When spring arrives, I like to handle all the maintenance on my boots to ensure they’re put away in good shape and ready to go in the fall.
Here’s my tips on caring for your leather boots:
I live in an urban area, so road salt has attacked my favorite shoes.
The good news is, it’s easy to remove these salt lines yourself. Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and water together, dip a clean cloth in them, and rub along the salt lines. Then, dip another clean cloth in water and go over one more time. Let the boots dry, and the salt marks will be gone.
Invest in leather treatment products and regularly condition your leather. Certain brands, such as Frye, sell products formulated to work best with their materials.
Take bigger fixes to a pro:
This is a good time to have any non-DIY repairs done: resoling, fixing zippers, touching up ripped seams. Repairs can take your shoes out of commission for up to a week, have them done when you won’t want to wear the shoes.
Find a reputable cobbler (seriously- don’t just go to the cheapest dry cleaner, find an actual cobbler), and bring your shoes over. Depending on what you need done, it could cost you upwards of $50. But if the boots cost $300, and the repair gets you another couple of years, it’s a good investment.
You can also have your cobbler take care of the conditioning and stain removal above, for an additional cost.
I like to use boot shapers to help my boots hold their shape, otherwise they wind up tossed and creased at the bottom of my closet. If you still have the original shoebox, keep them in there as well, to avoid dust. I also toss a little Gold Bond in the shoe to keep them fresh. Cedar boot shapers would accomplish that too.
Finally, if you’re purchasing any new boots in end of season sales, it’s a good idea to take them to a cobbler before you wear them and have a thin rubber strip added to the sole to protect it and prolong its life.