How To Care For And Maintain Cowboy Boots

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Boot care is essential to long lasting boots. Proper boot care will keep your cowboy boots healthy, looking great, and most importantly will increase the longevity of your boots. Here are some tips to help you with proper boot care.

1. Clean Your Cowboy Boots

Cleaning is a part of boot care that is really underrated. A lot of our customers tell us they thought they only had to condition their boots. But that would be like waxing your vehicle without washing it. Cleaning your boots is actually the first thing you should do even with a new pair of boots, because you don’t know how long the boots have been on a shelf or in a box, which dries out the leather. Cleaning your boots is especially important on a pair of exotic cowboy boots, like Sting Rays or anything that is really grainy because the dirt gets in all the pores. Boots are easy to clean. Just remove the dirt or dust with a soft brush or damp cloth (a damp cloth should be fine on most hides, but always test a small area to make sure no damage will occur). Then apply the cleaner with a cloth. Boot cleaners work great with any color boot, including suede and nubuck. Always allow your boots to dry naturally; don’t dry them near the heat or direct sunlight (to avoid fading).

Expert Tip: When the stitching on the welt is no longer white, your boots are not very clean.

2. Condition Your Cowboy Boots

Once your boots are clean, you’re ready to condition them. First, apply the conditioner with a cloth (some of our customers even tell us they use old socks). Then, apply the conditioner with a brush to work the excess into the leather. All-purpose conditioner is important; it helps to keep the boots clean and maintain the suppleness of the leather. Conditioner also helps prevent scuffs, scratches, and dry spots. A good conditioner will work on all boots without darkening them.

3. Apply Water & Stain Repellent To Your Cowboy Boots

You don’t want your boots to soak up something you stepped in that might stain them.

A customer once told us that he bought a pair of cowboy boots, went straight to a party and dripped barbecue sauce on his right boot. Stained, permanently. Had he sprayed his boots with water and stain repellent and allowed them to dry prior to wearing them, that barbecue sauce wouldn’t have stained his boots. Water and stain repellent will protect your boots from water, stains, and also salt damage—without changing the boots’ color.

4. Use Boot Trees

Boot trees draw out the moisture and help the shape of your cowboy boots. This is important. When leather ages, it shrinks because of the moisture. The leather in the toe bends upward. Then when you put the boot back on, the leather breaks against the grain. The boot tree holds the boot in the right position when not in use and absorbs the moisture, avoiding cracking, drying, breaking, and bending the grain.

Expert Tip: Do not wear the same pair of boots two days in a row. Leather needs time to rejuvenate and breathe.


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