Genuine leather cowboy boots are really worth it for you to always think about how to keep them fresh and soft, even if the process can be very costly and a real headache.
Over time, when you use real leather cowboy boots every day, whether indoors, at work, or out on the street, you accidentally make this durable material crumpled or dirty.
Without properly cleaning immediately afterward, the chances of throwing away a damaged pair of cowboy boots are very high.
One of the best-recommended ways to maintain genuine leather is to use conditioners, animal oils (like mink oils), and some specialized real leather waxes. But they are also quite expensive. If you’re unlucky, you may have to exchange products several times before you find what you need.
How about household remedy oils, like coconut oil? They are convenient, readily available, and seem easy to use. Are they truly effective in resolving the issues associated with genuine leather cowboy boots?
From my real-time experience with using coconut oil on my cowboy boots, I’m here to help you figure out what you need to be aware of before putting this oil on your boots.
- Can I use coconut oil on my cowboy boots?
- Pros of using coconut oil on cowboy boots
- Cons of using coconut oils on cowboy boots
- Will coconut oil darken leather?
- Does coconut oil damage leather?
- Before you leave…
Can I use coconut oil on my cowboy boots?
For the simple purpose of moisturizing cowboy boots’ cracky genuine leather uppers, coconut oil is definitely one of the best choices.
But if you intend to use them for a long time for your boots, you also need to acknowledge their drawbacks before it is too late.
Pros of using coconut oil on cowboy boots
There are some interesting facts about how good coconut oils can be for your cowboy boots.
1. Good to temporarily moisturize
First, we should understand that real leather is like human skin. Although they have been separated from living organisms, they still have some basic functions, such as expanding and absorbing.
That’s why liquid vegetable-sourced oils like coconut oil can be sucked down by dry leather and get stored underneath. As a result, it helps moisturize the skin while covering cracks and stretch marks on its surface.
Note that we should only use coconut oil on real animal skins. This oil is not highly applicable to faux and napped leather (leather suede, nubuck).
If your cowboy boots look dry and patchy with scratches and cracks, immediately after applying a moderate amount of coconut oil, they will get back to how gaudy the leather used to look.
2. Hide cracks and scuffs noticeably
I know some people won’t believe this, but coconut oil can actually hide cracks and scuffs on the surface of the skin.
This does not mean that these flaws will disappear completely; they will be disguised to become more difficult to detect. You may have noticed that coconut oil makes the leather darker. This helps to diffuse visible scuffles.
I recommend this method for super-soft, wrinkle-prone, and faded cowboy boots. They will respond better to coconut oil than tough and stiff leather.
In addition, the softness and shine of the leather after being moisturized with coconut oil will somewhat give your cowboy boots a feeling of freshness, helping to conceal flaws better.
3. Availability and cheap
Yes, they are really available and cheap. This means you don’t need to find out what the components are, what percentage each of the components makes up, and how they respond to your cowboy boot’s upper material.
You simply select only the extra virgin coconut oil and you can start experimenting. In addition, coconut oil is also quite easy to find at grocery stores.
If before the 11 p.m. party, you need something to make your cowboy boots shine, you don’t have to wait to buy conditioner or wax at the shoe store the next morning; just run to the convenience store near home and pick up a jar of coconut oil. And, you’ll get what you need for a decent and impressive pair of cowboy boots that catch the spotlight.
4. Partial waterproofness
Since coconut oil is a liquid plant-based oil, it completely has the special ability of oils: water repellency.
Therefore, cowboy boots that are moisturized with coconut oil will help increase their resistance to water penetrating deep beneath the skin from the outside, reducing the risk of damaging the layers of material.
However, keep in mind that this does not mean that your cowboy boots will not soak in the water and leave watermarks. Coconut oil is just basic waterproofing and not intensive at all.
If you need maximum help, you should go with some water resistance sprays.
5. Act as a natural fungus fighting
Trust me, if you live in a humid area year-round, you’ll want to use coconut oil in your real leather cowboy boots to combat mold and fungus, the nasty factors that put boots at a pretty high risk of damage and getting tossed in the trash.
Chemically, coconut oils have many good antibacterial properties.
They are often used to apply topically on skin spots to fight against some venereal diseases caused by fungus or bacteria. Therefore, this oil may also counteract the formation of common fungi and molds in clothes and footwear.
However, these effects do not really work well under special conditions. If you soak your cowboy boots and leave them in a dark place, mold and fungus on your footwear will still freak you out.
