Best Boot Oil: Reviews, Buying Guide and FAQs 2023

by James Miller

If you own formal footwear that needs to be shined, you're going to be in for an undertaking that will take a lot more time than you want it to take if you do not use the right oil or polish.

If you happen to use the wrong kind of boot oil, then you will likely completely ruin said footwear.

This happens a lot more than you think, and it may have also happened to you.

If it has happened to you, do not worry. There are boot oils out there that you can not only use safely, but can also save time and bring your formal footwear back to life.

Editor's Recommendation: Best Boot Oil

What Are Boot Oils?

Boot oils come in liquid form and depending on the type of boot oil you use will depend on how they are applied. They are designed to not only waterproof your boots (so that water cannot enter) but also to provide a layer of protection against dirt and mud. This means that after applying the oil, if the boots become dirty there is no need to worry as this new barrier on top of the boots will stop contaminants from entering and damaging the leather.

As well as this, many boot oils contain a high percentage of natural ingredients such as beeswax which not only waterproofs your boots but also acts as a barrier to prevent them from drying out too much. By putting moisture back inside the leather it ensures that they do not dry out and become damaged.

How Can I Use Boot Oils?

One of the best ways to use boot oils is with a boot brush. This type of brush is specifically designed to hold oil in the bristles which you simply rub into your boots after applying water and dirt repellent protection. The bristles will cling on to all the excess dirt and water repellent that you brush out your boots. You can then leave your boots to dry naturally or using a hair dryer on low heat.

Another way is to apply them directly to your boots after they have dried from washing (most oils also act as mild detergents) with either a cloth (they will soak up all excess water), an old toothbrush or even an old pair of socks.

You should leave the oiled boot soles overnight to allow for natural evaporation before repeating this process if necessary. If you are planning on wearing your boots straight away it is suggested you lightly wipe over the surface with a cloth until any excess oil has been absorbed before wearing.

Top 10 Best Boot Oils for Leather Boots & Work Boots 2023

Best Boot Oil Reviews
Best Boot Oil Reviews

If you have leather footwear, you understand the importance of cleaning them with the best oil leather. The oil polish will not only make your boot look attractive but also improve its durability.

Regular application of the leather oil on your boot upholstery looking youthful and soft. If you do not worry, here are some of the best Ten oil leather conditioner reviews. The oil is not only safe but also saves time and brings back your boot to life again.

1. GRIFFIN Mink Oil - Leather Conditioner

GRIFFIN Mink Oil - Leather Conditioner, Leather Softener, Water Repellent (Waterproofing) And Weather Protector - Shoes, Boots, Handbags And Leather Goods (2.8 Oz) - Made In USA
GRIFFIN Mink Oil - Leather Conditioner, Leather Softener, Water Repellent (Waterproofing) And Weather Protector - Shoes, Boots, Handbags And Leather Goods (2.8 Oz) - Made In USA

Shining leather boots and shoes is no easy task. Not only do you need to be very precise with your shining solution, but you also need to make sure that you won't be around anything that might compromise the surface of the boot or shoe after it has been shined. Shining leather boots and shoes can be a very difficult task for most and that is why many ignore doing it.

Griffin's mink oil makes life a lot easier when you are tasked with shining leather boots and shoes in a few ways. First, it is water resistant. This is a wonderful thing, since it is very rare to see any kind of shoe oil that can shine leather boots and shoes that are water resistant. It resists other elements too, which will make it safe to wear shoes that have been shined with Griffin's mink oil outside right after shining.

Because it is a mink type of oil, Griffin's boot oil acts like a softener. This will improve the longevity of your leather boots and shoes to where it will be a very long time before you need to shine them again. This is fantastic if you don't want to waste time shining your boots or shoes all the time.

The only thing you need to watch out for with Griffin's leather boot oil is that it will have a good chance of darkening your footwear if you apply too much of it. Err on the side of applying too little then work from there when using it.

2. Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil

Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Beeswax And Natural Oil Formula (4oz)
Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Beeswax And Natural Oil Formula (4oz)

Most boot oils are impossible to wash off if they happen to come in contact with your hands. This can be very frustrating for anybody who elects to shine their boots or shoes with their hands, which is actually a very popular way to shine boots or shoes. This leaves them begging for a boot oil that doesn't stay on their hands all day.

Those types have their solution in Obenauf's boot oil. Because it is made with beeswax, it will melt right off your hands when you apply it. This makes it perfect for anybody who does want to shine their boots or shoes by hand.

