Leather care for my favorite leather boots
January 21, 2012 2:38 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to care for my favorite leather boots?

I bought a pair of knee-high black leather Etienne Aigner boots last year (Costa, to be exact.) I LOVE them - they're that magical combination of comfort, style and fit that can be elusive for those of us with narrow feet.

Because I love them so much, I want these boots to last as long as possible. What is the best way to take care of them? I currently store them upright with boot inserts when I'm not wearing them to keep their shape. I haven't treated them with anything (polish, wax, etc.) since I bought them last year and I wear them fairly often. They seem naturally waterproof, but I'm not sure if I need treat them with something to keep them that way. I normally buy cheap shoes so I have no experience with leather care. Any tips you could give me would be appreciated!
posted by geeky to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Avoid wearing them on consecutive days. This gives the leather time to dry out, which makes it more resilient to wear. Other than that, boot trees, a good shine when they look dull, and maybe some leather conditioner once in a while. If anything, just wipe them down with the conditioner once in a while. It will clean them and keep the leather supple. I wouldn't worry about waterproofing or anything like that. Most waterproofers have synthetic chemicals that can damage the leather and even natural ones can discolor it.
posted by imposster at 4:25 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Above all, keep them away from salt and salty water. Unless you clean them up quickly after exposure, the leather will be permanently damaged -- stiff, crinkled, and bleached.

Secondly, don't try to dry them out with heat should they get wet.

Some more information here.

The products I've heard recommended by leather aficionados are Obenauf's and Pecard's.
posted by Hither at 4:58 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips! Sounds like less is more when it comes to care, which is kind of what I wanted to hear. I'll look into getting some conditioner for my boots. Keeping them away from salt it a good tip too. They really go overboard salting the roads/sidewalks here when it snows and I tend to wear my boots in inclement weather. If I do, I'll be sure to immediately since off any salt.
posted by geeky at 5:54 PM on January 21, 2012

I've had good luck with this cleaner/conditioner. Lexol is also pretty standard.
posted by imposster at 6:44 PM on January 21, 2012

Sno-seal is good stuff, Despite The Illiteracy Of Their Web Designer.
posted by flabdablet at 3:00 AM on January 22, 2012

I recently asked a similar question, and got some helpful answers on proper leather boot care that you might want to peruse.
posted by UniversityNomad at 9:50 AM on January 22, 2012

Best answer: There is a product called Boot Butter, and it does look like butter, that works very well for conditioning and sealing boots. If you will be wearing them in snow and on salted streets, try Mink Oil to seal them. You have to have a blow dryer to heat them before and after applying mink oil, though. Lexol, which somebody else mentioned, is cheap and synthetic and not as good for long term care of leather. I prefer Neatsfoot oil. If you get boot trees, which you absolutely should, try to get cedar ones because they will keep your boots from being stinky. If you don't have access to boot trees, a newspaper rolled up in and taped or wrapped in panty hose and a tennis ball cut in half can act as a replacement. As far as polish goes, I like Kiwi brand for leather. Don't forget to buff them afterwards!
posted by dubusadus at 12:19 PM on January 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks again MeFites! Fortunately I live in the Southeast where we don't get much snow (except in 2010), but I'll keep the more serious condition/oiling in mind just in case.

@UniversityNomad I had seen your question, but your boots look like the leather has a different texture than mine, so I wasn't sure if the care instructions would be the same. My boots are naturally shiny and untextured.

@fladdablet Geez, no kidding about that web designer! lol
posted by geeky at 3:51 PM on January 22, 2012

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