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How to Condition Cowboy Boots? 3 Easiest Steps

How to Condition Cowboy Boots? 3 Easiest Steps

Cowboy boots are one of the most durable and powerful fashion items in the world.

From my experience, a well-preserved cowboy boot can last more than 10 years.

However, cowboy boots are only durable when they are used and cared for properly.

In addition to cleaning and polishing cowboy boots, there is one important step that people often forget: condition

What are the effects of cowboy boot conditioners? How to condition your cowboy boots properly?

Today, we’ll answer your questions and give you a complete guide to conditioning cowboy boots!

Leather conditioner

Why do we need to Condition Cowboy Boots?

Conditioner is one of the most popular and essential products for caring cowboy boots (both leather and suede). It is a must-have item to preserve your beloved cowboy boots.

Most cowboy boots are made from leather, while some are made from suede. Both suede and leather are very smooth, and flexible, and cradle your feet very well.

However, even if it is leather or suede, once not cared for properly, it can be dry, hard and cracked.

Besides, leather and suede are susceptible to the attack of water and dirt, so you should take care of your boots carefully.

Cleaning and polishing cowboy boots are just two methods to get an instant fit. In the long run, you will need to condition the boots so they can stay healthy.

Man and women wear cowboy boots

To condition your boots, of course, you’ll need a conditioner. It brings many benefits such as:

  • Form a protective layer on the surface of cowboy boots to make them resist water and dirt
  • Make cowboy boots softer, more comfortable, and cradles your feet better
  • Keep cowboy boots durable, retain their original colors, and hold their new and bright look
  • Make the leather of new cowboy boots softer quickly, speeding up the break-in process
  • Keep the quality of the cowboy boot intact, and help leather or suede avoid cracking and drying.

Do you want to condition your cowboy boots right now?

It’s time to know how to condition cowboy boots properly. Let’s go!

The methods of conditioning cowboy boots are not complicated at all. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Each type of cowboy boot will need a different period to re-condition. Ex: I often condition ostrich boots every 2 months, while it is 4 to 6 months for cowhide ones. You can read more about this here!
  • Make sure the cowboy boots are clean and dry before you start to condition them.
  • Use specialized products to clean and condition cowboy boots. Don’t grab anything you can find in your house to apply on your boots, this is not good for leather (or suede) in the long run.
  • Leather or suede cowboy boots will have different condition methods, you should pay attention to this thing.

1. Condition LEATHER Cowboy Boots

Nowadays, manufacturers launch many conditioners to serve the needs of customers. It’s not only to make the boots soft and durable but also to keep them waterproof or restore their original color.

Leather care kit from Tecovas

Leather Care Kit from Tecovas | #CommissionEarned | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company

Make sure you know what your boots need. For example, I often use conditioners made from beeswax or mink oil on rainy or snowy days as they can make my boots resistant to water well.

Let’s see how to condition leather cowboy boots!

Step 1: Prepare a rag and a bottle of conditioner

Use a dry rag or a dry, soft cloth to apply the conditioner over the surface of the cowboy boots.

For leather conditioners, there are many conditioners on the market for you to choose from.

Let’s choose the conditioner highly rated by many people to ensure its quality. Also, you should pay attention if it is suitable for your boot type.

Step 2: Start condition leather cowboy boots

Now, there are two ways to apply the conditioner. You can either apply it directly to the boot surface or you can apply it to a rag and wipe this rag over the surface of the cowboy boots.

After applying the conditioner, buff and spread it evenly over the surface of the cowboy boots. Wipe clean to make sure there are no residuals left on the boot surface.

You can apply two coats of conditioner to get the best result. When you’re done coating, use a cloth to wipe off the excess.

Step 3: Wait for the result

Now you can wait for the conditioner to penetrate the leather until it’s dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process, but don’t set the dryer temperature too high.

After conditioning the cowboy boots, you can polish the cowboy boots with specialized products. Note: a cowboy boot polish is different from a conditioner.

2. Condition Suede Cowboy Boots

Women wear suede boots with differnet outfit

Suede cowboy boots have many superior properties to leather. Suede is softer, cooler than leather so your feet can feel breathable and flexible when wearing it.

