This is how I treat my real leather shoes with Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline or a similar product, different brand) to make them better. This technique is not limited to just shoes; it will work on any type of real leather, for example a leather belt or leather work gloves or a baseball glove. I learned this technique from a lady who used to work in a fur factory. This is how they made old stiff fur skins supple and flexible again.
In my experience, Petroleum Jelly does the following:
• makes the leather much more supple (flexible)
• prolongs the life of the leather shoe
• waterproofs and protects the leather
• darkens the leather (your shoes will probably change color)
• makes the leather less breathable (a waterproofed shoe is less breathable)
• dust sticks to the petroleum jelly until it gets worked into the boot by way of much walking
The more you walk around in these shoes, the more the petroleum jelly is absorbed by the leather. This is good. This technique can be used on old dried out scratched up leather shoes. The shoes will usually look a lot better after a treatment. I treat my shoes once or twice per year.
This technique is particularly useful when your shoes are used often hard over difficult terrain. The technique is also useful for people in a cold northern city setting who walk through slush and snow a lot with their shoes. The Petroleum Jelly treatment makes the shoes a little more water resistant, and protects the leather from the salt on the roads.
People who might have a use for this technique are:
• outdoors people
• construction and trades workers
• factory workers
• people who want their shoes to last longer
• people with scuffed up shoes etc.
This technique only works on real natural leather. There is the sued leather and also the leather with the smooth skin on one side and the suede on the other. After treatment, the suede leather will not be fuzzy once the petroleum jelly has been applied. The boots in this video are suede boots. This technique will not work on synthetic leather (plastic). Please use appropriate caution and use appropriate safety gear when applying heated petroleum jelly to the leather.