How should I care for my boots?
Periodically clean, polish, and condition your boots. With proper care, you can add years to the life of your boots while retaining their original good looks. Without the natural occurring lubricants and protectants of living skin, it's essential to keep leather clean and to add waterproofing conditioners to maintain it.
Use a non-abrasive pencil eraser to remove scuff marks. Clean the welt (the stitching area between top of the boot and sole) and seams with an old toothbrush. A stiff non-metallic brush, sponge, and a little bit of plain water will reasonably clean your boots.
If they need a more thorough cleaning, remove the worst of dirt or mud using the brush first, then a slightly wet sponge to remove the remaining dirt (Water in small amounts will not hurt leather).
When necessary, use saddle soap and water for a better cleaning. Be sure to rinse away all of the saddle soap. Residual saddle soap will damage leather, just as dried soap left on your skin will damage and cause excessive drying. Never use a detergent--it destroys the natural oils. Always use a proper leather saddle soap for cleaning.
While the leather is still slightly moist after a good cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to replace the leather's natural oils. We recommend Lexol conditioner or any good quality conditioner containing lanolin. Set your clean and treated boots aside for 24 hours to dry. It's always a good idea to use shoe trees so that your boots maintain their shape. Later, apply boot polish or wax, and buff to a shine.
What should i do if my boots get wet?
The first thing to consider is that boots should be waxed or oiled so that they tend to repel water. The less water absorbed by leather, the longer it will last and the more comfortable you'll be. Wet leather will stretch and weaken, shrinking and becoming brittle as it dries. Once your boots are wet, however, they should be dried as soon as possible with room temperature, dry air (Between 70-95 degrees Fahrenheit or 20-35 degrees Centigrade). If you're in a situation where you can't properly dry your boots, wear them in a dry area until they can dry out a bit before you take them off.
It's important to avoid drying them near a fire or heater. This overheating will literally cook the leather and cause it to become stiff and brittle. The best technique is to ensure that dry, room temperature air can circulate inside the boots.
If you let the boots sit in a wet condition for days without drying out, they can become moldy. This isn't good for the boot, and mold or mildew is nearly impossible to get rid of.
I found this on the website www.stompersboots.com a military boot web site. My father was in the services and he sure took great care of his boots. I remeber watching with awe as he transoformed them from old back to new.