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How Should Cowboy Boots Be Stored? Important Notes

How Should Cowboy Boots Be Stored? Important Notes

Cowboy boots, with their distinctive craftsmanship, are usually made from premium materials like leather or suede and often stand over 11 inches tall.

These boots are not just footwear; they are works of art, adorned with intricate textures and details on their shafts. Given their exquisite design and material, storing them correctly is vital to preserving their beauty and longevity.

Improper storage can lead to various issues such as the leather cracking, the boots losing their shape, or the vibrant colors fading away. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the best practices for storing these stylish yet delicate boots.

To address this, we’re here to provide you with easy-to-follow, effective guidelines on how to store your cowboy boots.

Ensuring they stay in prime condition is not as complicated as it might seem. Our tips will help you keep your boots looking as splendid as the day you bought them!

Many pairs of cowboy boots are storing on the boot stand

How should Cowboy Boots be Stored?

When it comes to storing cowboy boots, the most crucial factor is finding a dry, well-ventilated space. It’s best to avoid places that are either too hot or too humid. This is really important!

Keeping your cowboy boots in an area with the right humidity level helps prevent the leather or suede from drying out and cracking. It’s all about maintaining the right balance in their environment.

Water is a big enemy of leather and suede. If these materials stay wet for too long, your boots can start to fall apart. They might change color, stretch, get wrinkly, and generally just wear out faster. That’s why it’s so important to keep your cowboy boots dry.

Cowboy boots usually have a shaft about 11 inches tall, so they need a little help to keep their shape. Keeping them straight stops them from bending or folding, which means they’ll look better and last longer. It also makes them easier to put on because they won’t lose their shape.

Cleaning your boots regularly is also key. You should know how to clean, condition, and polish your cowboy boots to keep them looking great. (Don’t worry, we’ve got step-by-step instructions on how to do this below.)

Now that we’ve covered the fundamental principles of storing cowboy boots, let’s dive into more practical tips and important notes.

These will guide you through the specifics of ensuring your boots stay in pristine condition. From the ideal storage methods to crucial maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered with all the essential details you need.

1. Using a Boot Rack (or Boot Stand) for Proper Storage

Brass bee Welly Boot Stand

For those of us with a collection of cowboy boots, a boot rack is an essential storage solution. Not only does it help in organizing your boots, but it also ensures they are kept off the floor.

This is important for preventing moisture buildup which can be harmful to leather. A boot rack also maintains the boots in an upright position, preserving their natural shape and preventing any unwanted creasing or bending.

This method is particularly useful if you own several pairs, as it keeps them easily accessible and neatly displayed.

2. Use Boot Shapers

Boot Ups Boot Shaper - Best Boot Inserts Ever!

While solutions like boot racks and stands are great for storing multiple pairs of cowboy boots, what if you have just one cherished pair? In this case, boot shapers are an excellent and cost-effective option.

They are perfect for maintaining the shape of your cowboy boots without the need for a rack or stand.

Moreover, some boot shapers are crafted from cedar wood, which offers dual benefits. Not only do they help retain the shape of your boots, but they also absorb moisture, which is essential for preserving the quality of the leather or suede.

Additionally, cedar shapers leave a pleasant, natural fragrance inside your boots, keeping them fresh.

So, for those with a single pair of cowboy boots or looking to save space and money, boot shapers, especially cedar ones, are a practical and beneficial choice for proper boot care and storage.

3. Boot Boxes with Ventilation Holes for Premium Care

A woman is storing cowboy boots in the boxes

For your more expensive or cherished cowboy boots, consider storing them in boot boxes equipped with ventilation holes.

These specialized boxes are designed to provide optimal airflow, ensuring that the boots remain fresh and dry.

This is crucial for preventing the buildup of mildew or mold, which can occur in enclosed spaces.

Additionally, storing boots in these boxes protects them from getting folded or scuffed, thereby keeping them in pristine condition.

Boot boxes are an excellent way to keep your boots organized and protected, especially if you have a large collection.

4. Using Boot Bags for Travel

How to care for your tall boots

When traveling, protecting your cowboy boots is vital, as they can easily get scuffed or lose their shape. The common mistake of folding boots and tossing them in the car can lead to permanent damage.

