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Mink Oil Vs. Leather Conditioner: Which is Better?

Human skin dehydrates and cracks if not properly taken care of. Like the skin, leather also gets dirty, dry, and cracks when its natural oil restoration limits. A regular oiling routine helps to maintain the top-notch condition of your shoe. “Mink oil vs leather conditioner.”- Which one is the best?

Do you have a woodland shoe? Then you surely know that it is not easy to maintain the shoe as new. Often maintenance can make the shoe dark and dull, and lack of care is responsible for cracks in the shoe.

Mink oil and leather conditioner are two leather oiling ingredients favored by the users. If you are looking for longevity, then nothing can beat mink oil. Again, want to trap the leather natural oil? Go for the leather conditioner.

Mink oil

Mink oil is oil obtained by rendering the mink abdominal fat. Mink oil is rich in palmitoleic acid. It is not only suitable for preserving, conditioning leather but also used as hair care and medical products.

Fur trappers first used this oil for the oiling of the boots. You can check the link of Amazon for mink oil.

Is mink oil good for leather shoes?

Leather shoes can last for even fifty years if proper care is taken. Be it a full grained leather, corrected leather, top-gained leather, oil-tanned leather- mink oil is a good option. But be careful while using it on suede leather.

Advantages of using mink oil

Benefits of mink oil for leather shoes are-

  • Resists spoilage and damage to the shoe.
  • Will not go rancid quickly like other oils.
  • Makes leather water-resistant.
  • Leather shoes become flexible.
  • Responsible for the lustiness of the shoe.
  • Preserves leather.
  • Moisturize the leather.
  • Guard the leather against salt, mold, massive external abrasion, snow, etc.
  • Makes the shoe to last long.
  • Replenish the natural oil of the leather.

Disadvantages of mink oil

Though mink oil is outstanding for leather shoes, it has some demerits. Like-

  • The use of mink oil darkens the colour of the original leather by two to three shades.
  • Cannot provide glossy shine to the leather.
  • Probably hardens the leather.

Can mink oil be used as a leather conditioner?

Mink oil is natural oil responsible for nourishing and preserving your leather shoe. It replenishes the crude oil of the leather.

Mink oil can moisturize your woodland shoe like a conditioner but for a short period.

Will mink oil rot stitches on your leather shoe?

According to some users, mink oil rotted the stitches of their leather shoes just like neatsfoot oil.

Researches show that cotton thread might be prone to rotting. But now all synthetic lines are used for stitching. So it does not rot.

How to use mink oil on leather boots?

It’s a simple and easy process to apply mink oil to nourish your leather boots.


  • Mink oil.
  • Soft cotton and a sponge.
  • A hairdryer.


  • Clean the dust and dirt on the shoe.
  • Melt the mink oil using a hairdryer.
  • Apply the mink oil on the shoe using a sponge.
  • Use a hairdryer to spread the oil to the pores.
  • Let the shoe soak the oil for 30 minutes.
  • Rub the soft cotton on the shoe to facilitate absorption.
  • Repeat the last step until shinny.

Easy! Isn’t it?

Leather Conditioner

Leather conditioner is a nourishing leather product that nourishes the natural fibers of the leather. It makes the leather soft, shiny, and flexible.

Is leather conditioner good for a leather shoe?

Leather conditioner is produced to use for the maintenance of leather shoes.

Advantages of leather conditioner

The benefits of leather conditioner are-

  • Helps to avoid dryness and cracks on the leather boots.
  • Acts as a protectant seal.
  • Traps moisture and natural oil of the leather boots from escaping.
  • Ensures durability.
  • Maintains flexibility of the leather shoe.
  • Makes the leather soft and supple.
  • Water repellent.
  • No toxic
  • Non-sticky.
  • Reduces friction.
  • Protects from stain.
  • Enhances patina.

Disadvantages of leather conditioner:

  • Can condition the leather items with less exposure to dust.

Forms of leather conditioner

Three primary ways of leather conditioner are-

  1. Conditioning oil:

Conditioning oil helps to soften the leather. Some premium quality leather conditioner is- lanolin, neatsfoot, etc.

  1. Conditioning cream:

Conditioning creams nourish and moisturize the natural fibers of the leather. They are responsible for the least color change in your shoe.

  1. Wax conditioner:

The leather shoe cannot thoroughly soak wax conditioner, but it provides surface protection from any damage.

How to use a leather conditioner?


  • Any leather conditioner.
  • A soft cloth.


  • Clean the surface of the leather.
  • Take the conditioner on a soft cloth.
  • Apply gently in a circular motion.
  • Air- dries the leather shoe before use.


  • Do not use excess conditioner.
  • Use it twice a year in average condition. And three to four times in a year for roughly and frequently used shoes.

Comparison between mink oil and leather conditioner

Similarities and dissimilarities between mink oil and leather conditioner are mentioned in a nutshell-

Serial numberMink oilLeather Conditioner
1.It is obtained by rendering mink fat.It is obtained from beeswax, natural baby soap, lemon essential oil.
2.They are used in the leather shoes that undergo heavy wear, dust and dirt.They are used in the leather shoe with less exposure to dust and dirt.
3.Responsible for the longevity of the shoe.Remains on the shoe for a short period.
4.Does not enhance the patina of the leather shoe.Enhances patina.
5.It clogs pores.Does not clog pores.
6.Cannot be used on suede leather items.Can be used in suede leather selectively.
7Provide extreme weather resistanceProvides less weather resistance.
8Darkens the colour of the leather by two to three shades.Darkens lightly in comparison to mink oil.
9Nourishes the natural fibres and restores crude oil.Moistens the leather and restores its oils.

Final Thoughts

Mink oil vs leather conditioner- the comparison will carry on. Use the one suitable, cost-effective mad readily available for you. So, keeping using leather shoes without being tensed of its maintenance.