How to clean and take care of your leather and wellington boots.
Prolong the life of your boots and keep them looking and performing as good as new with our care and cleaning guide.
If you’re spending money on good quality footwear, then of course you want to keep them looking and performing in tip top condition for as long as possible. To help you prolong the life and get the most out of them, read below for more information…
Looking after your Leather boots
Leather boots will require the most looking after, as if they’re not well maintained, the leather can crack and fall apart.
- Clean off any caked-on dirt/mud from the top of the boot using a soft brush (ensure it is soft, so you don’t scratch the leather)
- Then using warm water, or a specialist leather cleaner (if you have one) remove the rest of the dirt/grease. Do not use soap as this can contain chemicals that can damage the leather.
- On the soles, you can use warm water and a heavier duty brush to get into the grooves to remove any dirt/mud.
- Once clean, leave your boots to dry for a short while AWAY from direct heat, then give them a rub down with a soft cloth to add a little shine.
- If you’re not using a 2-in-1 cleaner and conditioner, apply conditioner to soften and moisturise the leather to prevent cracking and drying out. Rub in small amounts, leave to dry, and wipe off any excess.
- Use a shoe polish which matches the colour of your boot to give extra shine. Apply to the leather, leave to dry, and buff using a brush and soft cloth. You don’t need to polish your boots every time you clean them – over-polishing can lead to a sticky build-up on the boots.
- Most riding boots are now constructed with waterproof membranes or have been treated beforehand to keep your feet dry, but every so often it’s worthwhile just topping up using a waterproofing spray or Dubbin. This also gives the leather an extra barrier of protection, particularly if the weather isn’t looking great for your next ride.
- Ideally wipe down your boots after every time you ride with a damp cloth. Not only will this keep them cleaner, and easier to maintain in the long run but also help keep your tack clean. Even if they look clean, remember that they’ve been in contact with your horse, and their sweat can affect the leather.
Points to note:
- Always test conditioners, polish and weather proofers on a small inconspicuous area before you cover the whole boot.
- Suede or nubuck leather need specialist cleaning and proofing products to help keep them protected, if you use the wrong products this can alter the look of the leather.
Looking after your Wellington boots
It is equally important to look after your wellies to ensure you get the right life expectancy.
- Clean your boots with warm water and a brush.
- Leave to air dry.
- Once dry use a silicone spray and polish using a soft dry cloth.
- Keep your boots in a dry and ventilated place away from direct sunlight and heat source.
- If the boot lining gets wet thoroughly dry before using them again. Crumple up some newspaper and stuff inside this will help absorb the moisture.
Looking after zips in your boots/wellies
- Keep the zip clean, dirt will wear the zip and reduce its life. Brush out regularly, an old toothbrush is good to do this.
- Don’t leave the zip undone when wearing as this will increase the chance of dirt getting into the zip.
- Never force the zip, if this starts to get stiff use some zip lubricant spray before and after use to help loosen.
- When storing for a long period of time, clean them thoroughly and store away from direct sunlight in a dry, ventilated, cool place.
- If you can keep them in a boot bag this will help offer extra protection.
- Ideally store with boot trees in, this will help maintain the structure and shape.
If there is a zip, make sure this is done up when stored this will help prevent accidental folds.
- Dry your boots in direct heat e.g. in front of radiator or fireplace
- Use aggressive products or soap to clean your boots\
- Fold your boots
- Store your boots in a damp condition
The most important thing is to keep on top of cleaning and maintaining your boots – if you’re in need of a new pair, then check out our full range of footwear here.