How to Polish Cowboy Boots with Stitching – 4 Steps To Achieve Mirror Shine

You get a new cowboy boot and just want to keep them shining forever.

You get an old cowboy boot and just remember how it used to shine.

Some people enjoy the shine of their cowboy boots. Others, however, like distressed cowboy boots and never polish their boots once in their life.

This is a false notion since polish your cowboy boots is a very important job to preserve your cowboy boots for a long time. Today, let’s join us and explore how to polish cowboy boots with stitching!

Why should we polish cowboy boots with stitching?

Because this is a crucial step to remain brand new cowboy boots, restore moisture on the leather, keep them from dirt and extend your boots life. It is also the best way to bring your old cowboy boots back to life again. Besides, many cowboys/cowgirls love polishing their beloved boots and take very good care of them. This is such a good habit! Your boots would thank you to that, they deserve the shine anyway.

For cowboy boots with stitching, pay attention to clean the stitching of boots because it easily gets dirty there. Or you can take care of them after polishing your boot. See more below.

polish cowboy boots with stitching

How to polish cowboy boots?

This steps apply for leather cowboy boots.


Here the polishing set:

  • Boot polish that is suitable for your own cowboy boots such as Kiwi Shoe Polish or Saphir…
  • A cloth (maybe an old sock, old jeans, old T-shirt in rags…)
  • Horsehair brush for cleaning and for shining boots
  • A buffing cloth or chamois
KIWI Shoe Shine Kit, Black - Gives Shoes Long-Lasting Shine and Protection (2 Tins, 1 Brush, 1 Dauber and 1 Cloth), 2.5 Ounce, 2 Pack
  • The KIWI Shoe Shine Kit provides all the tools you need to give your shoes long-lasting shine and protection
  • Includes KIWI Shoe Polish – the world’s No. 1 Selling Classic Shoe Polish for leather shoes
  • Shoe polish contains Carnauba wax to help provide shoes with shine, nourishment and protection
  • Kit contains: 2 Tins of Black Shoe Polish (1.125 oz each), 1 Shine Brush, 1 Dauber and 1 Shine Cloth
  • Fix up the oldest pair on the shoe rack to look like new


Depending on the condition of your boots:

  • Use a damp cloth or a brush to chase away all the dirt
  • Or use soap and brush to clean any dust from your boots, your soles and welt. Then clean your boots with a rag.

Note: If your boots are wet, put a paper inside them, wait until they’re dry and clean them. Make sure your boots are dry before polishing.


Step 1. Apply polish on your boots

Wrap a cloth around two fingers (index and middle finger), take a dab of cream or wax polish. If using cream, just take a small amount and then spread it out (don’t take too much or it’ll waste your cream).

Rub over your boots in a circular motion. The more careful you are, the more it soaks into your boot.

Note: Many people may see your boots clouding/fogging in this step. Don’t worry, you will get the luster results at the end of the process.

For some products, it will make your boot rich in color, not darken it, so don’t worry!

Here are some tricks for high shine:

For Kiwi:

  • Heat up Kiwi for 30s and leave it dry some minutes before using it.
KIWI Black Parade Gloss Shoe Polish and Shine | Leather Shoe Care for Dress Shoes and Boots | Carnuba Wax | 2.5 Oz
  • Tin
  • Made in the USA and Imported
  • Quality tested and ensured for maximum durability
  • Designed with only the toughest, roughest users in mind
  • Comfort and Performance come hand in hand with Rothco

For Saphir:

  • You can combine the Saphir Medaille d’Or Pate De Luxe as a finishing touch for the Saphir Mirror Gloss. After applying Mirror Gloss 3-5 layers, add Pate De Luxe on top of these wax polish to melt and glass the hard wax. You’ll get your boots to shine like glass.
Saphir Medaille d’Or Mirror Gloss - Natural Wax Polish for Leather Shoes & Boots
  • MIRROR GLOSS POLISH: Saphir Medaille d’Or Mirror Gloss Wax Polish contains a high concentration of hard waxes providing an effortlessly shiny mirror finish and restored luster.
  • ALL NATURAL: This polish is perfectly balanced with natural turpentine solvent. Some waxes fin the formula are Montan wax, Carnauba wax, & Beeswax. There are a variety of colors and shades such as brown, black, and neutral made without harmful resin & silicones.
  • EASY-TO-USE: Apply thin layers of wax polish using a high-shine chamois cloth to your leather shoe. After drying, add a drop of water and buff the surface in circular motions to achieve quick, superior results.
  • HIGH QUALITY: This product provides a mirror gloss shine to any color of leather boot, sneaker or bag. Imported from France, Saphir’s premium polish keeps leather shoes & accessories in their best condition.
  • SAPHIR MEDAILLE D’OR: Saphir was awarded the Medaille d’Or (gold medal) in Paris in 1925 for its unmatched quality of leather care products. Their products are crafted with natural and efficient materials.

