How To Polish Cowboy Boots with Stitching? | 5 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, water 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 for 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 with stitching?

These steps apply to leather cowboy boots. Before starting to polish, you have to prepare some tools as well as the following tasks.


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
  • Bleach pen for white stitching or wax pencil for colored stitching
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...
  • 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

CLEAN – Make sure your cowboy boots are clean and ready for the polishing process

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.
Kiwi Saddle Soap, 3.125 Ounce
  • Features a traditional blend of ingredients which cleans, softens and preserves smooth leather
  • Formulated with a quality wax for added protection
  • Cleans away dirt, grim and salt stains

Note: Make sure your cowboy boots are completely dry before polish.

Usually, people use boot dryers, boot trees,… to dry cowboy boots. You can find many useful tips to dry your cowboy boots quickly here!

And now, let’s polish cowboy boots with stitching!

ProTips: You can clean the stitching first and cover it with painter tape, then do the polish. This method can ensure the polish does not stick to the stitches.

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 30 seconds and leave it dry some minutes before using it.

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 this 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...
  • ALL NATURAL: This polish is perfectly balanced with natural turpentine solvent. Some waxes fin the...
  • EASY-TO-USE: Apply thin layers of wax polish using a high-shine chamois cloth to your leather shoe....

Step 2. Brush your boots

Use a 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.

I usually coat 2 to 3 coats of polish on the surface of cowboy boots to ensure they retain the color for a long time.

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

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...
  • HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL: TAKAVU Shoes Brushes are made of 100% Soft Genuine Horse Hair and beech...
  • COMFORTABLE TO USE: Concave design make the brush easier to hold & move, handles keep your hand in a...

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...
  • REMOVES DIRT AND RESIDUE: The cotton flannel material of the Bickmore Shine Cloth effectively sweeps...
  • APPLIES SHOE CREAMS AND POLISHES: After cleaning your footwear, use the Shine Cloth to apply any...

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.

Step 5: Make stitches back to original colors

  • 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.

You don’t need to use water, just take the pen and use it 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 draw on the leather of the boots.

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

Clorox CLO 04690 No-Splash Dual-Tip Bleach Pen
China Markers Wax Pencils- Full Set of 7 Colors
3 Pack 1" x 60 Yard STIKK Blue Painters Tape 14 Day Clean Release Trim Edge Finishing Tape (.94 in 24MM) (3 Pack)
Bleach Pen
Wax Pencils
Painters Tape
Clorox CLO 04690 No-Splash Dual-Tip Bleach Pen
Bleach Pen
China Markers Wax Pencils- Full Set of 7 Colors
Wax Pencils
3 Pack 1" x 60 Yard STIKK Blue Painters Tape 14 Day Clean Release Trim Edge Finishing Tape (.94 in 24MM) (3 Pack)
Painters Tape

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 it, so never think of doing it.

With suede, you need to give it special care.

Take care of your suede boots, 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 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?

There are many handmade methods you can use to polish your cowboy boots without the need for specialized polishes.

Note: We don’t recommend applying these handmade 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!

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 the boots until you see luster.

Lemonade or Vinegar

Use lemonade or vinegar 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 for your boots.

Wax paper

After cleaning your boots, use wax paper to rub over their surface.

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. This can protect your boots from dust and give them shine consistently.

Olive oil

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

Read more: How to Stretch Cowboy Boots at Home

Some notes when polishing 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 might have different effects 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 ones.
  • 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 x 2.04 inches/17 x 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...

MAXIMILIAN 8″ Shoe Shine Brush

8" Shoe Shine Brush, Soft Horsehair & Beech Wood Shoe Polish Large Shoe Cleaning - for Shoes, Boots & Other Leather Care
  • GENUINE HORSEHAIR - Soft horsehair won't scratch the leather but sturdy enough to finish a perfect...
  • COMFORTABLE GRIP OF NATURAL WOOD - Smooth handmade beech handle with concave design make the brush...
  • CLEANING & POLISHING - Quickly clean the dust and other dirt, or you can apply wax, oil, polish on...

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...
  • Maintain the beauty of leather: the shoe shine dauber bring the surface to a fantastic, high shine,...
  • Comfortable use: the brush set is easy to pass over the shoe to completely cover with polish, the...


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...
  • ALL NATURAL: This natural polish contains 7 waxes including beeswax, carnauba, and shea butter....
  • VARIETY OF USES: Pommadier will clean, nourish and renovate fine leather.  Saphir’s cream polish...

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...
  • Available in a large variety of fashion colors!
  • Colors include: Black, Neutral, White, Delicate Cream, Winter White, Ivory, Light Bone, Ecru,...

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

2 thoughts on “How To Polish Cowboy Boots with Stitching? | 5 Steps To Achieve Mirror Shine”

    • Hi Carol,
      As you know, you should use the polish that has a similar color to your boots.
      Regarding your chestnut boots, you can choose the medium brown polish. As for the walnut deertan ones, you can opt for the light brown or mid-tan (like Kiwi mid-tan shoe polish), but you can buy darker color if you want more shade.
      For your reference, we have found a chestnut polish from RM Williams, you can check it on Amazon.
      For a wide range of color options, you can look for Kelly’s Shoe Cream or Saphir Medaille d’Or Pommadier and choose the suitable color for your boots.
      If you don’t want to mess around, the neutral polish is the best for your convenience!
      I hope this can help you out!


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