Skip to Content
From The Guest Room is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Conditioning Suede Cowboy Boots: What Are The Possible Ways?

Conditioning Suede Cowboy Boots: What Are The Possible Ways?

One thing we all know is that suede cowboy boots cannot be conditioned with the oils (like mink oil) or leather conditioners we are familiar with.

Suede is a type of leather that has been changed quite a bit after the tanning process, so it is durable but quite dry. It does not possess natural oils and waxes (or less) like full-grain leather.

Therefore, conditioners or oils will not really work on suede. These products won’t be able to make suede soft simply because suede requires almost no (or very little) moisturizing.

In addition, oils or conditioners will cause you a lot of trouble as they can completely leave residue between the hairs of suede.

In short, to keep suede cowboy boots soft, there are lots of things to do. And that’s exactly why you need to read this article!

We’ll tell you all you need to know about conditioning suede cowboy boots.

Shall we?

Key takeaways

  • The most likely way to condition suede cowboy boots is to clean them with specialized products. Thus, the hairs on the suede surface will remain soft and durable.
  • Another good way to condition suede boots is to use a waterproof spray on their surface to protect them against water.
  • Suede may not need as much moisture as smooth full-grain leather, as it has changed a lot through the tanning process. Its nature is quite dry.

A woman wears dress with suede cowboy boots

Conditioning Suede Cowboy Boots: What Are The Possible Ways?

I was confused about this, I used to use some conditioner along with a horsehair brush to moisturize cowboy boots.

And as a result, the suede surface of cowboy boots is completely shiny, the hairs on the surface are flattened and I can barely see them anymore.

That really detracts from the natural beauty of suede cowboy boots, because their beauty comes from the softness of suede’s napped surface.

Also, since suede’s surface is not as smooth as smooth full-grain leather, the conditioner will leave ugly dark patches as it cannot penetrate evenly into suede.

It only gets better when I use a suede brush to spread the conditioner and an eraser to remove the dark color from the hair.

Therefore, it is advised not to use conditioners or oils for smooth leather to apply to suede. It won’t work!

Suede and smooth leather

If you’ve been a fan of cowboy boots for a long time, you’ll also notice that it’s hard to find a conditioner for suede on the market.

However, if you look closely, you will easily find cleaner and waterproof spray for suede cowboy boots. And yes, these two tools are 2 effective solutions for you and me!

When your cowboy boots are made from suede, it’s important to keep them clean and dry.

The reason is that if soiled with mud or stains, the suede hairs will break easily. Over time, suede will lose its original beauty and distinctive features.

The same happens when suede boots get wet. If your suede boots are constantly wet and dry, the hairs on the suede surface will become brittle and break easily.

Now, let’s see how we should condition suede cowboy boots. Check out a step-by-step guide below.

  • Cleaning suede cowboy boots

Prepare suede brush, suede cleaner, and eraser.

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned

Use the suede brush to pre-clean the suede cowboy boots by scrubbing every nook and cranny.

A suede brush is quite similar to a comb, it threads into the space between the hairs of suede and pulls the dirt out.

After pre-cleaning, apply the suede cleaner (usually spray) to the surface of the boots. Then, continue to use the suede brush to rub the cleaner solution on the surface of the boot to help the suede cleaner evenly spread and penetrate deeply.

You should repeat the process of applying suede cleaner and using a suede brush 2 to 3 times to have the best result.


When cleaning suede boots with a brush, it’s crucial to pay close attention to the direction of the nap.

Gently brushing in the direction of the suede’s natural grain helps to lift dirt and debris while maintaining the boot’s texture and appearance.

This careful approach ensures your boots remain looking their best without damaging the delicate suede material.

Cowboy Boot Suede Leather Cleaning

In case there are still some stubborn stains on the hairs, it’s time to use the eraser to remove them. Specialized erasers for removing stains on suede surfaces are easy to find these days.

The moisture of the suede cleaner along with the constant rubbing of the brush will help the coats of suede boots to be soft and smooth.

Most suede cleaners also contain some ingredients that help moisturize suede, so they will reduce dryness in suede boots. Thereby, we can prevent cracking or breaking on suede boots and keep them comfortable for a long time!

  • Waterproofing suede cowboy boots

While this is one of the most important steps to ensure suede cowboy boots stay in top condition, the process is very simple. Waterproofing can be considered the next step in conditioning cowboy boots because you can only do it when the boots are clean.

You just need to spray waterproof on the surface of suede boots, then use a suede brush to rub it evenly, ensuring the waterproof layer is evenly spread and penetrates deeply.

Repeat this process 2 to 3 times for best results.

This waterproof layer not only prevents the suede from getting wet but also keeps dirt away, thereby protecting the surface of the suede boots and keeping it soft and silky.

At this point, the conditioning process for your suede cowboy boots can be considered complete.

Some other notes

As mentioned above, you will have a hard time finding a conditioner or oil for suede, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Currently, I have a spray bottle of mink oil at home, which I usually use to spray on the surface of suede boots. Mink oil also works to soften suede and make them water-resistant.

For that reason, I would consider mink oil spray as a way to condition boots. And in case you find similar products, here are the ways to apply them.

  • Steps to apply conditioner (or oil) to suede cowboy boots

Note that you should use a spray product with liquid content. Do not use natural mink oil or similar products.

Conditioner sprays will ensure that they penetrate deeper into the hairs of suede boots. In addition, they do not leave residue or uneven dark patches.

spray on cowboy boots

For now, what you need to do is make sure suede cowboy boots are clean (as instructed above).

Next, just like the process of waterproofing suede boots, spray suede conditioner on the surface of the boots, then use a suede brush to rub them evenly. Make sure the suede conditioner spreads evenly and penetrates deeply, so it can nourish the suede and keep it soft.

Repeat 2 to 3 times for best results.

If your conditioner doesn’t make your boots water-resistant, apply a waterproof spray as guided above. Don’t forget to follow the order: clean – condition – waterproof your boots.

Waterproof spray should be the last layer to ensure cowboy boots are protected from water or stains.

Before you leave

Suede cowboy boots

There are many steps to do to keep your suede cowboy boots in good condition. Just learning how to condition them sometimes isn’t enough.

You should keep suede boots in a cool place, and avoid direct sunlight or a humid environment. This is also a way to ensure the hairs of suede last long.

Also, don’t use extremely hot heat sources like a hair dryer to dry your boots. They are too hot and can cause the hairs on the surface to become brittle and break.

That’s all the things you should know about conditioning suede cowboy boots!