Cowboy Boots Care Guide
How To Care & Maintain Cowboy Boots
Once upon a time, cowboy boots were the footwear of choice for farmers and wranglers. The original cowboy boots were functional and practical. The were the all in one type of boots that could be worn by cowboys for most of the day. They could be worn for work in the stables or barn, out in the field and even on horseback. It’s this versatility that made them so universally appealing back in the days of the wild west.
Fast forward a century or so, and cowboy boots are still quite popular, although these days more as a fashion statement than a working boot. Once only made for men, cowboy boots for women are now even more popular than the ones originally designed for men.
Good quality cowboy boots are usually made of leather which takes a certain level of care. While it is fine for your cowboy boots to have a slightly weathered look, you don’t want them to look old and ratty. This cowboy boots care guide will help you keep your boots for more than a season or two so you won’t need to break in a new pair any time soon.
Condition Your Boots Before You Wear Them
Get yourself a good leather conditioner and apply it to your cowboy boots before you wear them outdoors for the first time. Leather conditioner will create a protective layer over your boots to prevent dirt and grime from penetrating the leather. You should also condition your boots after each thorough cleaning and when you haven’t worn them for a longer period of time.
Clean Them After Each Use
We don’t mean you need to bring out a bucket of soapy water every time you wear your cowboy boots, but you should clean them after wearing them outdoors, especially if they look a little dusty. Left untouched, this dust can settle in the creases of your boots making them all the more difficult to clean and the dust can also deteriorate the leather. It’s enough to get a soft brush to remove the dust, or a soft damp cloth. If your boots are muddy, wipe off all the mud and let them dry before dusting off the rest.
Condition Your Boots Frequently
Leather conditioner will help extend the life of your cowboy boots so make sure you never let the leather dry out. Dab the conditioner on the leather and let it seep in to really keep the leather soft. Once you’re satisfied that your boots are properly conditioned, let them dry and move on to leather polish.
Apply The Polish
A good leather polish will seal the moisture in your cowboy boots and give them a beautiful sheen. The best color polish to use is a neutral one, although you can use colored polishes that match your boots. Rub the polish on your boots and then gradually buff the polish until your boots shine. Use a soft horse hair brush to buff those hard to reach places.
Invest In Boot Trees
Boots trees are weird foot shaped blocks, usually made of wood like cedar. Their purpose is to keep the shape of your boots while you aren’t wearing them. Feet sweat and the inside of your boots will be damp, if not wet. If you just throw them on the shoe shelf, the leather will become misshapen as it dries. With cedar boot trees, your cowboy boots will dry while maintaining their shape and the cedar will absorb much of the moisture, and the smells.
You may think your shoe closet is dust free, but the reality is that dust can accumulate and creep into these spaces annoyingly fast. The last thing you want is for this dust to penetrate into the leather of your cowboy boots and not be wiped off during those long summer months. Get yourself a protective boot bag that will protect them from dust, water and being bumped by sharp objects.
Replace Soles and Insoles Fast
If you’ve invested in a good quality pair of leather cowboy boots, you can expect the leather to last for a long time, especially if you care for them properly. However, if you like to wear your boots often, the insoles, heels and soles are bound to wear out. When they do, replace them as soon as possible. Worn soles and heels are not very comfortable and you won’t be walking with your natural gait. This will affect the shape of your boots and you may find them less comfortable. Also, by frequently replacing the heels, soles and insoles you can almost extend the life of your cowboy boots indefinitely.
Wear Quality Socks
Good socks are always important but even more so when you are wearing cowboy boots. Get a pair of socks that absorb moisture to keep the inner leather of your boots as dry as possible. Also, today’s cowboy boots are more for show than comfort, so you’ll really appreciate the cushiony comfort from a quality pair of socks.
Don’t Forget To Break Them In
Good quality cowboy boots are a little on the stiff side, especially when new. It will take some time to break them in and you don’t want to miss this step. By breaking in your cowboy boots, you will be making them more comfortable. This, in turn, means you’ll be walking the way you naturally walk which is important for maintaining the shape of your boots. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you try to wear your new cowboy boots for a long time in one day, your feet are likely to hurt. This may result in you throwing your brand new, expensive boots in a dark corner of your closest, never to see the light of day again. Wear them in short bursts around the house until they feel more comfortable.
Good cowboy boots for women or men don’t come cheap, but with proper care, you will get many years of use out of them. You may not be near any ranches, but that shouldn’t stop you from rocking the western look.