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Leather boots are stylish, durable, and comfortable to wear for men and women. With proper care and attention, they can last you for a really long time. But like any product, they too will be subject to wear and tear over time.
But do not worry! You do not have to throw them away, at least not before you try our hacks on how to maintain and restore your leather boots to keep them looking clean, shiny, and sharp for years to come.
So, let’s jump to it!
How to Maintain Leather Boots?
Maintaining your leather boots is pretty easy and inexpensive. But it is crucial if you want your leather shoes to last for a long time. So, how can you maintain your leather boots so that they do not fall apart well before their time? It is all about proper care. There are five things that you should keep in mind when it comes to taking care of your boots: protect them from water, avoid salt or snow stains, add a protective rubber sole, be mindful of the boots’ heel condition, and wipe down the shoes after every wear. Read more about them below:
Protect your boots from water
Even though leather shoes are known for their durability, too much water can damage them. That is because leather is a porous material that quickly soaks in water, and this can cause premature damage and cracking of the leather.
New leather boots are usually coated with a layer of wax that provides a water barrier, but that layer will not last forever; it will break down over time. So, if you are often caught in the rain, consider purchasing a waterproof cover for your leather boots, such as a pair of shoe covers or galoshes.
But, if you get caught out in the rain in your leather boots, take them off as soon as you can, put some newspaper inside to help hold the shape and allow them to dry. Do not put them next to a heat source; the direct heat can damage the leather.
Add a water-repellent barrier to prevent your leather boots from soaking in the water too quickly when you wear them in the rain. You can also choose a conditioner for your shoes that creates a waterproof layer and also conditions and protects the leather.
Avoid the salt or snow stains
Even though sidewalk salt in the wintertime is effective in helping us avoid injuries from slipping or falling on icy surfaces, it can damage and leave ugly stains on our footwear. It is best if you could avoid the salt and snow altogether, but that is not always possible. What you can do is clean your leather boots regularly to get rid of the salt of snow stains from walking in bad weather. That will help your shoes last longer and look good for many years to come.
Cleaning your leather boots is simple and easy. First, remove the laces from your shoes and use a clean damp cloth to get rid of any dirt, build-up, or other contaminants. Apply a boot or leather cleaner to your damp boots, and rub it gently until you remove all the dust and dirt.
After you have cleaned the entire boots, take another clean wet cloth, and wipe away the leather cleaner.
Add a protective rubber sole
Adding a protective rubber sole to your leather shoes is one of the best ways to protect them from the elements. They will extend the life of your leather shoes and save you money in the long run. Furthermore, sole protectors add a bit of grip, so your leather boots will be safer to wear when walking on icy roads.
Be mindful of the boots’ heels condition
Be mindful of the condition of your boots’ heels. You should replace damaged heels as soon as possible because if you wait longer to fix them, the heel will get more damaged, and it will cost you more money. So, keep an eye on your heels, and replace them when they start to wear down so that you save money.
After each wear, wipe down the boots
This step is very easy, but it will make a big difference for your boots. After each wear, make sure to wipe down your shoes to remove any dirt or dust that has been accumulated on your leather boots. You can use a dust bag or a clean damp cloth to wipe them down.
Restoring Leather Boots
If it has been a while since you have your leather boots, and they have gotten beat up with work and lost their shine, it is definitely time to restore them. Let’s go over what you need to do to repair your leather boots.
Step 1: Cleaning
Start by wiping away as much of the dirt and dust as you can. For more stubborn grime, use a soft-bristled brush. After you’re done, hit those boots with a leather cleaner, and work up a lather with a damp cloth or a sponge. Clean the shoes in a circular motion until you get rid of all the dirt and debris. And finally, take a wet cloth to wipe away the excess, and let them air dry.
Step 2: Nourishing
Your leather boots need to be rehydrated and nourished; this will prevent the leather from drying out and cracking. To put moisture back in the leather, apply some leather conditioner or oil to them. This step is pretty simple; just apply an even layer of leather conditioner to your boots and let it sit for some hours. After doing that, feel the leather; if it still feels dry, you need to repeat the process; if not, you can move on.
Step 3: Polishing and Buffing Out
The final step for restoring leather boots is to grease or polish them. Use shoe polish or grease to your leather shoes, and wipe off the excess. After doing that, let them dry for at least six hours.
You can also use a cream polish as an extra layer of moisturizer and fill in any leather creases or cracks. Apply in a circular motion until you evenly coat the entire boot. After that, it is best to apply another layer of wax polish; buff the polish with a horsehair brush or buffing cloth for a matte finish. If you like a high mirror shine, use a slightly damp towel, and make small swirling circles around the boots. And finally, use a buffing cloth on the toe cap and heel to make them shinier.
Let them dry overnight before you wear them.
When Should You Replace the Boots Instead of Restoring?
As we’re all already aware, life happens, and sometimes no matter how much you take care of your leather boots, you will need to replace them. But when is the right time to get a new pair of boots? Well, there is no hard-and-fast rule about that, but a good rule of thumb is to replace your boots when you cannot restore them. If you tried all of the restoration steps and they did not seem to work, the time has come to start investing in a new pair of boots for your next adventures.
Leather has stood the test of time, and it is still one of the most preferred materials for footwear. Leather shoes are durable, comfortable, and look great on men and women. But, just like everything else, they need some care and attention. Maintaining your leather boots is not that difficult or time-consuming, and it will pay off in the long run. If you properly care for your leather boots, they will last you for many years to come.
But, even if you neglected your leather shoes for some time, there is still hope. Try our tips on how to restore your leather boots before deciding to replace them.