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How Often Should You Oil Your Cowboy Boots?

Many people today prefer to use sneakers made of fabric because they provide a very high level of comfort. But hardcore fans of cowboy boots know one thing: comfort coming from leather is just unique.

Cowboy boots make you feel understood, protected, and peaceful. That is a feeling that no other sports shoe can give you.

However, cowboy boots have an inherent disadvantage of leather. It is prone to drying and cracking. To achieve the desired comfort, what you need to do is moisturize them.

Leather has a high degree of softness and elasticity, but these features will decrease over time. You need to restore it with conditioners, oils, etc.

Besides, oiling your boots properly also ensures they retain their original color longer.

We have written many articles on how to moisturize cowboy boots, you can refer to see how and the best products to do it.

However, many people often wonder how often you should oil them.

Well, the answer is pretty familiar, it depends on the type of leather that makes up cowboy boots and the frequency you use them.

I’ll go into more details just below.

You already knew how to oil cowhide boots, what about exotic ones

Cowboy Boots 1

Maintain Cowboy Boots with Oils: How Often?

One thing is for sure, 100% good cowboy boots are made of leather, not synthetic materials.

However, today, in addition to cowhide being the most common type of leather, you can easily come across cowboy boots made from exotic leather.

Each type of exotic leather has its own characteristics, so the period of time to oil them is also different.

Cowhide cowboy boots

As one of the most durable materials in the world of cowboy boots, you don’t really have to oil cowhide cowboy boots too much.

If you only use them for walking or casual wear, you will likely need to oil them twice a year, every 6 months.

A pair of cowboy boots on the wooden floor

However, if you’re using them more often, like for outdoor work (ranching, farming, construction sites, etc.) then you should probably oil them every 4 months. Or even every 3 months if you do hard work in hot weather.

In rainy or snowy conditions, you should choose specialized oils that can make cowboy boots waterproof. This will ensure that the leather is not soaked in water and gets damaged.

Well, you should do so before every rainy or snowy season. And it’s also not a good idea for both you and your cowboy boots to constantly work in the rain or snow.

ProTip: Mink oil will be a great choice to waterproof your cowboy boots.

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Last update on 2022-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you find yourself encountering rain too often, you should choose a pair of cowboy boots claimed to be waterproof. What about oiling them? It’s just one of the solutions to protect cowboy boots in the rainy season only.

Goat cowboy boots

The Earl Goat Boots from Tecovas | Click image for more info on Tecovas

Goat leather, although not as popular as cowhide or bull hide and not considered an exotic leather for cowboy boots, is still very popular, especially for outdoor work because of its impressive natural properties.

Cowboy boots made from goat leather often feel very cool to the wearer, thanks to the structure with many large pores. In addition, goat cowboy boots also have a charming appearance with unique wrinkles and natural colors.

However, this type of leather is quite prone to stains, so you should choose oils that are able to protect them well. 2 to 3 times of oiling per year would be a good choice.

When I don’t wear them much, I usually oil them every 6 months. But in the first year of use (when I was still addicted and wore them continuously), I had to oil them every 4 months to ensure good moisture.

Exotic cowboy boots

Things are more complicated when exotic leather includes many special leather types.

I will list out a list of the leather types that most often appear in the cowboy boots world. If your cowboy boots are not one of them, let me know in the comments and I will give you a proper answer.

In addition, we had a very complete and detailed article on how to care for exotic cowboy boots, you should read more here!

1. Lizard cowboy boots

The Nolan with lizard leather from Tecovas
The Nolan lizard boots from Tecovas

Lizard cowboy boots are very popular for their beautiful and elegant look. Besides, their sleekness is also the reason that they often appear with a suit.

In addition, lizard boots are also very soft and flexible, you can stay comfortable all day in them.

However, those things only exist when you oil them regularly as lizard leather is very susceptible to drying and cracking. So oil them every 3 months if you wear them quite often and about every 6 months if they are on display shelves frequently.

2. Ostrich cowboy boots

The Wyatt Ostrich Boots from Tecovas

Ostrich leather is extremely soft and durable, so it is one of the most used exotic leathers in the cowboy boot world.

Do you know why? It is because the ostrich leather itself already possesses a lot of natural oils!

However, that cannot hide its disadvantages. It is still very easy to dry, causing it to lose softness quite significantly, and fade quickly.

