It’s a cold early morning. You put on your shirt and overcoat. Then, you decide to put on those stylish shoes that you recently bought from the store. Wait a minute! You notice cracks and faded leather on your boot.
Then you realize that you got this pair a few months ago. Needless to say, you feel upset – worse than the material on your shoe itself. Dried and faded lather is not only appealing, but will also degrade completely pretty fast.
The take away here? Learn how to make your western boots last a long time. Once you get the hang of it, you will realize it is a simple process, especially when you have all the tools.
It’s not always about just removing dirt, and applying some polish. Boots are stylish, yes, but you also have to take care of them well. Taking good care of your shoes is a multifaced process that involves a few steps. Unlike conventional running shoes or casual boots that you just clean and wear, leather boots require several steps.
The guide below identifies some of these critical steps. Let’s get started.
Similar to other shoes, boots serve as a crucial component of your outfit. Thus, they are subject to constant abuse just in the same way as regular clothing items. They regularly strike the ground coming in contact with salt, soil, mud, dust, grime, and more. So, there is no denying the importance of cleaning your boots regularly.
Materials You Need
- Piece of cloth
- Horsehair brush
- Some water to dampen the cloth
- Some saddle soap
The first step is to remove the laces. Removing the laces makes it easy to clean the boots, and also lets you reach other areas underneath. Wash the laces in some soapy water to remove any dirt or grime. If the laces are worn out, consider getting new ones as replacements.
Put the boots on a piece of cloth or paper on a high surface, such as a table. Use the horsehair brush to buff the leather. The point here is to remove any loose dirt or particles that can affect the polishing process. It’s good to brush your boots after each time you take them outdoors.
Use the damp rug to apply some saddle soap on the boot. Then, rub the saddle soap lather over the boots, especially in parts affected by issues such as mud. Remember that you don’t have have to use the process each time you clean the boots. Using this process is ideal for cleaning stubborn stains.
Then, let the boots sit and dry for a few minutes.
Dirt is not only the most prominent challenge affecting your leather boots. So what is their true kryptonite? Well, dry leather is one of the most critical factors you should consider. When exposed to water, leather can get damaged rather easily.
When exposed to water, ensure that you place the boots in a heated area as soon as possible. Also, you can consider using a boot dryer. Why should you do this? Because leaving moisture on the leather, shoe can easily damage the structure of the leather boot.
Thus, prevention is crucial. By ensuring the leather is supple, durable, and resistant against water, you will be able to avoid such shoe damage. You have to conditions the boots as regularly as possible.
Materials You Need
- Piece of old cloth
- Leather conditioner
- A small brush
- Two clean rags
Start by cleaning the boots gently with the dry rag. This process helps remove any loose dirt or soil on the surface of the shoe. Then, use the applicator brush to apply the conditioner to a small section of the shoe. Remember that the conditioner can easily darken the leather material.
Therefore, if you have a light-colored or boot made using exotic material, try performing a spot test such as under the laces. Then wait for a few hours and check the result. If the darkening is not too bad, then it’s a good product for the whole shoe.
Then, get the second rag and wet it with some conditioner. Then rub it on the leather. Use a circular motion, and avoid pushing hard on the shoe. It’s good to get the conditioner in all sections of the shoe.
Use as much product as the shoe needs. If the boots have dried up, and it’s been long since you treated them, then consider applying the conditioner a second time. On the contrary, boots that are in good shape will just require a simple rub down.
Check when the product stops soaking in, and the leather starts to dampen. At this point, the process is complete. Let the shoes rest overnight, and then rub them again using a dry leather rag. You should condition the material on your leather shoe often, on average, every one month.
Polishing and Shining
Polishing your boots is also essential because it helps improve the appeal of your boots. You may have to remove the laces on your boots during the polishing process. Why? You can place your hand in the shoe easily, thus making it easy to apply the polish.
While Western boots that have a rugged finish don’t require polishing, you will probably like some more shine on your elegant dress shoes. Smooth and shiny tends to be impressive.
Materials You Need
- Piece of rag or cloth
- Cream or wax-based polish
- An applicator brush
- Horsehair shoe brush
- A large piece of paper or cloth
Steps to applying cream polish:
- Check to ensure you some cream with a color that is suitable to leather on your shoe.
- Use an applicator brush to apply the cream evenly over the entire shoe.
- Start by applying a small amount, and then increase the gradually .
- Complete the process by performing a quick buffing with a horsehair brush.
- Then, let the boots dry for a few minutes.
At this point, note that cream polish does not shine in the same as wax polish. That said, cream polish adds extra moisture to the shoe. Also, it will restore the natural color of the boots, especially when you start noticing some fading.
Steps When Applying Wax Polish
- Place the soft rag around your fingers and insert them into the wax.
- Then apply the wax on the leather in a circular motion. Keep applying until you cover the entire exterior of the boot.
- Place the boot aside and repeat the same process for the next boot.
- Perform a quick buffing by using a horse hairbrush. Repeat this process twice to ensure the best results.
- The wax-based polish is best used as the final layer when polishing the boots. Never put cream polish over the wax!
At this point, the shoe should have extra shine and be safe against elements such as water or salt. Also, the wax will lock in the conditioner, so you can enjoy more time with your boots, before having to condition them again. For polishing, it’s best to apply the polish everyday to maintain the shoeshine.
Broadly speaking, leather boots made using high quality and water-resistant material are best. That said, you still have to condition them, especially when you live or move around areas where the boots are likely to get wet.
To make the boots waterproof, use a wax-based polish once you condition the shoes. Also, consider using a waterproof spray over the leather, once you are done with the steps above. Remember to apply the waterproof on all sections of the boot to keep it waterproof. You may have to remove the laces for this step as well.
As far as storage goes, western boots are safe in cool and dry areas. Any moist areas or places with water can easily affect the quality of the leather on your shoe. More so, the boots also need to breathe or aerate.
To do this, it’s best if you place them in an upright position and use a boot tree. Using Cedar Boot Trees is best, and this will allow the shoes to absorb more moisture. Furthermore, the cedar trees help ensure the boots maintain their original shape. The cedar trees also help to stop any curling on the boot toe section.
Boots that are well taken care of are appealing and can last for a long time. Functional, masculine, and stylish. These are just some of the few positive words you can associate with western boots.
However, shopping for boots is one thing. Taking good care of them is also another critical factor. Thus, you have to learn about cleaning, condition, polishing, and waterproofing your boots.
This guide should provide you with the basics to get you started. Applied correctly, the steps above will significantly improve the longevity of boots. The way you store your boots is also essential – you have to store your boots in cool and dry areas, where they can even breathe.