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How Do You Winterize Cowboy Boots? 6 Essential Things

How Do You Winterize Cowboy Boots? 6 Essential Things

When autumn and winter come to replace the hot summer, that’s when you pull your old cowboy boots out of your closet.

Cowboy boots are a must-have accessory when it starts to cool down and you need a more discreet and warmer style then.

However, during the fight with the wet and cold winter, cowboy boots can get hurt if not well prepared. Also, your feet may not be kept warm if the temperature is too low.

How do you winterize cowboy boots? We will guide you!

To winterize cowboy boots, I will show you how to protect your cowboy boots, and at the same time find a way to turn your cowboy boots into a perfect shield that protects your feet from sub-zero temperatures.

1. Waterproofing your Cowboy Boots

Most cowboy boots are made of premium leather (full-grain leather), so they offer good water resistance.

However, leather is leather, they can still be damaged if they are soaked in water for too long. Water resistance is not enough, they need to have the waterproof ability for enhanced protection.

Not many cowboy boots are waterproof at first, so you need to know how to waterproof them.

There are many ways to make your cowboy boots waterproof, including using a conditioner, shoe polish, beeswax, mink oil, leather protector, etc.

What you need to do is apply these products to the surface of cowboy boots. But, make sure your cowboy boots are clean first of all.

The products I mention above can create a protective shield to secure your cowboy boots against the water attack.

Luckily, we have very detailed instructions about how to waterproof cowboy boots here!

This article includes the methods and products you can use to deal with wet weather.

2. Make sure the Sole of your Cowboy Boot has Good Traction for Snow Road

Most traditional cowboy boots have leather soles, and you know what, they are very very slippery, especially in winter and wet weather.

In fact, cowboy boots with leather soles are not a good choice for winter. From my experience, I prefer to use cowboy boots with rubber soles for winter. They have better traction and help you balance well on slippery surfaces.

Another choice for you is that you can increase the traction of your cowboy boots by using protective soles, rubber heel caps, non-slip adhesive pads, etc.

We have many methods to make cowboy boots non-slip here!

But if your cowboy boots are old and the leather soles have holes and nails, you should go to a cobbler and ask him to replace your leather soles with rubber soles. That’s a better solution!

However, before going to the cobbler to resole your cowboy boots, we have some advice for you here!

Besides, another reason why I don’t like using cowboy boots with leather soles in the winter is that they are not durable enough.

As mentioned above, leather will degrade if exposed to water or snow for too long. And the same happens to leather soles, even though they are heavy leather.

So, if you have cowboy boots with leather soles available in your home and don’t intend to buy new cowboy boots with rubber soles. My advice is you should know how to dry your cowboy boots.

And you can scroll down to know how to do that!

3. Reinforce your Cowboy Boots so they can Keep your Feet Warm

In fact, with a sturdy structure and made from leather, cowboy boots can provide warmth in low temperatures, but in sub-zero, your feet can still feel cold.

To winterize cowboy boots, you need to reinforce them for complete protection in sub-zero.

There are many ways to make your feet warm in sub-zero temperatures. You can use thick socks, double-up socks, thermal socks, thermal insoles, boot cuffs, toe warmers, etc.

I can’t list them all here, but don’t worry, I have another gift for you!

So many tips to make your feet warm in cowboy boots have been listed here! Many specific instructions and effective products are listed there.

A woman wears boot cuffs with cowboy boots

4. Know how to Clean Cowboy Boots

One annoying thing in the first days of winter is that there is too much wet mud, and I hate cleaning cowboy boots from mud constantly.

Because when cowboy boots are stuck in wet mud, it’s really difficult to clean the stitching.

Every time my cowboy boots get muddy, I often spend more than one hour cleaning the stitching.

Many people know how to clean muddy cowboy boots. But, not anyone really knows how to clean the stitches of cowboy boots.

  • Cleaning mud on leather cowboy boots

If your cowboy boots are made from leather (not suede), you need to remove mud on your cowboy boots even when it’s wet or dry.

Then use saddle soap combined with a horsehair brush to clean the cowboy boot surface.

Just apply saddle soap into a damp brush and wipe the surface of cowboy boots until they are totally clean.

  • Cleaning mud on suede cowboy boots

If your cowboy boots are made from suede, it’s better if you remove mud when they are dry.

If you try to remove wet mud by using water, it will spread widely and your suede cowboy boots will be even dirtier.