Step 2. Brush your boots

Use horsehair shine brush to brush your cowboy boots quickly and repeatedly with short strokes around your boots. The bristle must be horsehair, no doubt.

Brush your boots until your hand gets tired. This helps the polish penetrate deeply and evenly into your cowboy boots. The more round you do, the shinier your boots are.

Note: the brush for polishing your cowboy boots should be different from the cleaning brush.

TAKAVU 6.7" Horsehair Shoe Shine Brush - 100% Soft Genuine Horse Hair Bristles - Unique Concave Design Wood Handle - Comfortable Grip, Anti Slip - for Boots, Shoes & Other Leather Care (#1)
  • DESIGNED FOR THE SHOE CARE PROFESSIONAL: Horsehair brushes are the best because they are sturdy but soft enough to not scratch the leather. They also help raise the fibers of the leather to create a great surface for shining.
  • HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL: TAKAVU Shoes Brushes are made of 100% Soft Genuine Horse Hair and beech wooden. Size: 6.7 * 2 inches / 17 * 5 CM; Horse Hair Length: 1.18 inches / 3 CM
  • COMFORTABLE TO USE: Concave design make the brush easier to hold & move, handles keep your hand in a natural position to prevent fatigue, quickly clean and polish leather
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL APPLICATION: Using for your shoes / leather sofa / bed sheets / gloves / coats / clothes / bags / upholstery and more.
  • 100% RISK FREE PURCHASE: Providing you with the friendliest customer service is our number one goal. This is why we offer you a money back guarantee in case our New Horsehair Shoe Brush does not live up to your expectations.

Step 3. Wipe your boots

Using a clean cloth to wipe excess polish your boots. Rub until you see luster on your boots.

Step 4. Buff your boots

Buff the leather to add more shine! This step finishes your polishing process.

Use your buffing cloth in back-and-forth movements until you achieve a gloss as you wish.

Bickmore Cotton Flannel Shoe Shine Cloth - Leather and Shoe Polishing Cloth
  • CLEANS, POLISHES, AND SHINES BOOTS AND SHOES: The Bickmore Shine Cloth is an important tool to keep all of your leather footwear looking its very best!
  • REMOVES DIRT AND RESIDUE: The cotton flannel material of the Bickmore Shine Cloth effectively sweeps away any dirt or residue that has gathered on your boots and shoes.
  • APPLIES SHOE CREAMS AND POLISHES: After cleaning your footwear, use the Shine Cloth to apply any shoe creams and polishes to achieve an unmatched level of shine.
  • ROUGH AND SOFT SIDES: The Bickmore Shine Cloth has one rough side to effortlessly take care of any dirt and residue, and one soft side for the application of shoe creams and polishes. This versatile cloth will quickly become a favorite in your shoe care arsenal!

This is a very interesting video about the battle of Bickmore Creme Polish vs Kiwi Shoe Polish:

For cowboy boots with stitching, besides cleaning carefully, here are some ways for the stitching:

Before we start, you should note that we only apply these pens after you cleaned and polished your cowboy boots with stitching.

  • Cowboy boots with white stitching: using a bleach pen

This pen contains a nozzle and a brush on each end. For the stitching, use the small nozzle on the thread and use the bleach to remove the dirt. Noticeably, you don’t need to use water, just take the pen and apply on the stitch of your cowboy boots.

  • Cowboy boots with colored stitching: using a wax pencil

To regain your colored stitching, take your time to color the thread. Be careful and not to draw on the leather of the boots.

After that, let it dry for a while and see the results.

Read more: How To Care For Ariat Workhog Boots

Can I polish suede boots?

