How to Care for Tall Riding Boots

Wipe dirt, manure and horse sweat from the surface of your tall riding boots with a barely damp cloth or sponge after every use. These contaminants leech moisture from the leather and can rot the stitching. Dust and dirt can cause abrasions and cracking.

Make sure you use cleaning and conditioning products that are designed specifically for boots, rather than using a tack cleaner. You can choose from a range of products designed to clean and shine boots, such as Sergio Grasso Riding Boot Leather Cleaner and Riding Boot Cream. Never use household cleaners on your boots as they may permanently damage the leather. It is best to check your boot manufacturer's guidelines for the appropriate product to use. When it comes time to shine your tall riding boots, apply a boot cream or boot polish, like Fiebings Boot Polish, to a clean boot with a soft rag, then buff with a boot polishing brush followed by another clean rag until the boot is shiny.

Overshoes such as Tingley Rubbers are a great way to protect your boots on wet days, but be sure to remove them before storage. Condensation forms between the boot, your foot and the overshoe when you wear these covers, so air must be allowed to circulate and dry the sole of the boot to prevent mildewing and to preserve the integrity of the stitching afterward. If your tall riding boots get wet, allow them to dry completely before wearing them again. Never place wet leather boots near a heat source such as a radiator, fireplace, wood stove or space heater— allow them to dry naturally at room temperature.

Insert boot and shoe trees in your tall boots to maintain their shape and the life of the zippers. Cedar Boot Trees and Cedar Shoe Trees help repel moisture and pests. Plastic boot trees are the most economical option.

Note: Allow perspiration inside the boots to dry naturally before inserting plastic trees. As with all leather products, your tall riding boots should be stored in a temperature-controlled environment that is free from rodents. Extreme heat and cold temperatures are detrimental to leather.

Improperly stored tall riding boots without boot trees.

Properly stored tall riding boots with boot trees inserted.

How to Prolong the Life of Boot Zippers

  • The key to the longevity of your boot zippers is to make sure that your leg measurements do not exceed the size prescribed for your brand of boots.

  • Make sure the zipper is completely pulled down before you slip your foot into or out of the boot.

  • Never force a zipper to close.

  • Use a soft brush, such as a toothbrush, to remove dust or sand from the zipper teeth. Add just a bit of water to the brush if you need to remove salt from the zipper.

  • Use Zipper Ease® to extend the life of your zippers. This is an easy-to-use stick lubricant that rubs on like a crayon to keep metal or plastic zippers working smoothly.

  • Use cedar boot trees or plastic boot trees to maintain the shape of the boot.

Shop for Riding Boots

For more assistance or to request a catalog call 1-800-989-1500. Or, stop by any of our retail stores to speak with a Dover Saddlery product advisor. Shop for riding boots online: