Leather Boot Care: 3 Simple Treatment Steps

Text by: Kelsey Begg

Blundstone, Florsheim, Frye, Nikwax, Red Wing Shoes, Wolverine. Leather Boot Care: 3 Simple Treatment Steps

Everyone has at least one pair of leather boots in their shoe collection whether it be a fancy lace up like the Red Wing Shoes 6-inch Iron Ranger or a durable slip-on like the Blundstone Chisel Toe. We dress them up, dress them down and put them to the test through all kinds weather and terrain. From salted, icy roads in the winters to muddy puddles in the spring and hot, humidity in the summer months. Our favourite leather boots can take a lot.

Frye

Women’s Veronica Short

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womens harriet

Red Wing Shoes

Women’s Harriet

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Red Wing Shoes

Men’s 6-inch Iron Ranger

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heritage wingtip

Florsheim

Men’s Heritage Wingtip

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Once you find a pair of leather boots that you not only love but that fits just right, you never want it to get worn. The truth is, the day will come eventually, but with the proper care, you can make your favourite leather boots last for long enough.

With a variety of leather treatment products available, you can keep your favourite boots looking brand new season-after-season regardless of how much wear they got the previous year.  Some boots will come with a small packet of leather treatment included in the package, other times you’ll have to purchase it separately. Before you get started and start shopping for a treatment, it’s important to note if your particular boot requires specific care or a special type of treatment product.

leather conditioner

Red Wing Shoes

All Natural Leather Conditioner

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suede and nubuck protector

Frye

Suede and Nubuck Protector

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Nikwax

Waterproofing Wax

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Once you’ve found the appropriate leather care product your boot requires whether it be a spray, an oil or paste, you can get on with the leather boot care process

leather boot care

Step 1: The Cleaning

If you’re working with a brand new pair of boots that have not seen feet or pavement, they don’t necessarily need the full clean although it is crucial that you wipe away any dust or dirt from the box.

If you’re going into your second year with your favourite boots, you’ll need to give them a good cleaning before applying the treatment. The first step in the cleaning process is to remove the laces and any other removable pieces if there are any.

Light Cleaning

Next, take a soft-bristled shoe brush and using warm water, remove any stuck-on dirt, salt, sand, etc. This is also a good time to check the soles for rocks or other items that may have gotten wedged in the lugs. If everything looks clean, take a clean, dry cloth and wipe away any excess dirt or dust.

Deep Cleaning

If your boots have seen a lot of mud and other sticky substances, you may need a little reinforcement for the initial cleaning. For heavily soiled areas, apply a leather cleaner like the Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Footwear Clean gel. Once the spot is clean, you can wipe away the cleaner then let the boot sit to dry before continuing.

leather care treatment

Step 2: The Conditioner

This step will help preserve the finish and life of your boots. Like human hair, leather boots need a little conditioning love to get that lush and healthy glow. 

Most leather conditioners can be applied using your fingers, a soft cloth or even a sponge. They come in the form of oil or will say conditioner on the package. It is important to not that some boots will require specific leather conditioner products so be sure that the one you are choosing will work for your boot.

Step 3: The Protection

Lastly, you want to protect the boots and all the cleaning and conditioning you’ve just taken the time to do. If you often find yourself wearing the boots in wet environments, a waterproofing treatment would be beneficial. Otherwise, a simple leather protector will do the trick. Once your boots are looking shiny and new, leave them to rest so the products can dry and settle. 

Once they’re dry and ready, you can slip on your like-new leather boots and flaunt your handiwork for yet another year of wear.

 

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