Then use a suede brush and a suede cleaner for the cleaning process.

  • Clean snow, ice, and debris out of the outsole

One of the most annoying things in the winter is that the snow and ice can be easily stuck on your boot outsoles.

Knowing how to clean your cowboy boot outsoles is not easy, you should use a brush with stiff hair to remove ice and snow.

Or you can use Boot Scrubber, this is an effective product to remove ice, snow, grass or anything else stuck on your boot outsoles.

Boot scrubber

  • Cleaning stitches on cowboy boots

I have a very effective way to make the stitches of cowboy boots back to their original color, that is using a color pencil.

Yes, after using soap and a soft brush to make the stitches pretty clean, I often use colored pencils that match with the original color of the stitches to paint them.

My friends, who use cowboy boots with white stitches, have a memorable moment. He spent more than one hour waiting for a shoeshine guy using his white colored pencil to make the stitching back to its original color. And that method is 100% effective.

For colored stitches on cowboy boots, you can use the same way to recolor them! These methods may take time, but worth it.

And that’s all you need to know to clean cowboy boots in the winter!

5. Know How to Dry Cowboy Boots Deeply and Fast

Why should you know methods to dry cowboy boots deeply and fast?

Because in the wet environment, your cowboy boots can likely get wet quickly and heavily!

To winterize cowboy boots, you must know some important methods to dry cowboy boots inside out!

The two most popular methods to dry cowboy boots inside out are using boot trees and boot dryers.

You will no longer worry about cowboy boots getting wet inside with these tools.

For boot trees, all you need to do is put them into your cowboy boots before going to bed! With moisture absorbent, boot trees will help your cowboy boots escape from moisture and dampness – these hidden enemies can destroy them!

Tecovas Men's Boot Trees

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

But, if you have more than one pair of cowboy boots in your house, a boot dryer is an ideal choice to make your cowboy boots dry faster.

What you need to do is also very simple, just put the boot dryer into cowboy boots, switch it on and go to bed.

Boot dryer

In addition to boot trees and boot dryers, you can use household powder, hairdryer, and cedar boot shaper to dry your cowboy boots.

And you know what, all you need to know about drying cowboy boots are summarized here!

Remember this, cowboy boots are dry outside is not enough, the dry interior is also important. This will bring you the 2 most obvious benefits!

  • Cowboy boots will last longer
  • Dry cowboy boots will keep your feet warmer

6. Know How to Store and Care for Cowboy Boots in the Winter

Just like human skin, leather can be dry and cracked in low temperatures.

What you need to winterize cowboy boots is to condition and moisturize them.

How to make cowboy boots soft, have good moisture and stay in the best condition in the winter?

Once cowboy boots are too dry, they can be cracked, saggy, slouchy, and lose their original shape. And no one wants their expensive boots to be like that!

One of the most important products that any cowboy boot lover must have is a conditioner!

These products will moisturize leather cowboy boots, make them soft, have good elasticity and prevent drying, cracking or sagging.

Besides, conditioners can make cowboy boots keep their original color longer, and increase their life.

In addition to conditioner, you can use shoe polish, mink oil, beeswax to condition leather. But we prefer using conditioners for the best effect.

To use the conditioner for cowboy boots, you just go through 3 steps: clean, apply conditioner to cowboy boots and wait for it to penetrate deeply.

One small tip that you can use to speed up the process is to use a hairdryer, the conditioner will penetrate faster.

Storing cowboy boots is also important

Storing cowboy boots is always a headache problem, especially in the winter.

Cowboy boots with a height of more than 11 inches are just not like other shoes or boots, they need special storing methods!

So, whether you want to winterize cowboy boots or not, it is essential to prepare for them a boot stand, boot rack, boot shaper or boot box.

These products will keep cowboy boots always in straight shape.

Also, one basic thing you should notice is storing them in a dry, cool, and breathable place. They need to breathe.

Keep them in the right condition, stay dry, and they will last for more than 10 years no matter how low the temperature is!

I can assure you!

Cowboy boots are storing in a cool, clean and dry place


In general, to winterize cowboy boots, there are 3 things to keep in mind:

  • Before going out: make sure they are totally waterproof and snow-proof
  • When going out: make sure they have good traction in the outsole, hold up well and keep you warm
  • After going out: make sure they are clean, dry, moisturize and stored the right way

Remember the methods mentioned above, your cowboy boots will last forever.