How to Make Cheap Boots Look Expensive (3 Steps)

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How to Make Cheap Boots Look Expensive

Here I’m going to explain how to take your cheap looking boots, and make them look expensive.

Let’s get started.

I’m looking at a pair of Bruno Marc boots in brown. Amazon charges $50 for these. The majority of the boots I own cost $150, $200, or even $300. They may be quite expensive.

However, not everyone has $300 to spend on a pair of boots.

What should you do with a $50 pair of boots if you’re on a tight budget? You need something quickly, but you don’t want it to look like a $50 pair of boots.

So that’s exactly what I’m going to discuss.

I’ll outline three steps that can make your cheap-looking boots look more expensive.

Let’s begin with the first step.

Use Black Shoe Polish

The first step is to take the laces off, after which we want to clean off any dirt or debris. Sand and dirt shouldn’t be ground into our leather. We want to keep it clean. Using a horsehair brush is one of the best ways to achieve this.

The first thing we’re going to do with these brown boots is apply black shoe polish to them.

We are going to cover this entire boot in a thick layer of black shoe polish, and we are going to start with that. I make use of Saphir. Basically, this is just black shoe polish.

This is one of my favorite brands, and the pigment in this will help the boot really soak up the color.

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Apply a nice, even coat to the whole boot. The perforations and broguing, especially around any stitching or raw edge of leather, will really take the dye well, so be careful and try to get it into all of those.

Because you can’t clean it out completely, some of stuff is going to remain in there, and it’s going to add to the overall look. Make sure you cover all of those spots.

The black shoe polish has been applied. I’ve allowed it to sit for around 10 minutes, which will give the pigment some time to set in.

And after that, I’ll use my rag to remove the majority of the black shoe polish.

However, I won’t try to scrub too vigorously in these nooks and crannies because, in essence, the black shoe polish will seep in to the area next to the broguing. To make the leather appear like a natural hide that hasn’t been overly corrected, I’m going to really let it soak in there and stay there.

Because that’s what you get with these $50 boots: the leather is super-corrected, so it’s quite flat and lacks character.

That’s right. The issue with inexpensive leather is that it is frequently corrected grain leather, which has a grain pattern literally stamped onto it before being dyed.

They don’t really go out of their way to give it variations and marbling. They only want one consistent color.

Unfortunately, that is a hallmark of cheap-quality leather. It actually looks to be too flawless.

One of the nice things about Thursday Boots Vanguard was that the leather had so many different variations.

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It has some marbling and appears to be quite wealthy. You can see dark patches, light spots, and marbling. With cheaper boots, you don’t get that.

We’re basically giving this leather a faux-character makeover.

The difference between the boot to which you have just applied the shoe polish and the one that has not yet been treated will now be fairly obvious.

The leather is undoubtedly a little bit darker and appears to have a little bit more character.

Fair warning!

You must proceed at your own risk because I will not be held liable if you go and coat a gorgeous pair of boots in black shoe polish and it turns out that it does not look nice.

That’s entirely your fault!

To make these cheap boots look more costly, we still need to complete two steps.

Shine The Toe and Heel

The next thing I’m going to do is add some brown shoe polish, polish up the toe, and polish up the heel.

Because I really want that toe and that heel to stand out a little bit more, I’m not going to hit the remainder of this boot.

In step 2 once more, I applied some brown shoe polish and gave both the toe and the heel of this boot my best effort to make them shine. Originally, we had this fairly conventional brown color, but we’re boosting the visual texture, the diversity of the leather, to make it look a little more rich.

How to Make Cheap Shoes Look Expensive

Add Baller Laces

The third and last stage will be the application of some lovely leather laces.

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So there you go, guys. These are the three simple steps you may take to make your cheap boots from plain to noticeably more stylish.

So you take this $50 pair of boots, apply some black shoe polish, some brown shoe polish to really shine up the toe and heel, and then finish with some nice laces.



  • Christopher

    Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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