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Should You Condition The Inside of Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boot care matters; this is something we are often encouraged to do periodically, for example, every 2-3 months of frequent use.

But it seems that we only mean to perform cleaning and maintenance on the outside of the boots where we feel it is the most reasonable and easiest place to do so.

Moreover, the outside of cowboy boots is also directly exposed to environmental factors, and therefore, they will be more damaged.

In addition, making your cowboy boots appear good, shiny, and clean will make people have a good impression of you.

What about the inside of cowboy boots? Have you ever thought about conditioning a secluded area since it is less dusty and less damaged than the outside of cowboy boots?

If you are wondering about this and the answer is yes, what do you need to do to maintain this part?

Let’s figure it out in this article!

Cowboy Boots 1

Should you condition the inside of cowboy boots?

Yes, we should, but we shouldn’t apply one workaround to all cases. I mean, how we condition the inside of cowboy boots depends on the material used to line the inside of the boots.

As per my observation, the interior of cowboy boots will be divided into 2 types, corresponding to different cleaning and maintenance methods.

cowboy boots

The leather interior of cowboy boots 

This interior often includes leather insoles and an all-over leather lining. You will often see this structure in high-quality, handmade traditional cowboy boots since the leather interior is never cheap.

They are preferred to wear in the summer or hot conditions because they are extremely breathable, wicking away sweat and moisture. Cleaning and maintaining this structure is a simple process that is similar to cleaning the outside of cowboy boots.

leather interior cowboy boots

Textile or furry interior of cowboy boots

These soft linings are fixed on the entire inner side of the leather upper, which is in direct contact with the wearer’s feet or socks.

They are much softer and warmer than leather lining, so they are often used in particularly cold weather or sub-zero conditions.

However, cleaning them is much more complicated. If you have a pair of cowboy boots with a fabric or furry lining, you should do everything you can to prevent the linings from getting moldy or smelly.

Textile or furry interior of cowboy boots

When to condition the inside of cowboy boots?

The thing is, we don’t need to condition the inside of cowboy boots very often, just like we need to do with the outside of cowboy boots.

However, the inside of cowboy boots is also prone to some of the following problems that you must clean and maintain.

When to condition the inside of cowboy boots?

It is covered with dirt and mud

This situation often happens when you leave your cowboy boots in the corner for too long and don’t wear them. Daily dust and mud stains from the last wear can remain on insoles or linings that have not been cleaned.

On a beautiful day, you would want to wear that pair of cowboy boots again to match your newly bootcut jeans.

Now, all you need to do is to find a way to clean and maintain the inside of the cowboy boots properly so that they are ready to be part of your outfit.

Muddy cowboy boots

It smells moldy

Do you remember the last time you wore cowboy boots and you stepped in a large puddle of water that soaked the boots under the water? However, you forgot to clean the water stains and dry the interior of the cowboy boots properly.

Three days later, the cowboy boots smelled full of mold. When you looked inside, the mold was all over the place. Is now the best time to condition the inside of cowboy boots?

Smelly mold cowboy boots

It smells fishy due to sweat

Some of my friends like to wear cowboy boots without socks. I know how it feels. It feels like heaven! Especially when you’re barefoot in cowboy boots lined with a full leather lining and leather insoles.

That cool and interesting sensation makes the 104 degree F heat in California seem much more enjoyable. But, sweat and odors from the feet will seep directly into the leather lining and insoles.

Over time, they will develop a fishy and unpleasant odor. I’ve been in an elevator with a couple of people wearing cowboy boots and emitting the same smell. I hope I’ll never meet them again for the rest of my life.

How to condition the inside of cowboy boots?

The most expected part of this article has finally arrived. I will guide you through some easy-to-do and effective ways to condition the inside of cowboy boots.

Conditioning leather linings and leather insoles

Leather is a material that is relatively easy to clean and maintain. They have a smooth and dust-free surface, making cleaning easier.

The first step of any leather conditioning process is cleaning its surface. If your cowboy boots have removable leather insoles, separate them for cleaning.

