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Cowboy Boot Care Tips

To keep your cowboy boots clean and looking good, there are a few easy tips to follow that don't take a lot of time, or money, to make your boots keep the luster that they have when you first buy them. Cowboy boots are generally easy to clean, but like anything else, your boots should be handled with care.

  • Always wipe dust and dirt from your boots.
  • Use a damp cloth or rag to clean off heavy deposits of dirt or mud.
  • Use a soft nylon brush to polish and buff your boots.
  • Be careful not to use hard polishes or saddle soap. Instead, try to use shoe cream or a good leather conditioner.

When cleaning or polishing your boots, always remember that different materials require different cleaning standards. There are different leather and suede conditioners and polishes, and each should be applied in accordance with the type of material the boot is made of.

Exotic reptile leathers have deeper textures that do not absorb conditioner and cream as quickly as other leathers and conditioners should be applied in several thin layers rather then all at once.

Alligator and lizard skin boots require a little more time in cleaning dust and dirt out of the tiles but the life of the boot can be extend for a much longer period if they are kept clean and conditioned.

  • Cowhide leather should be dusted off and buffed with a soft cloth. An approved leather conditioner should then be applied and buffed in until a shine is obtained.
  • Suede should be treated with special attention. Keep away from mud and clean with a nylon brush or soft cloth and always treat with a quality stain protector.
  • Ostrich skin boots are strong and versatile, yet soft and nice to the touch. Ostrich leather should be dusted with a soft cloth and polished with an authorized conditioner, allowed to dry and then buffed. When buying ostrich leather, always inquire about the type of conditioner and polish that should be used.
  • Alligator skin should be kept clean and dry by removing dust and dirt with a brush or clean cloth. A reptile conditioner should be applied and left to dry. It should then be buffed with a clean cloth or soft bristled brush.
  • Snake skin boots should be kept clean by wiping against the scales to remove dust or dirt. To polish, apply a reptile conditioner with a soft cloth going with the grain of the scales. Gently wipe and buff evenly. Keep snakeskin boots out of the sun as much as possible to avoid yellowing.
  • Remember, you should apply and buff in conditioner all the way to the sole line of a boot. If not, that area of the boot is subject to crack and deteriorate.
  • If the boot has a leather sole, it should also be conditioned, too. This increases the life of the sole because it restores moisture and deters cracking.

When caring for your boots, always use a quality conditioner and follow the manufacturers directions, especially when you are applying a water based wax. It many instances, certain oils and and saddle soaps will dry out the leather and cause it to crack.


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