5 tips: How to care for your leather boots
There are plenty of good reasons to invest in a pair of leather boots. They're stylish, they're practical and they're versatile. Which means there are just as many good reasons why you should take care of your leather boots. You'll extend the life of your boots, they'll stay looking good for longer and they're generally more sustainable.
Leather boots or leather shoes are something we see in the fashion scene season after season. It's an eternal classic, and we understand that. A pair of leather boots can be the finishing touch to your outfit. They can complete an edgy style, or they can provide a rugged counterpoint to an otherwise feminine look.
At the same time, leather has several features that make it the ideal material for footwear. Over time it will adapt to the shape of your foot, it allows your feet to breathe and it is a sustainable material. Plus, the material's durability means it will last a long time - if you take good care of your leather boots on a regular basis.
If you need help maintaining and extending the life of your new leather boots, here are 5 tips.
Pay attention to your new leather boots
Even before you wear them for the first time, you should start treating your new leather boots. We recommend that you waterproof them first. In point 3 below, you can read more about how to waterproof your leather and why it's a good idea.
The first few times you wear your new leather boots, we suggest you use a sock in the same shade as your boots. Just like textiles, leather can give off a little colour at first when you wear your shoes or boots. But don't worry; the excess colour will disappear quickly and is not harmful.
Maybe you find your new leather shoes or boots a little stiff. But because leather is a natural material, it will mold to your feet the more you wear them. So you may need to start by wearing them in.
Remember to give your leather boots regular care
It's not as time-consuming as it might sound. And it's money well spent. Because with the right treatment and cleaning of your leather boots, you'll be able to use them for years. Sure, leather will change character a bit over time, but if you just make sure to regularly clean, waterproof and moisturise, your leather boots will only age gracefully.
1. Use gentle cleaning
When you wear your leather boots, they will be exposed to wind and weather. Especially if you wear them in the colder months, when they are more likely to come into contact with rain, snow and mud. It's a good idea to keep your boots clean - both because it looks nicer, but also because the leather is better off that way.
The best way to clean your leather boots is to use a hard, wrung-out cloth. There should be nothing but water on the cloth, and it's important that the boots don't get too wet. Usually the wet cloth is enough, but if you need more, you can use a soft brush to remove the more stubborn dirt.
2. Dry your boots properly
If you've been cleaning your leather boots, or if you've been out in wet weather, it's important to dry your boots properly. It might be tempting to put them next to the radiator, but please don’t. Leather can't take the heat, and the quick fix can instead result in dried out leather and cracks.
Instead, you should let the wet boots dry completely on their own at room temperature. If they have also become wet or damp inside, you can put newspaper inside the boots to absorb some of the moisture.
3. The important waterproofing
As mentioned above, we recommend that you start by waterproofing your leather boots or shoes as soon as you have unpacked them. This is the first step towards good leather care.
But it's not enough to just waterproof your boots before you wear them. The waterproofing wears off over time, so make sure you waterproof regularly to maintain protection. When you are ready to waterproof your boots again, it is important that you first clean and dry them as described in points 1 and 2.
It can be beneficial to give your (completely clean) leather boots or shoes several coats of waterproofing. Especially the first time. Give an even coat 2-3 times rather than one thick coat.
If your leather boots aren't waterproofed, dirt and water will penetrate the leather, causing damage and rapid wear.
What is waterproofing?
The reason it's important to waterproof your leather footwear is that it's specially designed for protection. It doesn't change the look or breathability of the leather, but provides invisible protection against dirt and water so it doesn't penetrate the leather and stick.
4. Moisturise with shoe polish
An important part of caring for your leather shoes or boots is giving them shoe polish to keep them looking good. Shoe polish does not clean the boots, so remember to clean them before applying it.
Shoe polish has the functions of refreshing the colour of the leather and making it supple. As with waterproofing, you should also care for your leather boots with shoe polish regularly.
Choose a shoe polish in the same colour as the leather and use a cotton cloth to rub it on. It won't take many minutes and your leather boots will love it.
5. Avoid leather drying out
Our last piece of advice is perhaps the most important. It sums up the other advice and can be said very briefly: avoid drying out the leather. That's really what it's all about.
When it comes to moisturising your leather boots, it's important that the treatment is preventive. Once the damage has been done and the leather has cracked, it's very difficult to get the boots to look good again.
As leather is a natural material, it will lose its natural oils over time, leaving it dry and fragile. That's why you should always have a good shoe cream or leather grease in your shoe cupboard to help you get ahead of dried-out leather and make your leather boots or shoes last longer.
When it's time to pack away the boots
When the season is over and it's time to give your leather boots a well-deserved break, it's a good idea to give them a final treatment before packing them away. That way, you'll also have a fresh pair of boots to dig out when you need them again.
The best way to store your boots is in a closed shoe box, so they don't get muddy or dusty. Put them in a cupboard where it's dry and they won't be exposed to sun or heat. You can also choose to put some shoe blocks in the boots so they are more likely to keep their shape.
If you've taken care of your leather boots regularly, you can use them season after season and get plenty of wear out of them.