How to Care For and Get the Longest Life Out of Your Boots

Quality boots that offer you excellent support and style are expensive to purchase, which means that they’ll need extra care and attention. In order to maintain the quality of your boots, be sure to familiarize yourself with how to care for them the best way possible. Keep in mind that depending on the type of material your boots are made from, the handling may vary, but there are a few basic principles to boot care that you should keep in mind at all times so that you can enjoy your favorite boots for as long as possible to get the best out of them.

Storage

All footwear should be stored in a cool and dry place. If your shoes sit in hot temperatures or humid environments, they will deteriorate over time. Not only will your shoes show signs of wear during storage, but depending on the type of material, the size may shrink. If your boots are made of leather and they sit in humidity for too long, they may snug up around your feet. Furthermore, when shoes sit in a humid environment, they will produce more bacteria and fungus over time. In order to ensure the cleanliness of your shoes, prioritize storage in a cool and dry space for all shoes, not only boots.

Cleaning

You’ll typically wear your boots out when there is harsh weather out. This is great for keeping your feet nice and dry, but it means that your boots will suffer some wear and tear. If your boots get dirt or rain water into them, be sure to clean these areas with a cloth. First wipe it down with a damp cloth then wipe again with a dry cloth. This will ensure dryness. If your boots are wet, do not use appliances such as a hairdryer to dry them. Don’t place your boots near a heating lamp or radiator. The heat will shrink your boots, if not damage them permanently rendering your boots useless. Make sure you let your boots air dry at room temperature to avoid shrinking or damage.

Leather Dressing

If your boots are leather, it helps to dress it with some leather dressing. This will keep out unwanted moisture and protect your boots against harsh weather conditions. It is also wise to avoid any chemicals or other artificial formulas from contaminating your boots. Leather materials will absorb any liquids that it comes in contact with. In order to prevent any permanent damage or unwanted deterioration, avoid such exposures. The most common elements that seem harmless but can hurt your boots are things like salt and milk. To keep these elements from hurting your boots, try giving your boots leather dressing in advance.

Types of Leather and Care Techniques

Below are some tips on how to care for boots depending on the type of material they are made from.

Cowhide Leather Boots

  • Use a brush or damp cloth to remove dirt.
  • When boots are damp, apply a very light layer of leather conditioning. Heavy conditioning or dressing will clog pores and make air filtration impossible.
  • A cream polish that matches the color of the leather can add some sheen.
  • A light coat of stain and water protector will prevent unwanted water damage or wet feet.
  • If your leather boots are made from calf skin, you’ll need to perform the above steps more frequently and handle the boots more delicately.

Suede Leather Boots

  • Apply water and stain protector when the boots are still new and unworn. Use non-silicone base formulas.
  • Remove any dirt with a soft brush.
  • Avoid water and mud which can damage the leather’s color.

Pigskin Boots

  • Use a brush or damp cloth to remove dirt.
  • When boots are damp, apply a very light layer of leather conditioning. Heavy conditioning or dressing will clog pores and make air filtration impossible.
  • A cream polish that matches the color of the leather can add some sheen.
  • A light coat of stain and water protector will prevent unwanted water damage or wet feet.

Things to Remember

Remember that boots will only last under careful care and maintenance if you purchase high quality boots in the first place. Also, remember to always have basic items at hand in order to maintain ongoing and regular care for your boots. Basic items include two pieces of cloth—one damp and the other dry, leather oil, leather conditioner, leather dressing, a soft brush, leather cream or polish, and mink oil if you’d like to keep your leather really well-maintained.

Remember to avoid large puddles and mud when you’re out sporting your favorite boots. Maintenance comes with wearing them out, too. If you can help it, don’t wear your leather boots where you expect too much moisture or harsh weather conditions. For places like these, you’re better off wearing galoshes.

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