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Do I Need To Treat My New Cowboy Boots?

Do I Need To Treat My New Cowboy Boots?

There are quite a few questions surrounding new cowboy boots, especially how to care for them. This is understandable, no one wants new boots to be damaged while you spent a month thinking before deciding to buy this expensive thing.

Well, in fact, you are worrying too much. Your new cowboy boots don’t need any care, especially during the first few months.

So, what do you need to do to treat cowboy boots in the beginning?

Today, we will talk about this matter.

Key takeaways

1. Initial Care:

New cowboy boots generally don’t require immediate treatment, especially in the first 2 to 3 months. Avoid using leather conditioner, polish, or cleaner during the first 30 days to maintain the option of returning them if needed.

2. Initial Cleaning and Break-In:

If cleaning is necessary within the first 30 days, a damp cloth or horsehair brush is recommended. It’s also important to wear the boots to ensure comfort and proper break-in.

3. Post-Return Period Care:

After the typical 30-day return period, it’s advised to use a waterproof spray for protection, especially if the boots are worn in rainy or snowy conditions.

To maintain their shape, use boot racks, shapers, or trees.

4. Long-Term Maintenance:

Extensive care like cleaning, conditioning, or polishing should start only after 2 to 3 months of use. This approach ensures the boots are well adjusted to the wearer’s needs and the conditions they’re exposed to.

Many pair of cowboy boots on the boot stand

Treating New Cowboy Boots: Is It Necessary?

New cowboy boots are usually in good condition, so you don’t need to worry about them too much, especially in the first 2 to 3 months.

For the first 30 days, I didn’t really put anything on the cowboy boots, no leather conditioner, no polish and no cleaner. This is to ensure that if I have something unsatisfied with them, I can easily return them to the bootmaker.

In the first 10 days, I will try to wear them as much as possible to see if they are really comfortable after the break-in process.

For the first 30 days, if I need to clean them, I just use a damp cloth to clean the wet stains or use a horsehair brush to brush them.

Any other process such as using a leather cleaner, leather conditioner, or polish should only be started after 2 to 3 months of use.

3 Pairs of cowboy boots stand on the wood floor

For example, depending on the type of leather, you will oil your boots at different periods of time. The type of leather that needs oiling most often is the ostrich one, every 2 or 3 months depending on the frequency of use.

So don’t rush, if the bootmaker sees something on your boots like darker leather, they will refuse to accept the return.

During the break-in period of new cowboy boots, use your feet and a pair of thick socks to break in them. Don’t use any tips or hacks.

Tecovas boot socks

Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned

In general, for new cowboy boots, you don’t necessarily need to take care of them too much.

If it’s the rainy or snowy season, you shouldn’t wear them outside much (except for boots that are described as waterproof), especially during the return period. As your cowboy boots can be damaged if they get wet.

After about 30 days (the standard number of return days that bootmakers allow), you should use a waterproof spray (or mink oil) to ensure cowboy boots are not damaged by water.

Since waterproof spray/mink oil can darken cowboy boots, I don’t recommend using them during the return period.

A man holding mink oil bottle

In the beginning, the most important thing besides breaking in boots is to try to keep them in shape by using a boot rack, boot shapers, or boot trees, so that they can stand upright, and not be broken or folded.

Many cowboy boots are standing upright

Simply put, keep your cowboy boots in top condition during the return period, just try to break in them.

Heading with the cowboy boot image back ground

However, another note is that you should not break in the leather sole of the boot during the return process (if your boot has a leather sole).

Usually, we will break in leather soles by rubbing them on concrete to have them rough, thereby increasing the grip of the boots. Don’t rush, do it only after you are sure the boots are completely comfortable for you.

That’s all you need to know!


In general, you won’t need any special care for your cowboy boots at first, especially during the first 30 days (the allowed return period).

What you need to do is break in your cowboy boots to make sure they are ready for your feet. Do not rush to break in the leather sole to make sure you can return the boot to the bootmaker if necessary.

During this time, make sure your cowboy boots don’t face the rain. Keep them dry, and stay upright like when you have just received them.

After the return period, you can use some waterproof spray to protect your cowboy boots if it’s raining outside.

Any other work such as cleaning, conditioning, or polishing cowboy boots should only be started after about 2 to 3 months of use.