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Boot Care

The rules that apply to care and conditioning of cowboy boots are very simple.   Care for your leather cowboy boots and other leather goods in much the same manner as you treat your skin.  The leather in your cowboy boots requires nutrients to keep them supple and strong.  However, as with your favorite, comfortable worn-in jeans, the casual distressed look your boots will acquire with wear is a great look!  

 

Using boot trees in your cowboy boots is recommended to help maintain their shape. 

The four steps for proper leather cowboy boot care are:

1. Clean

2. Condition

3. Polish and

4. Protect!

 

Dirt and dust are leather cowboy boots' worst enemies.  Wiping down often with a damp cloth can prevent dirt and dust from cutting away at the microscopic fibers that make leather strong and durable.  Boots should be cleaned with Saddle Soap.  Do not use regular soap!

Condition leather cowboy boots only when they are clean and dry so the conditioner can penetrate through the pores to keep the leather soft and pliable.  Lanolin-based conditioners are best. Too much oil or wax can clog the pores, which causes the leather to dry out.  Also, oils and waxes attract dust.

Rejuvenate cowboy boots by applying a cream-based polish.  This will cover scratches and bring a glossy finish to the leather.  Only cowboy boots that have a finish can be polished.

Protect leather cowboy boots with a non-silicone water and stain protector.

 

Exotic Boots:

Alligator, Caiman, Lizard, Ostrich, Python, Rattlesnake, Shark, Stingray

  • Brush off dirt or dust with a damp cloth or soft brush.
  • Apply an exotic leather conditioner to your boots in several thin layers (TNO's Bick 4, Premium Leather Lotion, or Reptile Cleaner/Conditioner).
  • Apply a neutral or matching cream-based polish, buff with a soft cloth.
  • Apply a water and stain protector.

NOTE: Do not use polish on rattlesnake cowboy boots.  On snakeskin boots, be sure to go with the grain of the scales.

 

Smooth Leather Boots:

Kidskin, Brush-off, Calfskin

  • Brush off dirt or dust from your cowboy boots with a damp cloth or soft brush.
  • Apply a leather conditioner.
  • Apply a neutral or matching cream-based polish to your cowboy boots and buff with a soft cloth.
  • Finish with a water and stain protector.

Oil-Impregnated Leather Boots:

Crazyhorse, Distressed, Maddog

  • Brush off dirt or dust from your cowboy boots with a damp cloth or soft brush.
  • Apply a leather conditioner.
  • Apply a water and stain protector (mink oil). 

Buffed/Sueded Leather Boots

  • Treat new boots with a non-silicone water and stain protector.
  • Carefully brush your cowboy boots to clean.
  • Apply a water and stain protector.
  • Be sure to store suede boots so that they can breathe.  Keep them away from light, which can fade the color, and damp areas.
  • If your suede boots get wet, soak up excess moisture with a clean towel. Then allow the suede to dry naturally.  Do not use a heat source to speed up the process.  After the boots dry, restore the nap (the raised fibers typical of suede) with a suede brush. 

More Helpful Tips

  • Use edge dressing to make soles and heels look new.
  • Let boots dry at room temperature, never dry over direct heat.
  • Do not store in cold or damp places; mildew can damage cowboy boots.
  • Use a Boot Jack to get your boots on and off.
  • Use the Boot Trees!  These will take moisture out of the boot and maintain the shape for long life.  Without them your boots will curl up, hurting the leather and become prematurely aged!

Boot Care

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