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Do Cowboy Boots Need To Be Treated? And Why? Full Explanation

Do Cowboy Boots Need To Be Treated? And Why? Full Explanation

Many people believe that cowboy boots are so durable that you don’t really need to take care of them. Well, that’s a big mistake.

In fact, the durability of cowboy boots is always appreciated among all footwear. Or we can say they are almost the most durable ones.

A good pair of cowboy boots can last for more than 15 years. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need your treat.

To keep your cowboy boots durable and strong over time, you’ll need to make sure they’re well-moisturized, clean, in shape and more. And that is the content of today’s post.

We’ll tell you why cowboy boots need to be treated, when, and how.

Key takeaways

  • It requires more time to care for cowboy boots than you think despite how durable they are. It also takes more effort than treating a pair of running shoes or dress shoes.
  • Cowboy boots are made of 100% leather, so they need to have adequate moisture to prevent them from drying out and cracking. They also need to be protected from water, rain, snow, etc. Those things will keep cowboy boots in their top form and last long.
  • Cleaning, polishing, and using cowboy boots properly (ensuring they have a good smell or wearing socks with them) are some little things you can do for your boots. Don’t be lazy, because no matter what other footwear you own, you need to do all of these things.
  • For nubuck, suede and rough-out leather, avoid leaving them wet or polishing them. Instead, clean them regularly with specialized products such as a suede cleaner and suede brush.

A pair of cowboy boots on the floor

Do Cowboy Boots Need To Be Treated? And When?

Although cowboy boots are very durable, they still need your care, even if it takes more time than many other types of footwear.

Cowboy boots are made from 100% leather, and leather is very sturdy over time. The more you use them, the more they mold to your feet and the more comfortable they are.

However, leather also has a few weaknesses compared to fabrics or mesh shoes. For example, they can dry out if not well taken care of.

Many pairs of cowboy boots on the wooden floor

In fact, full-grain leather, the main material behind the success of cowboy boots, retains more of its natural properties (including oils and waxes) after tanning than any other leather does. This explains why leather is very soft, durable, and supple.

However, when leather is exposed to environmental impacts such as sunlight and rain, the natural oils and waxes of full-grain leather will lose over time, leading to drying out in cowboy boots. As a consequence, this can lead to cowboy boots being cracked, discolored, losing their shape, etc.

So among the methods of treating cowboy boots, moisturizing them periodically is one of the most important things to do. This step will ensure your boots last longer, retain their original color and beauty, and keep their shape.

Moisturizing cowboy boots is an essential step to keep in mind when treating cowboy boots. Many people don’t know its importance since they usually use running shoes or sneakers made of fabric, mesh, and plastic.

If you do not know how to moisturize boots, this article is a detailed guide for you! 

If you plan to own cowboy boots made from exotic leather, you need to be even more careful. Each type of exotic leather requires a different period of moisturizing.

For example, ostrich leather will need to be moisturized more often than bovine because they are more prone to drying out. I have a pretty thorough post on this here!

Exotic cowboy boot on the store

Overall, leather conditioners, mink oils, or leather oils are the trusted companion of cowboy boots for a long time. They ensure cowboy boots always retain the proper moisture.

Just apply one of these solutions on a horsehair brush or damp towel, then buff it thoroughly to let it penetrate deeply into the boots, and you’re done!

A man holding mink oil bottle

In addition to moisturizing cowboy boots, you should know to protect them against water attacks.

While cowboy boots are pretty water resistant, that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Over time, water can still sweep away natural ingredients like oils and waxes and lead to the consequences mentioned above.

Therefore, you should know how to protect cowboy boots in the rain or take care of them after they get wet.

In general, to cover them from sudden rains or wet environments (like snow), it is a good idea to spray a waterproof layer on the surface of cowboy boots when going out of the house.

These days, it’s easy to find products like this on e-commerce sites or any boot shops.

In addition, when cowboy boots get wet, you also need to know how to handle them. The most important thing is to dry the boots properly from the inside out.

