One of the most common problems with leather boots is that they are extremely prone to drying, which in turn causes cracks, wrinkles, and rapid deterioration.
With 100% leather construction, cowboy boots certainly cannot escape that problem. And that’s why how to keep cowboy boots from drying out is often a hot topic of conversation.
Honestly, you should try to keep them from drying out instead of looking for ways to fix them later.
Anyway, today’s article will be a comprehensive look at this problem, both on how to prevent it and how to fix it.
Let’s check it out!
- Cowboy boots need to be periodically moisturized with leather oils or leather conditioners – you can easily find them on the market. This ensures cowboy boots don’t dry out!
- Each type of leather has its own characteristics. Since cowboy boots are made from many different types of leather (ostrich, lizard, caiman, cowhide, bull hide, etc.) they need to be moisturized after different periods of time.
- Applying oils or leather conditioners is also the best and most effective way to ensure cowboy boots don’t dry out.
- Mink oil, neatsfoot oil, botanical oil, and leather conditioner are great products to keep cowboy boots from drying out. However, leather conditioners should be your top choice.
- Storing cowboy boots in a cool place, away from sunlight also ensures that the boots do not dry out. Don’t forget to keep your cowboy boots from wet!
How To Prevent Cowboy Boots From Drying Out?
The most effective way to keep cowboy boots from drying out or cracking is to make sure they’re well taken care of from the start.
It is crucial to moisturize boots to keep them properly hydrated and stay in the best condition. This also helps them avoid wrinkles, cracks, and damage.
However, you will need to be aware of the timing. Cowhide boots need to be regularly moisturized 2 to 3 times a year, while ostrich boots may need 4 to 5 times.
That said, you’ll need to be mindful of how long it takes to moisturize different types of leather. And luckily, we have a very thorough article on this topic here!
The way to moisturize cowboy boots is very simple. You just need to clean them with a horsehair brush and leather cleaner. Then apply leather conditioner or oil to the surface, wait for it to soak, or you can buff it with the horsehair brush.
Nowadays, it is very easy to find specialized products such as leather conditioners or oils (mink oil, leather oil, neatsfoot oil) at very affordable prices.
You also need to give cowboy boots a layer of protective armor, here is polish.
A layer of polish will ensure cowboy boots retain moisture better and are less affected by ambient temperature. It makes the boots less affected by the hot sun and does not dry out.
Moreover, make sure your cowboy boots are stored in a cool, ventilated place, and keep them away from direct sunlight.
If you have the habit of leaving your cowboy boots out in the yard in the summer, you should know that this action can cause them to dry out and crack soon.
Another problem that you should avoid is don’t let your cowboy boots get dirty for too long.
I have a feeling that every time the mud sticks to my cowboy boots and dries, it also causes cowboy boots to dry out faster.
Every time you dry your wet cowboy boots, remember to use the right temperature. Many people have a habit of using a hair dryer to dry cowboy boots, but if you set the temperature too high, the boots will dry out.
And one important thing, you need to make sure your cowboy boots are not wet because water will wash out all the natural oils and waxes over time. Consequently, it makes the boots dry out faster.
Meanwhile, some people put cowboy boots in the dryer, which is really not a wise choice because the dryer will take all the moisture out of cowboy boots.
Method to fix drying out cowboy boots
The best way to keep cowboy boots from drying out is to spend more time taking care of them. Just like human skin needs to be moisturized by skincare products like lotions, so do cowboy boots.
In case you want to repair the damage caused by drying out cowboy boots, you should use leather conditioner products to restore them.
Most leather conditioner products today work to restore dry and cracked leather boots, helping them get the right moisture. Leather conditioners are more effective than original oils.
What you need to do is make sure your cowboy boots are clean first, this way the leather conditioner can penetrate deeper. Therefore, it can nourish, moisturize, and soften the leather from the inside.
I recommend using specialized products like leather cleaners, not just water. Apply them to the horsehair brush, then scrub the surface of cowboy boots, inside and out.
Once the boots are clean, apply the leather conditioner to the horsehair brush and buff it thoroughly. Make sure the leather conditioner is spread evenly and penetrates deeply into the boots.
Repeat this process and apply leather conditioner if you feel the need!
If your cowboy boots are in a very dry condition, you may need to apply leather conditioner on their inside as well.
After that, don’t rush to use cowboy boots right away, because dry cowboy boots are very easy to crack if heavily abused.
You should wait about 24 hours until cowboy boots get softened thanks to the leather conditioner.
If you still feel dry on the surface of your cowboy boots, you may need to keep applying the leather conditioner until the boots are really softened.
After cowboy boots are soft and properly moisturized, you should cover them with a layer of polish to help them retain moisture longer.
At the same time, as mentioned above, the polish protects cowboy boots from external factors such as the hot sun and keeps them from drying out.
A couple of layers of polish also help cowboy boots look shaper, they make a really good layer to cover the repaired crack on the inside.
You can put a question mark on this in suede, roughout, or nubuck cowboy boots. Why is there no solution for these types of leather in cowboy boots?
Well, these types of leather have gone through heavy processing steps so they don’t really retain much naturalness as full grain leather (which is the most popular and high-class leather in the world of cowboy boots).
People love full-grain leather due to its natural moisture and softness. Leathers like suede, rough out, or nubuck are very dry from the very beginning, but they are still very durable and soft.
During use, as long as you make sure they are clean, they will last very long and still provide a good experience.
You can still find some conditioners made specifically for suede, nubuck, or rough out, but they are not many. If you like, you can use the steps above for them.
However, oils should not be used for suede, nubuck, or rough out, simply because they are not really suitable. Heavy-duty treated leather should be cared for with specialized products such as suede conditioner or suede cleaner.
Before you leave
In short, these four basic steps to caring for cowboy boots are also the best solution to ensure they don’t dry out.
Clean, condition, polish, and store them properly! Those are the key steps to success!
If cowboy boots get dried out, use a leather conditioner to solve that, many products to help restore cowboy boots have become very popular today.
Howdy y’all! I’m Grace, a Western style enthusiast with over 5 years of experience. From cowboy boots to western gear, I’m passionate about all things Western and dedicated to helping you find the perfect style to suit your taste. Join me and my fiancé Jay Gatz as we explore the rich history and timeless appeal of Western fashion together!