Shine YOUR Leather Boots Like A Pro Clean Condition & Shine Dress Boot Post A good pair of leather boots is something every man should have in his wardrobe – rugged, functional, and stylish. Boots are the perfect choice when the weather outside isn't the best, but you still want to look your best. However, when exposed to snow, slush, and rain, even a well-made pair of boots can break down over time if not properly cared for. In today's post, we're going to give you the ultimate guide to caring for your boots covering how to clean, condition, and polish them.
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To start, remove the laces. This will make it easier to clean and condition the boots. Now, if the laces are dirty, just simply wash them in soapy water or you may want to upgrade and get some new ones. Now, it's time to clean your boots. Use a horsehair brush for this step giving the leather a liberal buffing to remove loose dirt and salt. Salt can damage leather and you want to make sure you give your boots a quick pass with the brush every time they've been exposed to it. In general, it's a good idea to give your boots a quick once-over with the cleaning brush once every week or two depending on wear.
Now that the loose dirt and salts been removed it's time to hit the boots with some saddle soap to remove any stubborn dirt or stains. Run a damp rag over the soap until you produce a light lather. Rub the lather over the boot paying attention to any areas that need extra scrubbing. Now note, you don't need to do this step every time. This is only if you've got dirt and stains that won't come out with the normal buffing. Let the boots air dry for about 10 minutes before moving to the next step. Now, it's time to condition the leather. You know the biggest danger to your boots with water damage is that it can when the water leaves dry out and crack the leather. Once leather has cracked, there's little to nothing you can do to save it. Prevention is key here, gentlemen. It's vital to provide your boots with the moisture to keep the leather supple and healthy. The best way to give your boots moisture is to use a leather conditioner or a balm.
Protip. When applying a conditioner, a balm, a cream or any other product on your boots always test on a small spot to make sure it doesn't affect the color of the leather. Now, understand that it may initially darken the leather, but you want to see how it looks after it dries. The tongue of the boot is always a good spot to test because it's not visible when laced up. Use a clean rag to apply the conditioner to the boots making sure to get in all the crevices and creases. Wipe off any excess conditioner and allow the boots to dry for at least 20 minutes. You will want to condition your boots about once every three months depending on wear. If you wear these boots every single day, then you probably want to be going through this about once a month. Also, if you live in a dry hot climate, you may need to do this more often. Now, if you've got a more rugged style boot, you may decide that, hey, I don't want to put a polish on it and I'm going to stop at this step. But, if you've got an elegant dress boot, you're going to want to make sure to give it some polish. Now, the first option for polishing your boot is going to be a shoe cream.
These won't produce as much of a shine as a wax, but they do have the benefit of giving additional moisture and nourishment to the leather. This could also be a good option to bring back some of the color if your boots are starting to fade. So first off, you want to make sure that you're using a shoe cream that closely matches the color of your boots. Use a small applicator brush and work the cream evenly over the entire boot. A little goes a long way with most creams, so start off with a small amount and you can add more if needed. After applying the cream, give the boots a quick buffing with a different horse hair brush. Do not use the same one that you clean the boots with and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Now, your other option for polishing your boots is to use a wax-based polish. A wax-based polish has the benefits of being able to create a much nicer shine than any type of cream. However, it's not going to go in and moisturize the leather, but you use the conditioners. And another added benefit of wax-based polish is it creates a thin barrier that can help protect against salt and water. Make sure the wax polish is the final layer.
You don't want to put any cream over the wax. Wrap a soft rag around two fingers and use it to apply the wax onto the leather using small circular motions. Continue working until you have coated the entire boot, then let it sit while you add wax to the other boots. With both boots complete, now you're going to take that shining horsehair brush again not the cleaning horsehair brush and you're going to give the boots a good buffing to reveal the shine. You may need to repeat this step once or even two more times to get a really nice-looking shine. Now, there's no strict schedule for how often you need to polish your boots. For me, it depends on wear. If I’m wearing them every day, I like to give a really quick polish once a day, but once a week I like to break everything down and give them a detailed polish like we talked about here. Now, you may be wondering what about waterproof sprays. When it comes down to it the leather used in most high-quality boots is water-resistant. If you go through the steps I talked about here your shoes are going to be good to go. If you're concerned about waterproofing, use a wax polish is I think it's one of the best options out there and you can apply it to the boot with greater control.
However, having said all this, if you still want to use a water-resistant spray, go for it just make sure it's the last thing you apply. Okay. So, what to do if your boots get soaked? We're talking they get really wet. First, you want to give them time to air dry, but make sure not to put them next to a fire or another type of heat source. Heat can cause the wet leather to dry too quickly and can lead to cracking. It's important to let the boots dry at room temperature. There you go, gentlemen. Everything you need to keep your boots looking their best on whatever adventure you’d go on. For a detailed guide on how to clean, condition, and polish your leather boots make sure to go check out my blog.