For example, I usually use a boot dryer to dry my boots, then before I go to bed, I put boot trees inside the boots to ensure they don’t get wet inside.

Mens boot tree from Tecovas

Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

In addition, cleaning cowboy boots is also essential, this ensures that the boots don’t keep water marks on the surface.

What people often forget is that, after cowboy boots get wet, you need to condition (or moisturize) them more often. As discussed above, water will wash away natural oils and waxes, which makes boots quickly degrade.

Conditioning boots will make them retain the required moisture and nourish the boots after the sweep of water.

Clean, dry and condition cowboy boots

Storing cowboy boots is also a crucial step to note. You can just throw your running shoes in the shoe cabinet without much problem, but for cowboy boots, things are very different.

With a high construction, cowboy boots are very easy to fold and break, leading creases to appear all over the surface. These creases are hard to remove completely. Therefore, cowboy boots may lose their shape and their original look! So awful!

To prevent this from happening, you must keep cowboy boots upright, it’s time for the boot stand or the boot rack to come into play.

Moreover, boot shapers are also essential as they provide tension to the boots and ensure they stay upright. Boot trees are also useful items with the same effect but for the foot part of the boots.

FootFitter Sensomatic Boot Shapers

In addition, because of the high structure, cowboy boots getting wet for a long time will easily mold and rot inside. So make sure you store them in a cool and dry place.

Also, avoid direct sunlight or it will cause cowboy boots to dry out and crack as the natural oils or waxes of cowboy boots will dry out.

Some other notes

The above are the main notes, there are a few other little things about treating cowboy boots that you also need to know. No matter if you own cowboy boots or any other type of footwear, you still need to give them a good treat.

It is to clean and keep cowboy boots, and don’t let dirt accumulate for a long time or it will affect both the inside and outside of the boots.

You should use the right products to clean your boots, a leather cleaner or saddle soap along with a horsehair brush would be smart choices! They ensure cowboy boots are clean and not scratched or faded.

Leather care kit from Tecovas

Leather Care Kit | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned
| Click image for more info on Tecovas

Polishing cowboy boots are also a necessity. Like a pair of dress shoes, you’ll always want them to shine and look their best. Buffing a few coats of polish is always necessary for any leather boots, including cowboy boots.

In addition, shoe polish can also make cowboy boots waterproof and dustproof, so this is definitely a necessary and important step to take.

polishing cowboy boots

Deodorizing cowboy boots is also essential because they are easy to store unpleasant scents in their deep structure. Keeping the boots dry inside is also a way to limit bad odors.

Use tea or coffee grounds, boot odor eliminator, activated bamboo charcoal bags, and boot trees are good ways to deodorize cowboy boots! You can see more about this article here!

Wearing socks with cowboy boots is also an excellent way to treat your cowboy boots well. This limits mold, mildew and bad smell from your cowboy boots.

Tecovas Boot socks

Tecovas Boot Socks | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

Use cowboy boots for the right purpose. Don’t use fashionable cowboy boots for jobs at construction sites or you will destroy them soon.

Notes for suede, nubuck or rough-out cowboy boots

If you own cowboy boots made from suede, nubuck, or roughout leather, you can skip steps like moisturizing or polishing them.

Simply because these leather types have changed very much after the tanning process, they are inherently dry, but still very durable and don’t crack easily.

What you should do is clean suede, nubuck or roughout leather boots thoroughly with a suede cleaner and brush cleaner (different from a horsehair brush).

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

This will ensure these leather types keep the hairy surface soft, smooth, and clean. From there they will promote their beauty!

Before you leave

In general, although cowboy boots are very durable, you will need to be very careful about how to treat them.

It will take you more time to care for cowboy boots than to care for a pair of sneakers or running shoes. But trust me, the results are well worth it. The experience of wearing cowboy boots is better than any other footwear can bring you.

Treating a pair of cowboy boots the right way is like saving your investment properly, they will assist you in a lot of different jobs for a very long period. They are sure a great investment for your feet!

So don’t be lazy!