Will Baby Oil Soften Leather Boots?

We have all suffered from agonizing foot blisters or sores while wearing new leather boots. More often than not new boots take time to break in, which in my experience is one of the worst ordeals.

Will Baby Oil Soften Leather BootsLeather boots are a practical purchase and we all own at least one pair, be it for work or casual wear. Therefore, waiting to wear them comfortably without having to hurt your feet can be taxing.

The good thing is, nowadays there are ways to fix this dilemma and lessen the break-in period by making the leather boots soft beforehand. All you have to do is apply some oil or conditioner to them. 

Baby oil is an easily available household item that can be used for softening your leather boots. It is a great alternative and hack in case you do not have any leather-specific oils and conditioners in your possession.

This article will give you all the information you need about baby oil and various other substitutes for it to soften and treat leather boots. 

What is baby oil?

Baby oil as we know is great for the skin, hence, is used on babies’ skin generously. It is made from mineral oil which is like petroleum jelly and is technically the leftover byproduct of refined oil.

There are fragrances added to it. Compared to other oils it is quite thin and only a very thin layer of it should be applied on leather boots.

Is baby oil good for leather boots?

Although baby oil can be used on leather boots, it will deteriorate the material over time. The reason being, it has mineral oil in it, which is the basic and main ingredient.

It does help in softening the leather but in the long run, it can cause more damage than doing good. You should apply only a few drops of it if you absolutely have to in the case of not having any other options.

Using it on new leather boots is slightly safer than applying it on old leather because the latter is already dry and starting to lose moisture due to prolonged use.

It will give you the desired shine and softness, however, it is not long-lasting. This will lead to applying it often which is not advisable. Overusing it may kill your leather boots faster than any other oils used on leather.

Baby oil when applied to human skin works wonders by not letting it lose its moisture, but leather soaks it in rather promptly leaving it dry quicker. Hence, it does not really aid in nourishing the material for long or properly.

How to apply baby oil on leather boots?

1. Before applying the baby oil on your leather boots, you will first need to clean them well to get rid of all the dirt. This is a good practice to avoid any mishaps during the application process.

2. You can even use small amounts of soapy water to clean the boots. Just keep in mind to not get the insides of it too wet, as this can also ruin your boots.

3. Once the boots are clean, use a lint-free cloth that is clean and preferably soft for the process. Make sure to take only a minute amount of the oil. Smear it onto the boots lightly and cover every inch of it.

4. When you are done applying it, take another clean cloth to discard any surplus oil from the boots. Doing this step ensures there’s no extra grease on the leather.

5. You should leave the boots to dry naturally, before wearing them again.

6. These are the only few steps that you need to follow religiously while using baby oil on your boots.

What are the other ways to soften leather boots?

There is nothing quite like being comfortable in your leather boots while looking good in them, right? I have listed out the several ways you can soften them so you do not have to deal with harrowing blisters.

1. Commercial leather boot oils and conditioners are by far the best things to use for softening your boots. They are generally made from ingredients like beeswax, propolis, mink oil, neatsfoot oil, pine pitch, natural oil, and mineral oil.

It not only works as a softening agent but also aids in nourishing, preserving, conditioning, moisturizing, and refurbishing the leather. Thereby serving multiple purposes in one use. There are numerous products made by different brands that you can purchase based on the type of leather boots you own. Simply follow the instructions on the box and you are good to go.

2. Get your feet used to the new leather boots by wearing them around the house for a few hours daily. This will help your boots take the shape of your feet and eventually soften them in the process.

The best thing is you can wear them with your thickest pair of socks, this will aid in expanding the material and your feet won’t hurt as much.

3. Invest in a boot or shoe stretcher if you have to as this can help speed up the break-in period to a great extent. Place it inside your boots and leave them to do their job efficiently. It will expand and stretch your boots making them softer for you to wear.

Top 8 Best Boot/Shoe Stretchers

4. Natural oils like jojoba oil, almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil have proved to be great softening options for leather boots. The process to apply it remains the same as applying any other commercial oil or baby oil.

5. Vaseline is another good choice as it is petroleum jelly which acts as a softening agent itself. Additionally, it assists in avoiding the leather boots from cracking due to dryness. But it will lead to tarnishing the leather fibers faster than any other natural oils.

6. Alcohol-based sprays are also available which when sprayed on leather boots dry up quickly and facilitates the softening and stretching process.

7. Hair-dryer can be used as one of the alternatives to soften leather boots. You should be wearing the boots while resorting to this method and put it on low to medium heat for just a few seconds or a maximum of 20 seconds. Blow it around the boots especially in the areas where it feels tight or pinches your feet. Remember to not overdo this as doing so can lead to cracks and dryness.

8. One trick that my grandparents shared with me from their time for lack of better methods or products is putting rolled-up old newspapers or magazines into the boots. This helps stretch them out and to soften the leather in the process. Dampening the newspaper or magazine also helps, but just enough so as not to ruin the insoles.

Try any of the above methods that are most suitable for you, but my recommendation will be to use commercial leather boot oils for softening and treating leather.


Following my detailed study on the use of baby oil on leather boots, I have come to the conclusion that it should be used only when you don’t have any other substitute at all.

In other words, keep it as your last resort for the benefit of your expensive boots. It will be a shame to ruin them further in the attempt of making them comfortable and supple.

At the end of the day, all you want for your leather boots is good health and durability. So do yourself a favor and limit the usage of any other product other than specific leather boot oils and conditioners.

They are your safest bet and solution to increasing the lifespan of your boots!

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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