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Leather Boot Care

Proper leather care not only keeps your Tony Lama boots looking pristine, it preserves and adds life to the natural materials on your boots. Without proper conditioning and care, leather will begin to dry out and eventually start to crack. Keeping your boots clean, conditioned, and polished will maintain the quality and appearance of your boots. 

"Weather-proofing" your boots upon purchase will also add to the life of the leather. Extending the life of your Tony Lama boots is simple if they are cared for and treated properly. 

Here is a list of items we recommend you use to properly care for your boots:

  • Soft cotton cloth 
  • Soft shoe brush 
  • Smooth leather cleaner and conditioner
  • Boot cream and/or polish 
  • Water proofing agent 

Additionally, we recommend keeping cedar boot trees inside your boots when they are stored away. This will help absorb moisture and bacteria from the lining. 


Cleaning Your Boots

To get started, we recommend you choose a space that is well-ventilated as some leather care products can release toxic fumes. We also suggest you always test a small, discreet area of the leather with your boot care products and cleaning treatment before you apply care to the entire boot as some leather cleaners and care products may alter the color of the leather. 

First, remove any loose dirt from your boots with a soft bristle brush, especially from any wrinkles and crevices that may have formed. Then, using a slightly damp cloth, spread saddle soap or leather cleaner onto the leather and rub to remove any stains. After scrubbing with saddle soap or leather cleaner, be sure to "rinse" off all the soap with a damp cotton cloth. Do not let the saddle soap or cleaner dry on the leather. Once saddle soap or cleaner is removed, let the boots completely dry before applying conditioner or polish. 


Conditioning and Polishing Your Boots

Next, condition your boots by rubbing small amounts of conditioner into the leather until the entire boot is covered. Wait about 15 minutes for the leather to absorb the conditioner, then wipe dry to remove any excess conditioner. 

Then polish your boots using a paste polish or a cream. While paste polish lasts longer, it tends to be messy, hard to apply, and does not offer as many colors as creams. Creams come in a variety of colors and offer a simple, less messy approach. Our product design team recommends using a cream polish. 

After selecting the correct color of polish, we suggest you test the color on the boots by applying a small amount to an inconspicuous area of the leather to see the results. After the polish dries, brush with a soft bristle shoe brush and then rub briskly with a soft, dry cotton cloth.

Additionally, you may want to apply a weather-proofing agent to protect your boots from water, snow, and mud. A protective spray works well for smooth and exotic leathers, while beeswax is a better option for work boots. 


How to Care for Cowhide

Clean thoroughly with leather conditioner or leather balm. Apply a thin coat of neutral shoe cream, then brush or rub with a soft cloth until luster is obtained. For a high luster, apply a thin coat of wax polish - neutral paste on light colors, matching polish on dark colors. Brush or rub again.


How to Care for Exotics

Exotic leathers should be treated very delicately while you are cleaning and conditioning them. Exotic leathers require a more gentle and thorough technique than your typical leather. To extend the life of your premium exotic leather boots, it is imperative to keep your boots cleaned, hydrated, and moisturized with quality treatments, conditioners, and oils. The type of exotic leather you are treating will determine proper boot care:

Ostrich

Use a soft, damp cloth or rag to wipe down the exotic leather to remove any loose dirt or dust. Lightly apply a thin layer of exotic leather conditioner after cleaning with a soft cloth. After letting your ostrich boots dry, use a soft cloth to buff them. Be sure you apply thin coats of conditioner often.

Pirarucu

Gently brush the surface of your pirarucu boots to remove any loose dirt and debris. You’ll want to be sure you focus on brushing under the scales to ensure all debris is removed. Lightly apply a thin layer or exotic leather conditioner after cleaning with a soft cloth.

American Alligator, Nile Crocodile, Caiman 

Use a soft, damp cloth or rag to wipe down the exotic reptile leather to remove any loose dirt or dust. Lightly apply a thin layer of exotic leather conditioner after cleaning with a soft cloth. After letting your boots dry, use a soft cloth to buff them. Be sure you apply thin coats of exotic leather conditioner often. 

Snake

Be sure you are extremely delicate with snake skin boots when you are caring for them. Start by removing loose dirt or dust with a soft brush or rag. Gently wipe against the scales in order to remove the dust and dirt, then wipe with the grain of the scales. Apply a thin layer of exotic leather conditioner with a soft cloth. Rub or buff gently with a soft cloth until luster is obtained.  Apply thin coats of conditioner often. Since rattlesnake is tanned differently than other leathers, no cream or polish is required to preserve its natural beauty. Simply brush clean.

Stingray

Extremely unique and durable, stingray leather should be gently wiped off with a soft, barely dampened cloth. Delicately apply a premium exotic leather conditioner after thoroughly cleaned.

Shark

One of the most durable leathers available on a boot, you will first want to spot clean this shark leather with a damp cloth. For stains use a cleaner specifically designed for exotic leathers or a mild soap mixture to carefully remove the imperfection. Once cleaned, liberally apply an exotic conditioner.

Elephant

Use a soft brush or towel to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Then, lightly apply an exotic leather conditioner.


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