There are seemingly as many different styles of leather boots as there are feet to wear them. While some leather boots are iconic, such as cowboy boots, manufacturers use leather for many different styles of boots, such as work boots, dress boots, hiking boots, and riding boots. Women and men alike are fond of leather boots for both durability and style. However, like most materials, leather is susceptible to elements and wear, which can make them look dingy and worn in time. Leather boots, for the most part, are an expensive investment, so keeping them looking good is worth both time and effort. Fortunately, there are a number of leather restorer products available that can bring leather boots back to life.
It is imperative to remove any dirt that is present on the surface of the leather boots before beginning any restoration project. A simple damp, clean rag gets most of the dirt and grime from the boot. For caked on mud or more stubborn debris, use a soft bristle brush to remove anything present on the boots' surface. If using water to clean the boots, make sure to dry the surface completely and allow the boots to air dry before moving on to the next steps. Using leather cleaner, such as saddle soap, is also an option, especially for tough stains, but the soap residue must be gone completely before continuing.
Check the condition of the leather boots. Make sure that the soles are secure; if not, a trip to a shoe repair outlet may be necessary first. Check the insoles to make sure they are in place. It may be necessary to use shoe glue to reposition the insoles inside of the boots. The glue should dry overnight before wearing again.
Check the seams to make sure none are loose. Use acotton-polyester blend or waxed linen thread to secure any places where the seams appear loose. A few passes with a needle and thread are all that is necessary.
If the boots require laces, verify that all of the eyelets are secure and in place. For any missing or loose eyelets, punch them out by sliding the leather from where the eyelets connect to the leather. Use a leatherworker's eyelet tool to replace the eyelets.
Because of how well boots encase the wearer's feet, odours are a common problem as boots age. Boots can trap odours that cannot escape and eventually absorb through the pores of the leather. To eliminate any odours inside of boots, a sprinkling of common household items, like cornstarch or baking soda, into the boots and left overnight eliminates even the most stubborn of odours. To prevent further odour buildups, allow the boots to rest out in the open after wearing them. Another trick is to add a scented dryer sheet to each boot overnight, which makes them smell better.
To bring distressed leather boots back to life, leather conditioner is necessary. Leather conditioner seeps into the pores of the leather, keeping the material pliable and soft, which prevents cracking. Use conditioners that are lanolin rather than wax-based, as too much wax can clog the leather's pores and make the surface dry out faster. Apply one coat for mild restoration projects and up to three coats for severely damaged boots. Finish with a cream-based leather boot polish, which adds a glossy finish and fills in any surface blemishes. Allow the boots to dry completely before wearing.
Another step to consider, especially for work boots or boots that come into contact with water, is to apply a non-silicone-based stain and water protector, which keeps the boots from absorbing excess water.
eBay is an ideal place to find leather restoration products, as the site offers consumers a wide variety of products for restoration projects. Using search terms, like "leather boot cleaner " or "mink oil," returns a number of results from which the searcher can choose. Additionally, look for special bargains that may be available in the eBay Deals section. Review the seller's feedback rating to scrutinise their commitment to customer service.
Restoring leather boots does not take much time or effort, but is well worth it. The effort put forth can make a dull, dingy pair of leather boots look like new. This makes it nice for both the wearer's feet and his or her pocketbook.