Introduction: How to Polish Boots

Cowboy Boots, a necessity and a fun way to elevate an outfit. Cowboy boots are expensive and often give in to the wear and tear of everyday life before they should. There are many reasons why this happens; poor quality, misuse, or improper care. Cowboy boots are typically made of leather, which is one of the easiest materials to care for, yet the most neglected. In this presentation, I will share the proper way to care for leather footwear.

Leather footwear can be high maintenance, but the more it's cared for the easier it is to maintain.


  • Boot cream
  • Mink oil or all-weather leather protectant
  • Clean cloth, an old T-Shirt works well
  • Firm shoe brush
  • Horsehair brush

Step 1: Cleaning the Boot

First, remove the excess dirt with the firm shoe brush. If the boot is much too dirty for a quick brush over, which most livestock producers can relate to, damp part of the old T-Shirt with warm water and remove all debris. Once the boot is clean and free of debris, it is time to start the polishing process.

Step 2: Applying Boot Cream

The polishing process seems intimidating when in fact, it is quite simple. Start with a small amount of boot cream on your fingers and apply it to the boot. (Yes, I said fingers, don’t be afraid to get dirty!) The major reason to use fingers and not a rag is because your fingers can cover the whole boot more efficiently, but it also helps warm the boot cream and allows it to be more pliable. Be careful not to use too much boot cream, apply enough so that the leather looks damp but not wet. Allow the boot cream to partially dry, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Polishing

Once the boot cream is partially dried, work the cream into the boot by polishing with the horsehair brush using small strokes in a back and forth motion. This allows the polish to go deeper into the leather. Repeat the process up to 2x if needed.

Step 4: Buffing

The next step is to buff the leather, this is where your clean cloth comes in. Hold the boot with one hand and use the cloth to buff the leather in a circular motion. Repeat this until the leather is smooth and glossy.

Step 5: Weather Proofing

The final step will be adding the mink oil or all-weather protectant. These products protect the leather from moisture, which can damage the leather and make the boots look worn. Apply the mink oil the same way the boot cream is applied. There are spray all-weather protectant's available but I prefer the mink oil. It gives the boot a nice shine and is a natural way to weatherproof leather boots. Once this process is complete, allow the boots to dry completely before use.

Now that the boots are polished, be prepared to turn some heads when out on the town and feel good knowing the longevity of the boot just improved!