Don't think that Obenauf's boot oil will melt off when anything else gets on it, either. It will repel pretty much any substance, from acid to petroleum to chemicals. This makes it perfect for anybody who wears their leather boots and shoes a lot, especially if these boots or shoes are worn outside.

The only thing that you might need to worry about with Obenauf's boot oil is that you need to apply a lot of it in order to properly shine any shoe or boot. This might be alright if you only need it to shine one pair of boots or shoes, but if you need to shine more than one pair of boots or shoes, you'll probably need to look elsewhere.

3. Red Wing Heritage Unisex-Adult Mink Oil-U

Red Wing Heritage Mink Oil, Clear, 20 M US
Red Wing Heritage Mink Oil, Clear, 20 M US

If you own boots or shoes that are made from mesa, muleskinner, yuma, or rough and tough leather, you know how frustrating it can be to shine them. You'll go through all kinds of brands of boot oils to shine this kind of leather, but to no avail. Certainly, these kinds of leathers require a certain brand of boot oil.

This is where Red Wing's "Heritage" oil comes in. Heritage oil is made of the proper amounts of lanolin and silicone that will shine the aforementioned types of leather boots and shoes to perfection. If you were using other kinds of boot oil to shine those kinds of boots and shoes, you'll notice a significant difference when you shine them with Heritage oil.

However, it is extremely difficult to use Heritage oil. It will darken significantly if you apply too much of it. Even worse, it can lighten at even higher rates with wear. You might want to stay away from Heritage oil if you are inexperienced with shining boots and shoes by yourself. You might need to get somebody to shine your shoes and boots for you with Heritage oil if you are inexperienced and need to use Heritage oil.

The fact that Heritage oil is only really designed for boots and shoes that use Red Wing brand leather also limits its overall use. You can use Heritage oil on other boots and shoes, but you will have a very tough time doing so.

4. Shoe Oil by Huberd

Huberd's Shoe Oil
Huberd's Shoe Oil

The act of shining shoes can be extremely intimidating if you are inexperienced. If you have never owned leather boots or shoes before, you might even get so afraid of making a mistake that you might not even want to shine your boots or shoes. It can be very difficult to make sense of what goes into all the boot oils that you see available to you.

Fortunately, Huberd's shoe oil is as simple as it gets. You won't need to worry about your leather shoes or boots getting too dark if you apply too much of it and it still provides the same softening and conditioning effects that shoe grease provides. It is also just as waterproof as mink oils are as well, so you will not need to worry about anything washing Huberd's shoe oil away.

Some other shoe and boot oils are only designed for certain types of leather in that they are more effective on some kinds of leather and not really effective on other kinds of leather. You do not need to worry about all of this with Huberd's shoe oil. It has been using the same compounds that can treat all leather boots and shoes for well over 80 years. This is another thing that makes Huberd's shoe oil a perfect entry level shoe oil.

Unfortunately, because Huberd's shoe oil is so user friendly, it also means that you'll need to apply a lot of it to your boots or shoes to get them to shine to perfection. This can take a long time. You'll want to look elsewhere if you want boot oil that can shine boots or shoes quickly.

5. Obenauf's Leather Oil Conditions Restores Preserves Dry Leather

Obenauf's Leather Oil 16oz. - Restore Dry Leather - Made In The US
Obenauf's Leather Oil 16oz. - Restore Dry Leather - Made In The US

One of the most common ways that those who are not experienced with applying boot oil is by hand. While this is effective, it is problematic because of how dirty it can get you. It's the same when using a cloth when applying oil; you won't be able to avoid the impending mess.

Obenauf's oil for leather boots changes all of this. It comes with its very own applicator that is connected to it's cap, which makes applying it easier than ever. No longer will you need to use your hand or a cloth to apply oil to your boots or shoes in order to soften or shine them. If you are new to shining boots and shoes, you won't be intimidated. If you are experienced, you have all the tools you need.

Because Obenauf's oil is made from beeswax, it contains properties that will restore any kind of leather. You are not limited to just boots or shoes. You can use Obenauf's boot oil for anything that is made of leather, even furniture. You get plenty of oil in its container as well; the container yields 16 ounces, which is more than most boot oils.

There is only one glaring drawback to Obenauf's boot oil and that is that it is not waterproof. If you want to use it on your boots, shoes, or anything else made of leather, make sure it doesn't encounter anything wet for a while.

6. Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather

Sof Sole Mink Oil For Conditioning And Waterproofing Leather, 3.5-Ounce
Sof Sole Mink Oil For Conditioning And Waterproofing Leather, 3.5-Ounce

One of the biggest issues with mink oil is that it only works on certain kinds of leather. It can be frustrating to own a leather product and be faced with the fact that your favorite mink oil that you used for other leather products won't work on the new leather product that you own. It is difficult to find mink oil that works for more than one kind of leather.

You will not need to worry about this when you have Sof Sole's mink oil in your possession. It can be used on most types of oil, which means you can use it on any new leather product that you acquire.

Also, while a lot of other mink oils can partially prevent water, salt, and perspiration stains, Sof Sole's boot oil will decisively prevent them. It does this by creating a waterproof barrier around what you apply it on and it will protect your leather gear a little better than other mink oils.
You are going to need to be really experienced in order to use Sof Sol's mink oil properly. Only 3.5 ounces of it are in the container, and for good reason. If you apply too much of it, it will darken your leather items permanently. Make sure you test it before using it to see how much you need to use.

7. Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner

Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner 8 Oz - Best Since 1882 - Cleaner & Conditioner - Restore Polish & Protect All Smooth Finished Leathers
Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner 8 Oz - Best Since 1882 - Cleaner & Conditioner - Restore Polish & Protect All Smooth Finished Leathers

Do you need a premium leather oil conditioner that has been in the market for an extended period? Then here is the solution. Bickmore Bick 4 leather conditioner polishes, protects, and cleans all leather materials, including bags, jackets, furniture, shoes, among others.
The product has proved to extend the life of many precious leather products. The leather conditioner does not darken your leather, but it makes it look more shiny and keeps the new leather in its state without shading. It is good in smooth and finished leather soft without affecting its breathability.
Bick 4 is an entirely wax-free product. It makes sure that the leather poles are not sealed up, making them easily breathable. There will be no traces of sticky will be experienced, and it is easy to apply the condition on your favorite leather.


  • They are easy to apply
  • It makes the leather more supple
  • It gets absorbed easily and quickly without leaving any residue
  • Have no traces of sticky experiences


  • It has some far unpleasant smell
  • The lid breaks easily

8. Sof Sole Neatsfoot Oil for Smooth Leather Shoes and Boots

Sof Sole Neatsfoot Oil Natural Preservative For Smooth Leather Shoes And Boots, 8-Ounce
Sof Sole Neatsfoot Oil Natural Preservative For Smooth Leather Shoes And Boots, 8-Ounce

Are you looking for a waterproof leather oil that will restore your shoe? Then worry not, sof Sole is an ideal product that is good in polishing and conditioning your leather in a good way. It can be used for shoes, jackets, boots, purses, and saddles.
The oil is designed in a way that it creates a strong barrier that is resistant to water. However, it is not supposed to be used on oil-tanned leather because it may clog up the pores and affects the boot's breathability. The oil weighs 3.5 ounces and keeps your shoe looking excellent and dry.
The Leather oil leaves some slight waxy feel even when you wipe them off. Despite that it comes in a bit of tin package, it can go a long way. The leather might appear dark, but it will lighten with time.


  • It has no odor
  • It is ideal for conditioning most kinds of leather
  • It has a suitable waterproofing property


  • The leather is left with a matt finish
  • The leather feels greasy once you have used it
  • In some moments, it leaves a white residue on the shoes

9. KIWI Shoe Conditioning Oil

KIWI Shoe Conditioning Oil | Leather Care For Shoes, Boots, Furniture, Jacket, Briefcase And More | 2 5/8 Oz
KIWI Shoe Conditioning Oil | Leather Care For Shoes, Boots, Furniture, Jacket, Briefcase And More | 2 5/8 Oz

If you are stuck on which cleaning oil you should buy, then try Kiwi products. This is one of the favorite shoe polishes that many enthusiasts prefer not only because of their shoes but also can be used on various leather products like carpets, clothing, furniture, etc.
This rich natural formula comes for all the colors and is ultimately easy to apply. It can be applied for everything, starting from white to black leather, and it can also be applied on nubuck and suede. Once they are applied, they nourish and waterproof your smooth leather, although it can darken your light color.
The good thing with this oil polish is that they feature an anti-aging formula like lanolin and silicone vital in smoothening any wrinkles and filling the scuffs on the boot. The leather oil is affordable and the best to use if you have leather products that you need to maintain.