No, unless you want to destroy your suede boots. The suede fibers can’t stand for the wax polish. If you apply polish on suede, say goodbye to your suede boots and the nap of the suede. You can’t undo, so never think of doing it. With suede, there is special care for it.

With suede boots, you need to take care of them carefully, remember to choose the specialized brush to clean them. Ideally, you can purchase the dye to recolor your suede boots!

For the best protection of your suede boots, you need to clean and condition them in a proper way. You can find out more here.

Can you polish cowboy boots?

Definitely YES! You can totally polish cowboy boots by yourself. Just follow our steps above, get your own strategies to polish for your own cowboy boots.

How do you get boots to shine like glass?

Besides applying the steps above carefully, you should know the tricks and learn from other professional polishers online and offline. As we have shown above, you should know which is the best polish for your boots, how to use it properly and remember to apply any proper tips that you may know. Yes, it is best to know the best way to polish your specific boots.

What can I use if I don’t have shoe polish?

Banana peel

Use the inside of the peel to rub over the boots and use wipe with a cloth.


Drop some milk on a cloth and rub the surface of boots until you see luster.

Lemonade or Vinegar

Use them to clean your boots before polishing. Take some drops on a cloth and clean your boots carefully. Then apply the polish, it will bring more shine.

Wax paper

After cleaning your boots, use wax paper to rub over the surface of your boots. Then wipe excess oil with a warm damp cloth to clean. This way you can have shiny and dirt-free boots!

Vaseline (petroleum jelly)

Apply a generous amount and rub it on your boots. You can use a hair dryer to make it sink deeply. It can protect your boots from dust and give the shine.

Olive oil

Spray a little on your cowboy boots. Let it dry and use a soft cloth to buff your boots.

HOWEVER, we don’t recommend applying these methods frequently. They should be the last resort once you’re in a hurry and don’t get any polish product in hand (or don’t get much time to shine your boots). To be safe, you can try one of these methods in a small area to test its effects before applying for all your boots. Again, choose suitable and reliable polish for your beloved cowboy boots!

Read more: How to Stretch Cowboy Boots at Home

Some notes when polish your cowboy boots

  • Cleaning is very important before polishing. Make sure you clean your boots thoroughly, even the hindrance quarters, take care of the heel, sole, welt,… as well (pay attention to them when polishing, too)
  • Choose the polish that matches the color of your cowboy boots (you can choose neutral or uncolored polish instead but it depends on the effect of them on your boots)
  • You can add more layers of polish for high shine, it depends on the use of the products. The later layers should be thinner than the previous one.
  • The clean brush and polish brush should be different (horsehair bristles, no doubt)
  • Use different cloth for cleaning and polishing/buffing
  • Learn the tricks of cleaning and polishing for each type of polish and for each type of boots
  • Get your own polish strategy for your own boots

For your polish references

We have selected the best products for you above. For your references, here are some other common products that are highly recommended by many customers.


Foloda 6.7″ Horsehair Shoe Shine Brushes

6.7" Horsehair Shoe Shine Brushes with Horse Hair Bristle for Boots Shoes 2 Pack
  • Horse Hair Length: 1.18 inches/3 CM Size: 6.69*2.04 inches/17*5.2 CM;
  • Material: Premium Solid Wooden Handle+ 100% Genuine Horsehair.
  • Comforatble to Use: Unique concave design of beech wood handle is Anti-Slip, Sturdy, Comfortable When Grip and Efficient in Polishing.
  • Multi-Functional Application: Using for your shoes/leather sofa/bed sheets/ gloves/coats/clothes/bags/ and more.
  • 12-Month Free Customer Service.Please feel free to contact us if you have any question.

MAXIMILIAN 8″ Shoe Shine Brush

MAXIMILIAN 8" Shoe Shine Brush, 100% Soft Horsehair & Beech Wood Shoe Polish Large Shoe Cleaning - for Shoes, Boots & Other Leather Care
  • 100% GENUINE HORSEHAIR - Soft horsehair won't scratch the leather but sturdy enough to finish a perfect cleaning
  • COMFORTABLE GRIP OF NATURAL WOOD - Smooth handmade beech handle with concave design make the brush easier to hold & move, keep your hand in a natural position to prevent fatigue
  • CLEANING & POLISHING - Quickly clean the dust and other dirt, or you can apply wax, oil, polish on brush before use to raise the fibers of the leather to create a great surface for shining
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL APPLICATION - Using for your shoes/leather sofa/ gloves/coats/clothes/purse/suede/upholstery/bags/ and more leather goods
  • 100% RISK FREE PURCHASE: Your satisfaction is the ultimate goal of this deal. Get your money back in case our Horsehair Shoe Brush does not live up to your expectations

