How to Care for Leather Boots

Last Updated on November 6, 2021 by Ellen Christian

It’s almost boot season again and that has me wondering how to care for leather boots. Last year, I just put them in the back of the closet and forgot about them when it started to warm up. I know now that wasn’t the best way to take care of them.

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Check out the Justin Boots Bent Rail Collection if you’re looking for a new pair of boots.

How to Care for Leather Boots

How to Care for Leather Boots

To get the most wear from your leather boots and shoes, follow these helpful tips to make them last and look their best.  While leather boots last much longer than many man-made materials, they do require special care.

  • Break them in properly first. Breaking in leather boots takes time. There are no quick fixes that don’t damage the boot itself. Adding an insole to the boot can help with comfort while you’re breaking them in.
  • Start with a boot that fits properly. Leather boots are an investment. Make sure that you have the boot fitted at the store to get the best fit.
  • Waterproofing. Before you waterproof your boots, you need to know whether they were chrome tanned or oil tanned. Each requires a different product to waterproof. If you have oil tanned boots, you can waterproof them using mink oil. Chrome tanned boots can be waterproofed with a silicone spray.
  • Clean them immediately. If your boots get dirt and mud on them, clean them right away. Use a stiff brush to remove any loose dirt or mud. Then use a leather cleaner to remove the rest and condition them. Follow the directions on the specific leather cleaner you purchase.
  • Remove dampness from your boots. If your boots get damp, stuff them with newspaper to help remove the dampness. Allowing them to remain damp can encourage the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Wash insoles and laces. If your insoles are removable and washable, they should be washed regularly along with the laces. Always remove laces before waterproofing or polishing.
  • Give them a rest. It’s best to allow at least 12 hours between each time you wear your leather boots to let them breathe.

Fall is the best time to bring out your favorite leather boots whether they are work boots, cowboy boots, or dress boots.

It's almost boot season again and that has me wondering how to care for leather boots

4 thoughts on “How to Care for Leather Boots”

  1. Great tips! I like your boots! I’ve had my cowboy boots for almost 20 years now – they are on their 3rd set of soles – if you care for leather it will take good care of you.

  2. My daughter has five pair of cowboy boots, that’s all she wears. These are some great tips, thanks for sharing.


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