  • It is easy to use
  • It can be used on multiple leather products
  • It conditions and softens the leather
  • Versatile
  • It sustains and waterproofs the smooth leather


  • May lead to light-colored leather to darken

10. Fiebing's Golden Mink Oil Paste

Fiebing's Golden Mink Oil Paste, 6 Oz. - Soften, Preserves And Waterproofs Leather And Vinyl
Fiebing's Golden Mink Oil Paste, 6 Oz. - Soften, Preserves And Waterproofs Leather And Vinyl

Fiebing's Golden Mink Oil Paste is a top polish used in both vinyl and leather products. It is ideal for anything, starting from jackets to shoes. This oil is a blend of vitamin E, lanolin, and silicone, making it suitable for use. However, Fiebing's are specifically designed for leather products.
The blended products can remove salt, water, and sweat stains from the leather products. This makes the oil a perfect solution to multiple work conditions. It provides a natural waterproof barrier that is good in preventing future liquid-based from abusing the leather.
The other good thing with Fiebing's Golden Mink oil is that it is not limited to usage. It can be used on shoes, baseball gloves, horse saddles, and jackets. However, some users say that the product is prone to dust attraction.


  • Minimal discoloration
  • Made of strong products like vitamin E, silicone, and lanolin
  • Provides a natural waterproof
  • Ideal for both vinyl and leather products
  • It doesn't have a strong odor that might affect you


  • It is not easy to spread as it might leave some residue
  • It attracts dust

Best Boot Oils: A Buying Guide

Best Boot Oil
Best Boot Oil

A common mistake that a lot of people make when buying boot oils is that they are too impulsive.

They see that their boots or shoes need to be shined, then they run out and get any given boot oil.

Then when they use it, they either ruin the color of their boots or shoes or they only partially shine the boots or shoes.

To avoid this, you need to consider the following.

How Often Do You Wear Your Boots?

The first thing that you should consider is probably the most obvious.

When you wear your boots often, they get exposed to all kinds of elements that can affect the shine of your boots.

This is something that you need to be aware of, as obvious as it may seem.

Will You Be Wearing Your Boots outside Frequently?

This is somewhat related to the first consideration, but it is still something that you should still be aware of.

When you wear formal footwear outside, they get exposed to all kinds of elements: Sunlight, rain, pollen, and even condensation when it is overcast will affect any kind of formal footwear.

What Kind of Materials Are Your Boots Made Of?

The material that your boots or shoes are made of has a very significant effect on how it will interact with boot oils.

Different kinds of boot oils work better for different materials and if you are not aware of this, you will be very frustrated when shining your boots or shoes.

How Experienced Are You with Shining Boots and Shoes?

Not all boot oils are the same, and you might not understand this difference if you are not experienced with shining boots and shoes.

Further, some boot oils are indeed "user friendly" in that you won't need to worry about applying too much or too little oil to your boot. However, they might not be too effective in shining compared to other oils that you need to be more precise with.

Boot Oils Are a Great Way to Protect Your Boots From Water and Dirt

Oil-based boots are a great way to protect your boots from water and dirt. Generally, this type of boot is more expensive than regular rain boots or rubber boots because they have been treated with heavy-duty oils that can be wiped clean after a muddy day out in the field. Plus, these treatments help waterproof your footwear to stay dry longer.

Keep in mind that not all boots are oil-resistant, so you should inquire into the boot's type before using any special product. To tell if a boot has been treated with an oil, slip your hand inside the boot and pull back the insole. If you see an oily sheen on the fabric or leather, it is safe to use oil-based treatments.

If you have a boot that is not the oil resistant type, then you should use rubber boots instead. Rubber boots can easily be waterproofed with sprays or waxes that are typically sold in hardware stores. However, if your rubber boots are leather, it is important to keep them conditioned with either mink oil or leather conditioner, as rubber boots tend to dry out the leather and cause it to crack.

Boot Oils Help the Leather to Last Longer, Keeping Them Looking New for Longer

Not many people think about the importance of keeping their boots in good order, but if you want them to last long and look new for longer, proper boot oiling is essential.

However, there are literally hundreds of different brands claiming that one specific formula is the best on the market; this can make it incredibly confusing to find the best boot oil for you.

The answer is that there isn't just one brand, and it can be difficult to know which oil will provide the best results for your boots. That's why we've created this guide: to help you find the best boot oil for your needs, and keep your leather footwear in good condition so they last.

Different Types of Boot Oils Available on the Market

Some types of boot oils include:

Mink Oil

Mink oil is a good water repellent, but will dry out the leather if applied too often. Mink oil is made up of 100% natural ingredients.