So, to make sure ostrich boots stay soft and rich in color, oil them about every 2 months if you use them regularly. Especially in hot weather, you may need to oil them once a month.

If you don’t use them often, store them in a cool place, and you may need to oil them every 4 to 6 months.

3. Snakeskin cowboy boots

Men wear snakeskin cowboy boots and jeans stand on the floor

In addition to ostrich or lizard, snakeskin cowboy boots are also very popular with their unique texture and sharp appearance.

In addition, these boots are favored by many since you do not have to spend too much effort to oil them. Just oil them every 3 to 4 months if you use them relatively often. This frequency is less than oiling ostrich boots and lizard ones.

However, if you don’t use them too often, you should also oil them every 6 to 7 months to retain the right moisture which brings an instant feeling of comfort every time you put them on.

4. Caiman cowboy boots

The Cole Caiman Boots from Tecovas

When it comes to great scales, you should immediately think of caiman cowboy boots. These boots usually only appear in luxurious places with a gentleman’s and noble style.

Nowadays, caiman cowboy boots often appear with luxurious suits at the office or at luxurious weddings.

However, despite being quite durable and flexible, caiman boots will still need to be oiled often to retain the beautiful color of the scales.

If you wear them often, you should oil them once every 2 months to make sure they hold up well, stay supple, and keep a sharp color.

If you rarely wear them, you should still oil them every 4 to 5 months.

Note that the gaps between the scales of caiman leather are difficult to oil, so use a soft horsehair brush to ensure every nook and cranny of the caiman boots are evenly oiled.

Caiman boots are often very expensive, so you should carefully research the oil products that are really suitable for them.

5. Stingray cowboy boots

Stingray leather

Stingray cowboy boots also make one of the very interesting boots and are often found among longtime cowboy boots fans. The special thing about this leather is that its surface is like a collection of countless tiny pearls staying close together.

Stingray cowboy boots are very rough, water resistant, and very scratch resistant. In addition, they are also very supple.

To take good care of stingray cowboy boots, you should oil them every 3 months if used regularly. This ensures the black pearls on their surface don’t lose their beautiful color.

If you don’t wear stingray cowboy boots often, you should still oil them every 6 months to have them with better durability and suppleness.

6. Kangaroo cowboy boots

Kangaroo leather is one of the famous leathers that are very durable, and for those who don’t know, their texture is referenced to make bulletproof vests.

Therefore, if you want to find the most powerful cowboy boots in the world, look for kangaroo ones.

However, there is one feature that kangaroo boots can make you unhappy: they are prone to wrinkles. You need to oil and store them properly to prevent that from happening.

You should make sure they are always upright and in good shape, combined with oiling them 2 to 3 times a year if used regularly (i.e. every 4 to 6 months of use).

However, if you rarely use them, just oiling them once or twice a year is enough.

7. Elephant leather cowboy boots

This is very rare leather, and you can only own cowboy boots made from the skins of dead elephants in a natural way. Because this is an animal that needs to be preserved.

Elephant leather is extremely tough and almost scuff-proof. However, it is quite dry, so you should make sure to oil them 3 or 4 times a year and keep them out of direct sunlight.

In addition, elephant leather is also quite sensitive, it will be difficult to find an oil specifically for them. You should use oil for reptile leathers to take care of them.

8. Shark leather cowboy boots

The Prescott Shark Boots from Tecovas

Shark leather is also a very tough leather, scuff proof, and extremely water-resistant. Therefore, shark cowboy boots are often very popular and used for work. In addition, they are also easier to find and more affordable than elephants.

Shark leather is also a rather sensitive material, so reptile leather conditioners will be suitable for them. And you should oil them about twice a year with normal use.

But if you regularly use shark cowboy boots for outdoor work, oiling them 2 or 3 times per year is reasonable care.

These are also my favorite boots, as they have a beautiful natural look with very attractive creases and cracks.

Before you leave

What else did I miss? If you’re using any cowboy boots that aren’t like these, I’ll try to find out and let you know.

Cowboy boots made from leather always have their own unique qualities. But all of them share a common concern that they always need to be oiled properly to retain moisture, color, durability, etc.

Oiling them at the right time and in the right way will ensure your boots stay in top condition for a period of 5 to 10 years.

Do it, for your boots!


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