The 5 Best Glues For Leather

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Whether you want to patch a hole in a jacket or reattach the sole of a shoe, it’s important to find a glue that’s designed to work with leather’s unique texture. The best glues for leather come in several formulations, including glue, cement, and superglues, and vary in terms of how they’re applied and the type of bond they form.

  • Leather glues are great for small repair jobs and crafting projects and are typically applied to one surface before being joined with another for bonding. For the best results, items should be left to cure for hours or overnight, and additional tacking or stitching may be necessary to ensure a long-lasting, secure bond.
  • Leather cement, sometimes called contact cement, offers the strongest bond when working with leather, and it’s suitable for everything from crafting to repairing furniture and accessories. It gets applied to both surfaces before joining them, and in some cases, must dry slightly before the items are pressed together to form a durable bond. Cement usually dries faster than glue and is a more heavy-duty option that’s capable of bonding to a variety of materials while maintaining its flexibility.
  • Superglues have fine applicator tips for precision work, and they’re great for small repair jobs and delicate leather-crafting. Standard superglues tend to be inflexible after they dry, making them best for discreet repairs, so you’ll want to look for a leather-specific formulation that will create a flexible bond if you’re repairing something that bends with use. Superglues have quick-drying formulas that can join materials in under a minute, so keep in mind that there’s a little less room for error.

Last, keep in mind that if the leather will come into contact with moisture (think: rain or snow), you’ll want to be sure to pick a water-resistant formulation.

Whether you’re crafting or looking to repair leather goods like handbags, footwear, and wallets, here are the five best leather glues that will help you with any size job.

1. The Best Basic Leather Cement

  • Highlights: dries clear, flexible bond, fine tip makes application easy
  • Best for: furniture, accessories, and craft projects

Fiebing’s contact cement for leather is easy to work with and provides a strong, flexible bond when repairing tears or other damage to leather furniture and accessories, as well as craft projects. The nontoxic formula dries clear for a subtle finish, and dispenses from a fine tip with a twisting cap that keeps the glue fresh between uses — just be sure to apply to both items before bonding them together. The time it takes for items to cure using Fiebing’s glue can vary depending on the size of the job, however reviewers noted that several hours is enough time to achieve a strong bond. While some reviewers noted that they used the cement to repair shoes, due to its water-based formula, it’s best for projects that won’t encounter moisture.

Helpful review: “First, I glued 2 pieces of cloth together to test its strength. I could not pull them apart. Then I glued 2 pieces of leather together & again I could not separate them. So then I felt confident enough to use this glue on my leather recliner that had a tear on the arm rest . Again it worked perfectly & it has held together now for three weeks with no separation.”

2. The Best Leather Glue

  • Highlights: customizable tip, flexible bond, water-resistant, dries clear
  • Best for: everyday repairs, crafting projects

With a water-resistant formula, Aleene’s water-resistant leather and suede glue can bond leather, suede, and accessories like beadwork for everyday repairs and crafting projects. The tip of the glue applicator can be trimmed to dispense glue in a fine line for detail work, or cut wider for greater coverage on bigger projects (a unique feature you won’t find on glues with metal or twist-top applicators). According to reviewers, the nontoxic glue cures to a clear finish in as little as a few hours, though clamping or weighting may be required to get a strong bond with larger projects.

A reviewer wrote: “I applied it on a few small rips for my leather [couch] and chair due to cats. Totally sealed and very hard to see the flaw now! I am very impressed!”

3. The Best Glue For Leather Shoes

  • Highlights: flexible bond, waterproof, can be used on multiple shoe materials, also works as a sealant, dries clear
  • Best for: shoe repairs

The Shoe Goo repair adhesive has over 22,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, with some buyers claiming that the leather adhesive has saved multiple pairs of shoes from the trash can. The clear adhesive can adhere to leather, vinyl, rubber, and canvas, and has a waterproof, flexible finish that functions as both a bonus sealant for shoe seams as well as traction for the underside of shoe soles. Rather than a bottle, Shoe Goo is sold in a squeeze tube with a rather wide mouth — which, according to some reviewers, can make application a bit messy. Due to the goopy nature of the formula, it should be left to cure for over 24 hours, however it's still the best option for shoe repairs on most materials.

A reviewer wrote: “Used to repair the sole of my old riding boots. They had come apart from the leather on the sole and were leaking in the winter rains. Shoe Goo has brought them back to life and they are again water resistant! I Love Shoe Goo.”

4. The Best Leather Superglue

  • Highlights: dries in under 1 minute, fine point for detail work, waterproof, flexible bond, works on multiple materials, dries clear
  • Best for: quick repairs, small rips and tears, bonding leather to fabric or other materials

If you’ve ever used superglue, you’ll find this Gorilla Glue for leather familiar to work with. Like traditional superglue, it has a fast-drying formula that makes it a great option for repairing items when you’re in a hurry, but it doesn’t offer as much room for error as other adhesives. With that said, the tube’s narrow tip allows for easy patching and sealing of small rips and tears on a range of leather goods, and the glue’s versatile formula can also bond other materials like metal, glass, wood, ceramic, and paper. (In fact, a quick scan of reviews will reveal that this is arguably the best glue for leather and fabric.) Items are permanently bonded within seconds of application, and the clear, waterproof finish is appropriate for shoes, outdoor products, and any items you want to put in the washer or dryer.

A reviewer wrote: “I originally bought this glue to repair leather straps on my daughter's sandals. It worked well. Then I used I it to glue a piece of plastic trim on a TESLA automobile and it worked on that too. This is some versatile glue!”

5. The Most Versatile Cement For Leather

  • Highlights: flexible bond, water-resistant, works on multiple materials, dries clear
  • Best for: shoe and accessory repairs, crafting, bonding other materials

Barge’s all-purpose cement can be used on a variety of materials including wood, glass, rubber, fabric, and cork. Reviewers have noted using it to repair leather shoes and handbags, as well as for crafting and everyday household tasks. Unlike the other adhesives featured here, some preparation is required when using this formulation to achieve a strong, long-lasting bond. A thin coat of cement is applied to both sections of material and allowed to dry slightly (for about 20 minutes) before joining them, which allows them to get slightly tacky. Once items have been pressed together and cured overnight, the resulting bond is durable, clear, flexible, and water-resistant.

A reviewer wrote: “I used it to glue my leather boot insole back down as it was curling up. I followed the directions on the tube and it worked flawlessly, I applied it with a nitrile glove as it was in a hard to reach spot. The adhesion is strong and secure, no more insole problems since the fix. I highly recommend this product.”