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How Do I Keep My Cowboy Boots From Cracking? | Detailed Instructions

Leather and suede, if not carefully cared for, can easily crack and break.

Unfortunately, these are the main materials that make up cowboy boots. If not made of leather, then cowboy boots are not cowboy boots.

So to keep cowboy boots from cracking, you need to know to protect your boots the right way! That’s why we are here, to guide you!

We think this is a very interesting and essential topic that everyone should know about. Because you can apply these methods to other leather items in your family (bags, sofa, etc.)  aside from cowboy boots.

Let’s Get It Started!

Cowboy Boots 1 video

How do I keep my cowboy boots from cracking?

To keep cowboy boots from cracking, you need to keep cowboy boots with adequate humidity but always dry, keep them in shape at all times, keep cowboy boots clean, etc.

Those are the basic ways to prevent cowboy boots from cracking, but how to do it?

Here are the methods!

Keep cowboy boots clean

The first step is to keep cowboy boots clean, so they will stay in good quality state over the long term.

Cowboy boots that have been in a dirty or moldy condition for too long can cause them to crack.

To clean leather cowboy boots, you need a horsehair brush  with a leather cleaner , some warm water and a dry rag.

  1. Spray a thin layer of warm water on the leather surface, use a horsehair brush to pre-clean the cowboy boots (rub directly on the surface)
  2. Apply the leather cleaner on horsehair brush or surface leather cowboy boots
  3. Scrub the cowboy boot surface thoroughly with a horsehair brush, pay close attention to seams and welt areas.
  4. Use a dry rag to wipe residue and excess of leather cleaner. It’s done!

Cleaning suede cowboy boots requires a suede brush, eraser , little warm water and suede cleaner .

  1. First, use the suede brush to clean suede cowboy boots (you can coat a thin layer of warm water). Scrub the suede surface of suede for precleaning.
  2. Use an eraser to continue cleaning cowboy boots. The eraser works to remove colored stains (stains from mud, soil) on suede boots.
  3. Apply suede cleaner to the surface of suede cowboy boots, then continue to use suede brush and eraser to scrub that surface, pay attention to scrub thoroughly at stitching and welt.
  4. Rub until you’ve seen suede cowboy boots are completely clean. And that’s it!

Condition cowboy boots

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I think this is the most important step to prevent cowboy boots from cracking, the conditioning step is to keep your boots moisturized.

If cowboy boots are too dry (especially the lizard boots), they will quickly deteriorate and in the worst case, get cracked.

You should condition cowboy boots periodically. If you use cowboy boots regularly, condition them every 2 to 3 months.

But if you don’t use them regularly, you still need to condition them at least every 6 months so that they can retain good moisture.

For lizard cowboy boots, the interval time may be shorter.

There are many conditioners on the market for leather and suede, you can check them here!

Do you know how to properly condition cowboy boots? Here is the process!

  1. Clean cowboy boots (as described above)
  2. Spray the leather conditioner directly onto the surface of the cowboy boots or on a brush (horsehair brush or suede brush).
  3. Use a brush to scrub the surface of the cowboy boots evenly, this ensures the conditioner penetrates evenly and deeply into the cowboy boots. Done!

Conditioners will restore the moisture and color of cowboy boots, keep them last longer, newer and ensure no cracks!

Keep cowboy boots in shape

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Keeping cowboy boots in shape is the next factor to prevent cracking.

Don’t let your boots fold and break, keep them straight, that’s the point!

There are many ways to hold cowboy boots in shape to avoid cracking, which includes using a boot stand, boot rack, boot trees, boot shaper …

These methods will retain cowboy boots in top shape at all times: straight and solid form.

We have an article that thoroughly explains how to keep in shape cowboy boots here!

Keep cowboy boots dry

You must keep “suitable” moisture for cowboy boots, not keep them wet.

Because water is a dangerous enemy with leather and suede, so if cowboy boots are always in a wet state, they will quickly deteriorate, thereby cracking and breaking.

Make sure to store your cowboy boots in a dry, well-ventilated place, so they will retain the correct moisture level, not getting wet or attacked by water.

I usually use boot trees  or boot shapers  with good moisture absorption.

And as a cowboy boot fanatic, I also have a boot dryer to dry multiple pairs of cowboy boots at the same time during winter or the rainy season.

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Check out the methods of drying cowboy boots here!

Polish cowboy boots

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Polishing cowboy boots may not be as effective as condition them, but buffing cowboy boots can help cover small cracking marks.

Due to the ruthlessness of time, cowboy boots appear with many tiny cracks, which affects their longevity and durability.

Use polish to conceal those flaws and seal cracking marks.

All you need to do is prepare the horsehair brush and polish. And make sure the cowboy boots are clean and have been conditioned.

Apply polish to the brush and then polish the surface of cowboy boots with a circular motion hand.

Buff the surface of the cowboy boots so that the polish can spread evenly and penetrate better.

Covered with 2 to 3 layers of polish, your cowboy boots will hide the cracking marks and come back to life.

Some polishes have a similar effect to the conditioner: retain moisture and increase the lifespan of cowboy boots.

In addition, the polish protects the cowboy boots from water, dirt and time attack!

But remember, you can only polish cowboy boots made of leather, not suede boots.

Waterproofing cowboy boots

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Keep cowboy boots dry, but what if it suddenly rains while you are wearing them?

To help cowboy boots from getting wet (which is the main cause of cracking), you should know some methods of waterproofing cowboy boots.

To do that, you can use a polish, conditioner, mink oil, waterproof liquid, leather protector…

You can see more here!

Break in new cowboy boots

Many people, after receiving the cowboy boots, rush to use them for heavy jobs and skip the break in process. This is not a good habit, as cowboy boots don’t have enough time to adjust themselves to fit your feet, this could result in cracking immediately.

Note that when new cowboy boots won’t have the best softness, stretch, and fit, so you need to wear them for 2 to 3 weeks.

After that wear-in period, cowboy boots can completely fit your feet with enough softness and elasticity, they will be more durable, stronger and not crack even if hard use.

2 to 3 weeks are too long? We have prepared for you some methods to help break in cowboy boots in just 1 week here!

Use cowboy boots for the right purposes

There are many cowboy boots that are preferred for fashion rather than function.

For example, cowboy boots with high heels over 2 inches are difficult to follow you to the farm, they may break the heel and crack easily.

When you work in the ranch or farm, low-heeled cowboy boots are ideal choices (about 1 inch to 1.5 inches).

High-heeled cowboy boots tend to be designed for function rather than fashion.

You can find western work boots, roper, stockman boots, etc. These cowboy boots have high durability due to solid structure, they will be difficult to crack when used for heavy-duty jobs.

In short, choose the right cowboy boots for the right job!

Limit the use of household items to take care of cowboy boots

There are many methods of using household items to care for cowboy boots such as coconut oil, vaseline, etc.

But we don’t really appreciate these methods in reality.

Use specialized products to care for leather, that will keep the cowboy boots last longer, keep the original color and of course, avoid cracking.

Before you leave

As such, to protect cowboy boots from cracking, remember these 7 things:

  1. Keeping cowboy boots clean
  2. Keep them moist with a conditioner or polish
  3. Store cowboy boots in a cool and dry place, keeping them upright at all times
  4. Waterproofing cowboy boots to protect them during rainy and winter seasons
  5. Break in new cowboy boots before heavy use
  6. Use the right cowboy boots for the right job
  7. Use specialized products to take care of cowboy boots, avoid using household items

And don’t forget to thank me, good luck!


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