However, suede also has many shortcomings. Unlike leather, suede is easily dirty and affected by water.

Besides, if exposed to rainwater and wet for a long time, the suede cowboy boots will lose their shape and decrease their quality.

So, conditioning suede boots is extremely necessary. What you need is a dedicated conditioner for suede cowboy boots to solve this problem.

Suede care kit from Tecovas

Suede Cleaner Kit from Tecovas | #CommissionEarned | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company

A conditioner can create a protective film to make suede waterproof and dustproof. Since then, suede cowboy boots are always soft, durable and keep the quality intact.

Try to clean the suede cowboy boots and dry them as quickly as possible, don’t let them get damp for too long.

And, use a suede brush with soft bristles to gently lift and restore the nap. Always brush in the direction of the nap to maintain its texture and appearance.

Step 1: Prepare a dedicated suede cleaning brush and ensure that the suede boots are clean and dry

Like above, before conditioning cowboy boots, make sure that they are clean and dry.

If the boots are still damp and their shape is deformed, you can use boot trees. Boot trees help keep the shape of cowboy boots and make your boots stay dry.

Mens boot tree from Tecovas

Tecovas Boot Tree | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned

Step 2: Start running condition cowboy boots

Apply the suede conditioner directly to the surface of the suede cowboy boot and spray it evenly over the surface.

Then use a dedicated suede brush to scrub the suede surface. This will help the conditioner spread out and penetrate your suede boots.

Repeat 2 steps: spray and rub until the conditioner has absorbed and spread evenly over the surface of the boots.

Note: don’t use a hair dryer to dry suede cowboy boots, the high temperature of the hair dryer can damage the suede.

How Often Should you Condition Cowboy Boots?

You should condition cowboy boots once a month.

However, it also depends on how you abuse the cowboy boots (how many times you use your cowboy boots and the intensity of the work that the boots have to endure) to determine how often you need to condition them in a month.

But if you use cowboy boots about 3 to 5 times a week, conditioning them once a month is reasonable.

If it is rainy or snowy, you should condition your cowboy boots before going outside. Choose a conditioner that can make cowboy boots waterproof during these seasons.

Conditioning cowboy boots properly and frequently will help the boots prolong their life, and maintain their durability and comfort.

What household items can I use to condition cowboy boots?

Cleaning or polishing cowboy boots can be effective immediately. However, conditioning cowboy boots is the way to take care of cowboy boots in the long term.

In case you’re in a hurry, you can use baking soda, lemon juice or vinegar to clean cowboy boots. Or you can use vaseline to polish cowboy boots.

baking soda, vinegar, lemon on a table

But if you don’t have specialized products to condition cowboy boots, go buy one. We don’t recommend using any household items to condition cowboy boots (only use them when you really are in a hurry).

Actually, using any unspecialized products might affect your cowboy boots. These products are not exclusively used for caring cowboy boots so they might destroy your boots or discolor them in the long run.

Meanwhile, conditioner is a dedicated product to care for cowboy boots. Notably, it is quite affordable and you can buy one for your boots.

Remember to use specialized products for cowboy boots instead of household items. When you realize that your cowboy boots still look new and high-quality year after year, you’ll know that it all deserves your effort!

What is the best leather conditioner for cowboy boots?

There are many quality leather conditioner products on the market.

You can find the best conditioner at brands such as Leather Honey, Bickmore, Chemical Guys, Obenauf’s, Sofsole, etc.

These popular brands are famous for leather (or suede) care products.

There are many different types of conditioners (liquid, oil, wax…), but you should read the user reviews carefully. These reviews will help you a lot in choosing the best conditioner.

Wanna know how to choose the conditioner for your cowboy boots? We covered it all in this article!


condition black leather cowboy boots with wax and horsehair brush

Are you pleased with the information and solutions provided above? If you have any questions, feel free to comment, we’re all ears to hear you.

If you condition cowboy boots properly, you can help them retain their original color for a long time, increase their longevity, and make them always new and comfortable to wear.

Good luck!