To protect your investment, cleaning and conditioning your boots regularly is essential. With daily wear, we recommend cleaning and conditioning every 2-3 weeks. If you work in mud or dirt, be sure to hose or wipe off your boots at the end of the day so that your leather uppers remain in good shape.
First, use a damp microfiber cloth or shoe brush to sweep off any dirt, debris, or build up from your boot. This step is important because it gives you a clean surface to work with before applying any conditioners, but it also keeps potentially abrasive debris from harming the surface of your shoe. If your boots have gone through the ringer, it may be a good idea to use a good quality leather cleaner, such as the Ph-balanced Lexol, before applying an oil-based product.
Next, apply a leather conditioner, like Obenauf’s Leather Oil or the essential Oregon Trail Bootwax, which can be applied with a cloth, a brush, or your hands. This home recipe has been in the family since the early 1950s, and is made with entirely natural vegetable-based oils and beeswax. While the natural oils penetrate your leather to deep condition it, the beeswax creates a waterproof barrier that seals and protects your boot. This step also lubricates the stitching on your boot, keeping thread supple and preventing premature stitch wear. No matter what leather conditioner you use, it’s important to repeat this process every 2-3 weeks with daily wear, and every three to six months if your boots see less frequent use.
Whenever you condition your boots, be sure to wipe off the excess product–particularly around the seams–so that your leather doesn’t become over-saturated. Let your boots air dry (without placing them next to a heater or a fireplace) so that the oils have enough time to absorb into the boot.
Happy boot care!