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 you have a good impression.
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!
- Should you condition the inside of cowboy boots?
- When to condition the inside of cowboy boots?
- How to condition the inside of cowboy boots?
- Conditioning leather linings and leather insoles
- Conditioning fabric lining of cowboy boots
- Final thoughts
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.
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.
Textile or fuzzy 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 the 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 fuzzy lining, you should do everything you can to prevent the linings from getting moldy or smelly.
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.
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.
It smells moldy
Do you remember the last time you wore cowboy boots and 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?
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.
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.
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 or sun 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.
Conditioning fabric lining of cowboy boots
Fabric and fur linings 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, and 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.
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.
Since the inside of cowboy boots is almost untouchable, and it may require a lot of time and effort to get cleaned thoroughly. I encourage you to keep it 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.
Howdy y’all, and welcome to From The Guest Room, your ultimate guide to all things Western! I’m Jay Gatz, a lifelong cowboy boot enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in the Western style world. I’m excited to share my knowledge with you and help you discover the perfect cowboy boots and western gear to elevate your style. Let’s explore the rich history and timeless appeal of Western fashion together!