Youngjoy 3 Pieces Horsehair Shoe Polishing Dauber Kit

3 Pieces Horsehair Shoe Polishing Dauber Kit Shine Brush Shoe Care Applicators, Brown, 6.7 x 4.7 x 1.96 inches
  • 4 Pcs Horsehair shoe brush set: this set includes 1 x big horsehair shoes shine brush, 1 x double sized horsehair shoes brush, 1 x mini horsehair brush and 1 x microfiber buffing cloth
  • Maintain the beauty of leather: the shoe shine dauber bring the surface to a fantastic, high shine, and the handles is comfortable ergonomic
  • Comfortable use: the brush set is easy to pass over the shoe to completely cover with polish, the user interface is comfortable and has good ergonomics
  • Horsehair bristles material: the polishing brush is made of horsehair bristles and wooden handle, the cloth is made of microfiber, this set could meet your daily needs of different footwear for an amazing performance
  • Keep your leather goods looking: this set contains 3 pieces shoes brushes and 1 piece shoes shine cloth, suitable for shoes, handbags, luggage, boots, gloves, jacket, coat, car auto upholstery. YoungJoy is registered Trademark by YoungJoy store. Our store is genuinely authorized, please confirm the YoungJoy store before buying.


Saphir Medaille d’Or Pommadier Natural Cream Leather Shoe Polish

Saphir Medaille d'Or Pommadier Cream 75ml - Black
  • SHOE & BOOT POLISH: Saphir’s Pommadier Cream Shoe Polish is designed to polish, restore, and finish leather shoes and boots. This polish waterproofs and protects against harsh weather.
  • ALL NATURAL: This natural polish contains 7 waxes including beeswax, carnauba, and shea butter. There are a variety of colors and shades such as brown, black, and neutral made without harmful resin & silicones.
  • VARIETY OF USES: Pommadier will clean, nourish and renovate fine leather.  Saphir’s cream polish formula has a high concentration of pigments to condition shoes to their original luster and shine.
  • HIGH QUALITY: This product provides a gentle polish to any color of leather boot, sneaker or bag. The pigments were chosen for their dying & penetrating quality to create incomparable sheens. Imported from France, Saphir’s polish will keep leather shoes & accessories in their best condition.
  • SAPHIR MEDAILLE D’OR: Saphir was awarded the Medaille d’Or (gold medal) in Paris in 1925 for its unmatched quality of leather care products. Their products are crafted with natural and efficient materials.

Kelly’s Shoe Cream – Professional Shoe Polish

Kelly's Shoe Cream - Professional Shoe Polish - 1.5 oz - Brown
  • Kelly's Shoe Cream is a unique cream polish rich in natural waxes that conditions, re-colors and polishes finished, grained, smooth leather shoes and boots.
  • Available in a large variety of fashion colors!
  • Colors include: Black, Neutral, White, Delicate Cream, Winter White, Ivory, Light Bone, Ecru, Banana, Tan, Brown Sugar, Chamois, Beige, Camel, Light Brown, London Tan, Cognac, Saddle, Medium Brown, Bark, Goldenrod, Beige Taupe, Taupe, Brick, Sandalwood, Fashion Brown, Brown, Dark Brown, Dusky Brown, Bordeaux, Cordovan, Dark Cordovan Burgundy, Burgundy, Red Mahogany, Red, Scarlet, Chili, Olive, Sherwood, Grey, Charcoal Grey, Navy Blue, Imperial Blue and Dark Navy
  • Made in the USA.
  • Manufactured by Kelly's. 1.5 oz jar

Otter Wax Leather Care Kit

Otter Wax Leather Care Kit
  • All-Natural Leather Care System
  • Saddle Soap to Clean // Leather Salve to Condition
  • Leather Oil to Shine // Boot Wax to Protect
  • Flannel Buffing & Applicator Cloth Included
  • Made by hand in Portland, Oregon

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