Once the humble footwear of working cowboys, cowboy boots are now considered high fashion in many circles. Certain celebrities, such as Taylor Swift, have popularized them for wearing them with anything from quintessential faded jeans to short sundresses. Both men and women seem to have taken to this trend in equal numbers. If you're about to join them, keep in mind that a good pair of cowboy boots should be considered an investment, and as such, require a particular level of care. Following are five ways to ensure that your cowboy boots retain their good looks for decades.
Always Wipe the Dust off Your Boots After Wearing Them
Even if you're not out roping and riding while wearing your cowboy boots, they are bound to get some dust on them. Wiping off the dust with a clean, soft. slightly damp cloth after every wearing will help keep the exterior of your boots in great shape. Use an old toothbrush to gently remove mud from your boot, and go over the stitching and any crevices with a dampened cotton swab.
Clean Your Boots Carefully
Old school saddle soap is recommended for cleaning leather cowboy boots. Originally developed for cleaning and conditioning leather saddles, saddle soap contains ingredients such as lanolin, glycerin, and neatsfoot oil, all of which help keep the leather soft and supple. Using a damp sponge or cloth, create a lather with the saddle soap and rub it over your boots. Allow to dry slightly and then remove the residual lather thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.
- Always wait until your boots have dried out completely to clean them.
- If your cowboy boots are crafted with light-colored leather, check saddle soap labels before purchase to ensure that the variety you select doesn't darken light colors.
- Clean your boots with saddle soap as often as necessary to keep them looking good.
To prevent your boots from drying out and becoming cracked, apply a thin layer of cream-based leather conditioner on them after cleaning them with saddle soap. Allow the boots to dry out completely before wearing them again.
Apply Waterproofing to Your Boots
How often you apply a waterproofing product to your leather cowboy boots depends on the amount of exposure that they receive to water. If you live in an area that gets significant rainfall, for instance, you'll undoubtedly need to waterproof your boots more frequently than your desert-dwelling counterparts. Because leather is porous, be sure to use a waterproofing product that does not contain petroleum or silicone because these substances can clog the pores on your boots.
Polish and Shine
Whether to polish and shine your cowboy boots is a purely personal decision. Neither will help your boots last longer, but they will enhance their visual appeal. Besides, there's something satisfying about polishing a pair of boots with boot cream and a boot polish cloth. Cowboys of old routinely polished their boots to a high gleam before stepping out for the evening, so you'll be following a fine tradition.
Store Your Boots Properly
Do not place your leather cowboy boots near a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or other heat source in order to dry them out after taking them off. This can result in the complete ruination of leather, and the warm, damp environment caused by such practices creates a situation that is conducive to the development of destructive mold and mildew colonies. If your boots become wet on a regular basis, consider purchasing a boot dryer.
- Always store your boots in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from excessive drafts.
- Using a boot tree helps boots keep their shape when not being worn.
- Using shoe trees helps cowboy boots keep their shape.
Keep in mind that cowboy boots are a classic that will never go out of style, so taking good care of them is well worth the time and effort. Learn more by contacting a cowboy boot company or local shoe store.