on nubuck boots, it not only does not get easily absorbed in the material, but stays put and attracts more dirt.

Also, applying Neatsfoot oil will eventually weaken your nubuck boots and reduce its water repellency capacity.

Ways to treat nubuck boots?

1.) For conditioning Nubuck leather:

2.) For conditioning oiled nubuck leather:

3.) For waterproofing nubuck leather:

4.) For color protection of nubuck leather:

What’s suede made of?

Suede is made from the underskin of animals such as goat, lamb, pig, calves, deer, etc. Suede has got a napped finish to it which is basically the tiny hair like structures that make suede look fuzzy. Suede is not water resistant like leather and is way more delicate than it.

Can you use Neatsfoot oil on suede boots?

Applying Neatsfoot oil will not only wet the suede, but will also leave behind stains that are irreversible. Besides, it will also cause the suede to stretch and become loose and soggy.

Ways to treat suede boots?

1.) For cleaning suede:

2.) Suede cleaner plus water repellent spray:

3.) For conditioning suede:

What’s canvas boots?

Just as their name suggests, canvas boots are made of the fabric canvas! In simple terms, canvas is a cloth material that is made of hemp.

Canvas shoes and boots are way comfortable for day to day wear and they easily take the shape of the feet as they stretch when you wear them which is unlike leather. But canvas shoes are not water resistant and stains easily.

Can you use Neatsfoot oil on canvas boots?

Again, the answer is No! Not only Neatsfoot oil, but you simply cannot apply any oil on canvas shoes.

That is because oil will just get absorbed into the canvas, staining it permanently without any moisturizing or shining effect. They will dull the appearance of canvas and will damage them forever.

Ways to treat canvas boots?

Water and stain protector spray:

What’s vegan boots?

Vegan shoe manufacturers abhor the use of any animal product on their shoes. That is no animals are harmed or tested in the making of vegan shoes. Vegan material shoes are made of bamboo, cork, natural rubber, cotton, and also plastics.

And if you wonder what vegan leather is! To your wonder, it contains no leather in it. Instead, it’s made of an artificial polymer, polyurethane.

Nowadays with more innovations in hand, vegan leathers are also made out of pineapple leaves, recycled plastics, cork, fruit wates like apple peels, etc.

Can you use Neatsfoot oil on vegan boots?

Until and unless your vegan boots are made of rubber or plastic, using Neatsfoot oil on them is not advisable. That’s said, Neatsfoot oil will not have any effect on rubber or plastic other than giving the boots some shine.

Ways to treat vegan boots?

For cleaning and conditioning:


Does Neatsfoot oil rot stitching?

Neatsfoot oil will not rot stitching that’s made of synthetic threads. Only if the stitching of your boots are made of cotton threads, there are chances that it might rot over time.

How long does Neatsfoot oil take to dry?

Once your leather boots do not feel sticky or greasy when touched, you should know that the Neatsfoot oil has dried and it might take anywhere between an hour to 5 to dry the boots completely depending upon the temperature conditions and wind you have put your boots to.

What is the difference between neatsfoot oil and mink oil?

Learn the detailed difference between Neatsfoot oil and mink oil from our experts (Is Neatsfoot Oil or Mink Oil Better for Boots? ).

Does Neatsfoot oil darken leather?

Yes it will but not to a great extent unless you have done multiple applications.

Can you dye leather after applying Neatsfoot oil?

Yes, you can obviously do so but not at a go because Neatsfoot oil will naturally darken the leather to some extent.

So, wait until your boots are completely dry after the application of Neatsfoot oil for the final colour to show.

The Takeaway!

Neatsfoot oil or for that matter any oil is used to condition leather goods and are not meant for use on any fabric!

Using Neatsfoot oil on non-leather boots will damage the fabric making it stained, dull and wet.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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