Step 1: Wipe the entire inside of cowboy boots

It doesn’t matter if there is dust or dry mud inside; you need to use a soft cloth and put your hand and cloth deep inside the boots, including at the end of the toe parts.

You need to rub the cloth vigorously so that the dry dust and mud are crushed and released.

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Step 2: Vacuum inside

The best way to completely remove dust and dirt from the inside of cowboy boots is to use a household vacuum cleaner.

You need to use a round brush to easily get inside the boots and suck up all the dust and mud particles in every nook and cranny.

Using a combination of leather cleaner and horsehair brush to clean leather is one of the most popular methods in the cowboy boots world.

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BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum (CHV1410L)
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Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner 8 oz - Clean Dirt, Oil, Sweat, Salt, and Water Stains from All Colored, White, and Black Leather
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3 Pieces Horsehair Shoes Polish Brushes Care Clean Daubers Applicators (Set C)
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Last update on 2022-11-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Step 3: Treat the mold/fishy smell and dry the inside of the boots

You probably won’t be able to get rid of the mold marks on the leather lining of cowboy boots. The reason for this is that you cannot recolor the inside of cowboy boots.

The good news is that you can remove both the germs and roots of mold and fishy odors by scrubbing the entire leather lining of cowboy boots with the following solutions:

  • A solution of water and alcohol in a ratio of 3: 1.
  • A solution of water and apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 2:1.

After that, you should not dry the inside of cowboy boots with air dry or sun dry since these methods are unable to dry them completely.

You need to use a boot dryer, which is much more effective and less time-consuming for drying the boots, greatly preventing the re-growth of mold and bad odors due to high humidity and lack of light.

You do not need to moisturize the leather lining after finishing the 3 step process above. This is to avoid storing moisture inside the boots, which would cause mold and odors.

If you have removed the insoles and cleaned them separately, you can condition leather insoles with leather conditioner and wait for them to dry completely before putting them back inside the boots.

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PEET, Original Electric Shoe & Boot Dryer with 25 year warranty - Made in USA
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Bick 4 Leather Conditioner and Leather Cleaner 8 oz - Will Not Darken Leather - Safe of Leather Apparel, Furniture, Jackets, Shoes, Auto Interiors, Bags & All Other Leather Accessories
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Last update on 2022-11-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Read more:

Conditioning fabric lining of cowboy boots

Fabric and fur lining have never been so easy to clean and maintain.

Furthermore, they have been fixed onto the inside of cowboy boots, making cleaning more difficult. In addition, they tend to trap water, dust on individual fibers, and quickly contaminate surfaces, making cleaning more laborious.

Usually, you just need to sprinkle baking soda inside the boots and shake them gently. Then vacuum up the baking soda particles with a specialized vacuum cleaner. You can get rid of the bad smell on the inside of cowboy boots.

However, if your fabric or fur linings are severely soiled since you haven’t cleaned them in the past 3–4 years, you need a radical solution to clean them.

Step 1: Dry cleaning fabric/fur lining with soap

I know you will find it very hard to believe that you can wash fabric or fur lining with soap and water. I’m not saying you should soak your boots in water like you should for washing clothes. That will damage the outer real leather of the boots.

  • First, you need to lightly wet the fabric/fur lining (don’t touch the leather insoles).
  • Prepare a mixture of water and soap with a ratio of 2:1.
  • Use your hands to apply the prepared mixture to the areas inside the boots that have been wet.
  • Rub your hands gently into those areas to whip the soap until the stain is clean.
  • Soak a piece of dry cloth in water and wipe several times in a row over the soaped areas until there is no soap left on the fabric.
  • Keep in mind to not let water stay on the leather upper if you don’t want to read our “How to remove water stains from cowboy boots” article.
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Water 2:1 Soap

Step 2: Dry the insides of cowboy boots

Using the boot dryer is highly recommended. You won’t need to do anything to affect the structure of the boot and can still make it dry quickly with little effort.

Final thoughts

Since the insides of cowboy boots are almost untouchable, and it may require a lot of time and effort to get cleaned thoroughly, I encourage you to keep them dry, dust-free, and immaculate.

The simplest is to store them in dry places and hang them to air dry and sundry every 2-3 days.


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