Cons of using coconut oils on cowboy boots
It’s time to acknowledge the drawbacks of this method.
1. Short-term moisturizing and maintenance
In terms of chemical structure, coconut oils have a more liquid texture while making them evaporate faster than the animal-sourced oils commonly used for leather. Therefore, the efficiency of the oil that will be retained under the skin will be significantly lower.
So you may find that your cowboy boots may look pretty right after coconut oils are applied, but they’ll quickly return to their original dry state within the next 1-2 days.
If you are exposed to the sun continuously for more than 8 hours a day, this process of getting back to dry leather is shortened even faster.
In this case, I would encourage you to consider coconut oils as a reluctant temporary solution to cowboy boots, rather than a long-term leather maintenance option.
2. Need some pre-apply assistance
Yes, you would need some pre-apply assistance to help the oil get deeper inside the leather. These are essential for cowboy boots that are made of tough real leather since their ability to absorb vegetable oils is worse than soft leather.
Before applying coconut oil, you may need a warm washcloth and a bit of apple cider vinegar to soften and clean the leather thoroughly. This will also help the oil stay underneath the skin longer.
Some people find liquid coconut oils too annoying. They can get on your hands, on towels, or on surfaces around where you put them on cowboy boots.
In addition, if you use too much oil on your boots, the chances of the leather surface getting patchy oil marks are very high. Your solution is to use waxy coconut oils that have been solidified.
They will allow you to get the right amount onto the fabric and not stick to surrounding surfaces.
4. Do not work well for super damaged boots
One of the most prominent drawbacks of coconut oils that make them inferior is their poor ability to maintain the leather. This is understandable because they are not made to work with real leather anyway.
It is nearly impossible to restore damaged cowboy boots with coconut oil. They can only help conceal a few scuffs or, better yet, remove a little bit of rip in the leather material.
The technique of treating super-damaged leather boots is quite complicated, and coconut oil cannot do this alone.
5. Darken light-toned leather, unfortunately
What you really need to understand before applying coconut oil to cowboy boots is that they have the ability to darken the leather right away, especially with light-toned or faded leather cowboy boots.
But it is not because the material has oxidized while reacting with oil.
The phenomenon occurs because the high humidity in the oil solution will wet the leather material, causing darkening (just like how watermarks happen).
The liquid in the oil will seep under the skin and stay there, creating a darker color when seen with the naked eye.
If you let your cowboy boots dry out the next day, they’ll lose some darkness because the liquid under the skin has evaporated partially.
6. Not enough desired glossiness
If you were expecting an admirable shine when you apply coconut oil to your cowboy boots, you’ll probably be a little disappointed. Unfortunately, coconut oil will not shine your leather as well as glossy wax will.
They provide only a slight shine or even just a slight sheen.
If you have a pair of distressed leather cowboy boots that you want to be noticeably glossy, you should go with polish or wax.
If you have a pair of polished cowboy boots ready in your closet, you can use coconut oil to gently polish them.
Will coconut oil darken leather?
Yes, coconut oil will definitely darken the leather as soon as it is applied. You’ll notice this more clearly on light-toned or faded leather cowboy boots.
Therefore, if this is not what you want, be cautious before using coconut oil on your leather cowboy boots.
Does coconut oil damage leather?
Technically, no. Coconut oil helps hydrate dry skin and provides essential nutrients to help prevent water from penetrating deep below.
Therefore, they will not harm the leather material. But some people find that the leather tends to get stiffer after a while when using coconut oils in particular and plant-sourced oils in general on their real leather cowboy boots.
This is really unproven on a scientific basis, but as a precaution, you should limit the use of coconut oil on real leather continuously. Try to use the right conditioner, wax, or polish products specifically for real leather instead of household oils.
Before you leave…
There is no denying that coconut oil has many uses in our lives, especially when it comes to using it as a leather conditioning solution.
Personally, I think these options are fairly reasonable because of their convenience and availability. But I do not recommend using this method continuously since the side effects of using coconut oil on leather cowboy boots have not been elucidated.
After all, they weren’t made for each other in the first place.
Howdy y’all, and welcome to From The Guest Room, your ultimate guide to all things Western! I’m Jay Gatz, a lifelong cowboy boot enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in the Western style world. I’m excited to share my knowledge with you and help you discover the perfect cowboy boots and western gear to elevate your style. Let’s explore the rich history and timeless appeal of Western fashion together!