To avoid this, use a boot bag. Boot bags are specifically designed for transporting cowboy boots.

They provide a protective cover that shields the boots from external pressures and prevents them from being squashed or bent out of shape.

Once the boots are securely fitted with shapers, you can then slip them into the boot bags. This not only protects your boots from external damage but also ensures they retain their shape and look as good as new when you reach your destination.

5. Use a Leather Cleaner, Conditioner, and Leather Polish

These are the 3 products that anyone who loves cowboy boots should own.

A leather cleaner is for cleaning cowboy boots and removing stains lying at the root. You can combine the leather cleaner with the horsehair brush for cleaning.

A leather conditioner can hold the color of cowboy boots longer, make them softer, moisturize, and keep the quality of leather intact, etc.

After cleaning the cowboy boots, apply the conditioner to their surface and then store them in the boot rack. That’s exactly what you need to do.

Finally, use leather polish. This item may be necessary or not. You can use it to restore the color of your cowboy boots, helping them resist dirt, water, etc.

Once your cowboy boots are fading, using a leather polish is essential. The shoe polish and horsehair brush or a dry rag are essential items for polishing your cowboy boots.

Leather care kit from Tecovas

Leather Care Kit from Tecovas | Click image for more info on Tecovas | #CommissionEarned

Besides, what I like after conditioning and polishing cowboy boots is that your cowboy boots can resist water invasion.

Yes, many conditioner and polish products on the market today can make your cowboy boots waterproof.

And that’s all you need to bring the best preservation for your cowboy boots.

However, cleaning suede cowboy boots is very different from cleaning leather cowboy boots. If you want to know how, check this aritlce!

6. Use Boot Trees

The methods above are usually to keep the shaft of cowboy boots straight, thus retaining their shape.

Then to keep the shape of the cowboy boot vamp, you will need a boot tree. And this is also the reason why boot trees are very popular.

a pair of boot trees

The feet of cowboy boots can completely lose shape after a long period of use, causing discomfort for the wearer and losing their dazzling appearance.

Boot trees can solve the problem. Just stuff them inside cowboy boots and that’s it.

Tecovas Men's Boot Trees

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

In addition, boot trees can absorb moisture, keep cowboy boots dry and prevent them from stinking.

7. Use Household Items – Paper and Water Bottles

When the boot trees, boot shapers, and boot jacks are not yet available, what can cowboys use to keep their boots straight and dry?

That is using paper (toilet paper, newspaper, absorbent paper) to tuck inside cowboy boots, keeping them in shape and dry (absorbent paper).

Or another way is to put a water bottle inside the cowboy boot, the water bottle will ensure your cowboy boot is always upright and not broken or wrinkled.

These are 2 classic ways to store cowboy boots!

Many cowboy boots are standing upright

8. Keep the Inside of Cowboy Boots always Fragrant and Dry

You definitely don’t want this: when you step into the house, the first smell coming to your nose is the odor of cowboy boots. It’s horrible!

Cowboy boots are very tall (11 inches to 14 inches), so they are susceptible to stinking, and you need to treat them well.

There are a variety of methods to clean the inside of cowboy boots and keep them from being stained from the inside, e.g. cleaning the inside of cowboy boots, using boot trees, air purifying bags, tea bags, or shoe odor spray, etc.

Besides, keeping cowboy boots dry from the inside out also helps prevent them from stinking.

We have a very thorough guide here!


In general, all you need to keep in mind when storing a cowboy boot is:

  • Keep the cowboy boot straight, avoiding creases or scuffs.
  • Store cowboy boots in a well-ventilated, moisture-free place.
  • Put cowboy boots in a place that is not too hot to retain the right moisture for the leather and ensure it won’t dry out.
  • Make cowboy boots clean inside and out.
  • Keep cowboy boots dry and free from mold

All you need to maintain a cowboy boot is just that!

Cowboy boots with careful care can last more than 15 years, especially when they are more expensive than other boots. So you need to find the best ways to store your cowboy boots.

Good luck!