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How to Care for Tall Boots

Regular cleaning and proper care of your field, dress or dressage boots can extend their life and keep them looking new. Follow these guidelines to keep your favorite boots in great shape. To browse our entire selection of tall boots online, click here.

1. 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.

2. Use cleaning and conditioning products designed specifically for boots, rather than using a tack cleaner. You can choose from a range of products designed to clean and shine boots here. 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. When it comes time to shine your tall riding boots, apply a boot cream or 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.

3. Protect your boots on wet days by using overshoes such as Tingley Rubbers. Be sure to remove overshoes 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 and naturally at room temperature before wearing them again. Never place wet leather boots near a heat source such as a radiator, fireplace, wood stove or space heater.

4. Insert boot trees in your tall boots when not being worn to maintain their shape and the life of the zippers. Cedar Boot Trees help repel moisture and pests, whereas 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 Care for Boot Zippers

  • Ensure your leg measurements do not exceed the size prescribed for your brand of boots. This is the key to the longevity of your boot zippers.

  • Pull the zipper down completely before you slip your foot into or out of the boot.

  • Never force a zipper to close.

  • Remove dust or sand from the zipper teeth using a toothbrush or similar tool. 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 and make them zip smoothly. This is an easy-to-use stick lubricant that rubs on like a crayon to keep metal or plastic zippers working smoothly.

Related Articles:
How to Check the Fit of New Tall Boots
How to Measure for Stock Tall Boots