How To Care For Your Boots

March 12, 2024
How To Care For Your Boots

Boots are a style statement and an investment in durability and comfort. Understanding how to care for them is crucial to maintaining their quality.


We'll share step-by-step cleaning methods, practical tips, and product recommendations to help you navigate boot care. Whether you're a seasoned boot aficionado or new to leather footwear, our insights will empower you to preserve your favourite boots.


Stay tuned for expert advice and insider tricks to keep your boots looking impeccable, step after step.


Most boots are made with leather, so instructions for how to clean your boots will depend on the type of leather. There are several types of leather, but they can generally be categorised into two main groups, polished smooth leather and suede & nubuck leather.


How To Clean Polished Leather Boots

To get good life out of your polished leather boots, try to avoid letting the leather dry out. When leather is dry it’s weak and is more prone to scuffs or cracking. When the leather is hydrated it’s well protected and more water resistant.


There's a variety of conditioning-type products you can use and most will work fine. We recommend dubbin or leather conditioner. The next step involves using a polish or cream to bring the rich colour back in your leather boots and it will also add a layer of protection. This step is optional but recommended.
Most of these products will darken the colour, but then as the leather starts to dry out, the colour will get lighter.  


Cleaning Steps:

  1. 1. Brush off any dirt using a shoe brush or rag and then wipe them clean with a damp rag. Then let the leather dry naturally for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Apply leather conditioner or dubbin. Using a shoe brush or old t-shirt, dab the product in a few places starting at the toe cap and work your way around. Then wait 20 minutes before the next step.  
  3. 3. Apply a wax or polish. Using a shoe brush or old t-shirt, repeat with the same method in the previous step.
  4. 4 Buff the leather. Using a polishing cloth, t-shirt or shoe brush, buff the leather to achieve the desired shine.
  5. 5. Let them dry for 24 hours, don’t force dry near a heater.


How to Clean Suede & Nubuck Leather Boots

Unfortunately suede & nubuck leather boots aren’t as easy to maintain as polished leather boots. The leather is naturally dryer and stains/scuffs are harder to get rid of. However the boot and leather are still durable and just as functional. 
We recommend using a suede spray. These are designed to repel water and oil and to protect leather from moisture, dehydration, and cracking. For best results apply to new boots and then re-apply every 4-6 months, depending on how often they’re worn.


Cleaning Steps:

  1. 1. Brush off any dirt using a shoe brush
  2. 2. Apply suede & nubuck spray
  3. 3. For cleaning small stains and marks use a suede eraser/cleaning block to remove marks and minor scuffs.
  4. 4. For bigger stains, RM Williams has a suede cleaner that can remove dirt, food and grease from suede. However results vary, depending on the type of stain.


Helpful Boot Care Tips

  • - Polishing Tip 1: You can always test a small inconspicuous area to see how it will look when it’s dry before applying it to the whole boot.
  • - Polishing Tip 2: If you're using a shoe brush to apply coloured polish, have a dedicated brush for each colour.  
  • - Comfort Tip: For extra comfort or if the boots stretch and get too roomy, extra innersoles will provide comfort under your foot and can improve the fit.
  • - Boots with Side Zips: Brush away any debris before using the zip, as this can cause the zip to malfunction. This is often impossible to fix.
  • - Drying Wet Boots: If your boots get soaked in water, let them dry naturally. You can also stuff them with newspaper to assist, but never place them near a heater or in the sun as this will cause the leather to dry out.