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Do You Need To Condition New Cowboy Boots?

Do You Need To Condition New Cowboy Boots?

It is a fact that when buying any item with an expensive price, you always have high expectations with a certain amount of anxiety.

Well, cowboy boots are among them, their prices have never been cheap. Therefore, people often pay much attention to taking care of them in the first place.

Most of those worries, however, are somewhat exaggerated.

Except for the size or the scratches or some other objective factors that you can complain to the bootmakers as soon as you find out, the majority of cowboy boots you receive at the beginning are all in good condition and do not require much care from you.

Recently, I received a number of questions, including whether new cowboy boots should be conditioned or not?

Well, that worry is well-founded, I’ll tell you in more detail below!

Do Cowboy Boots Need To Be Conditioned At The Beginning?

Most cowboy boots are shipped to you and pass the “censorship” by your eyes and your senses, they are in good condition.

Therefore, conditioning new cowboy boots is not necessary. While this conditioning thing doesn’t really do any harm to cowboy boots, they do have some weaknesses.

round toe box of new cowboy boots on concrete

The essence of a leather conditioner is to restore the original color of the boots, give them a newer look, adequate softness, and prevent drying and cracking. Well, it sounds like none of the effects are necessary for new cowboy boots!

Most new cowboy boots usually have the original color of the leather. So, there is no need to use conditioner, it just makes your cowboy boots darker, affecting the original hue.

Don’t put anything on new cowboy boots at first. This is also for your own good. Suppose you are not satisfied with them, you can return them to the bootmaker. If you condition them and darken them, the bootmaker may consider not accepting returns.

New cowboy boots are often stiff, you might think they’re dry from being on display shelves for a long time, but that’s not the case. Most new boots are stiff because that’s the nature of leather.

After long-term use, exposure to sweat, environmental moisture and other external factors, they are more relaxing and softer.

In the meantime, what you need to do is wear them often to break in them without the need for a conditioner. Although conditioner can also be used to speed up the break-in process, you should only use it when cowboy boots are way too stiff.

The conditioning frequency of cowboy boots will vary depending on different types of leather (especially exotic leather).

For example, cowhide cowboy boots will need conditioning every 6 months, and ostrich ones are required to be conditioned every 2 months. Depending on your usage density, the number may be different.

glossy toe box of new cowboy boots

Bootmakers also recommend that you condition your cowboy boots after a while of using them. No company advises you to condition them as soon as you receive the new boots.

Conditioner is essentially to restore the original elements of the leather boots. If there is nothing involved in the restoring process, conditioning becomes unnecessary.


The final answer is that you should not condition new cowboy boots. Conditioning can darken their original color and make it difficult for you to swap out new boots with a bootmaker (which usually happens often in the cowboy boot world).

In addition, new cowboy boots are often stiff because of the leather nature, especially when they are new, not because they are dry. What you need to do is break in them by wearing more, and only use conditioner when they are too stiff.

My advice is to wear them, the new and original cowboy boots, for at least 30 days before applying something to their surface. 30 days is usually the return period of most bootmakers.

During those 30 days, if they do not satisfy you both visually and emotionally, you can return them.

Good luck!