Neatsfoot Oil

Neatsfoot oil is a byproduct of the cattle food industry, and is the highest grade of oils used in boot care. It works similarly to mink oil but can be applied more often without damaging the leather. This type of oil has a strong smell.


Lanolin is a byproduct of sheep's wool and can be used to condition and soften leather. It does not make the leather water-resistant, but it will prevent it from drying out due to its moisturizing properties.

People with an allergy to wool should avoid applying lanolin directly to their skin as they may break out in a rash if they come into contact with this oil. Lanolin has no real smell that most people associate with holding sheep captive in small pens; however if you stick your nose right up next to it and inhale deeply, you might detect a faint odor like rancid butter (but only because I just said so).

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I oil new boots?

A: The answer to this question really depends on what kind of leather the boots are made of. Some boots are made of leather that is really tight and oiling them could soften and condition the leather a bit. However, if you apply too much oil, you might darken the boots, especially if you use mink oil.

Can I use vegetable oil on my leather boots?

A: As a substance itself, oil will soften and condition the surfaces that it encounters. Vegetable oil can do this in some aspect on leather surfaces, but the problem with using vegetable oil on leather items is that the softening and conditioning effect is dwarfed by its darkening effect. Therefore, using vegetable oil on leather boots is not recommended.

Is mink oil bad for my leather boots?

A: The answer to this question depends greatly on how experienced you are with shining your boots. If you are new to oiling and shining your boots, it will alter the surface of them. However, if you are adept with oiling and shining boots, mink oil has good advantages. Many mink oils have waterproof properties, and these can improve the quality of your boots.

How often should I oil my boots?

A: There are a lot of factors that you should consider when determining how often you should oil your boots. You need to consider how often you wear them, what kind of leather the boots are made of, and what they are exposed to. These three factors will determine how often you should oil your boots. There are no set time constraints as to when you should oil your boots.

Is olive oil good for leather boots?

A: Olive oil is not a good substitute for the standard boot oil. Simply put, it is not thick enough and it does not provide the conditioning and softening properties that other boot oils contain. However, that is how it acts on its own. When combined with other kinds of boot oils, olive oil can improve the shine of some leather boots.

Final Thought

There is a need to treat your leather boots with the best oil. The leather boots are a bit of a good investment. However, if you need them to last longer and are attractive, there is a need to use a top-quality boot conditioner. But not all oil conditioners are good and can make your boot great again.

The oil conditioner not only makes your leather products durable but also removes dirt and marks that might be left on your product when exposed to snow, mud, and rain. Polishing using the best oil leather we have reviewed above will revive them. Take time to choose the leather conditioner that fits your product.

Shining boots can be a very overwhelming and intimidating task if you are not experienced in doing so. Even if you do have some experience, shining boots can take a long time. This is why you need to have the right kind of boot oil in your hand. Some boot oils just retain the shine of your boots or shoes, and others can completely restore the leather.

A lot of them are also waterproof and you definitely need to seek out a waterproof boot oil if you intend to wear your shoes or boots in wet areas.

In any case, when you have the right boot oil in your hand, you'll make the undertaking of shining your boots and shoes much easier.

Buy them at Walmart, eBay, or Etsy

Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968. for use on Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey: The Best Leather Cleaner for Vinyl and Leather Apparel, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Huberd Shoe Grease Co. Huberd's Shoe Oil - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Obenauf's Leather Oil 16oz. - Restore Dry Leather - Made in the US Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Fiebing's 100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil - Natural Leather Preservative - Great for Boots, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Bickmore 100% Pure Neatsfoot Oil 32 oz - Leather Conditioner and Wood Finish - Works Walmart, Etsy, eBay

About James Miller

James Miller is a dedicated individual based in the vibrant city of San Francisco, CA, USA. His unwavering passion lies in the realm of construction, where he finds fulfillment in exploring and documenting various facets of construction equipment and processes. A graduate of the University of California Merced, James holds a dual degree in mechanical and electrical engineering, which has equipped him with a solid foundation in technical knowledge.

With a keen eye for detail and a knack for articulation, James has channeled his enthusiasm into writing about the intricacies of construction gear and methodologies. His insightful writings offer valuable insights to both industry professionals and curious enthusiasts, shedding light on the machinery and techniques that shape the built environment.

James Miller's educational background in mechanical and electrical engineering lends credibility to his work, allowing him to delve into the technical nuances of construction with precision. His passion for sharing knowledge and fostering understanding in the construction field is evident in his contributions, making him a respected voice in the industry.

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