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Caring for Your English or Western Riding Boots

Clean, Waterproof, Shine and Deodorize Your Riding Boots


cleaning product and leather riding boots

Regular care will help maintain your leather riding boots.

Image: K. Blocksdorf
Whether you use your riding boots everyday or just for horse shows, taking care of them will make them more comfortable and longer lasting.

Cleaning the Outside of Your Boots

When you buy your boots pay attention to the manufacturer's care instructions. Some leathers may discolor or you can ruin the finish if you use products that are not recommended.

Save your leather boots for riding and pull on a pair of rubber boots or safe shoes for grooming or mucking out. You'll find these at farm supply stores and department stores. Alternatively, try a rubber riding boot if you ride English. Many riding boot companies make  very stylish synthetic, soap and water clean boots that are very durable and comfortable.

Boot Cleaning Tips From the Forum:

If you use neatsfoot oil on boots you'll not be able to get a good polish. Too much saddle soap can also make it difficult to keep a shine on boots. Sponge off dirt with plain water, using saddle soap only when there's sweat and crud that's hard to remove or when the boots need a really thorough cleaning, then wipe on Lexol lightly. Let them sit overnight before applying polish and giving them a good rub.

One thing, don't oil them. Use saddle soap after using a damp sponge to take off dirt, and then  use Passier Lederbalsam and Feibing's mink oil to produce a little water protection and shine. If I'm showing, I use some Vogel's leather conditioner. Left on overnight, it sinks in and leaves a beautiful shine with great water protection that lasts for when you want to use water to rinse off the dirt on the bottoms and sides of the boots without it penetrating the leather.

Cleaning the Soles of Your Boots

If the soles of your boots have begun to smell of manure, cleaning them with one of the pet odor and stain remover sprays available may help. Try spraying the product on a rag and wiping it onto the sole of your boot to avoid the spray getting onto  the leather, where it might damage the finish or color.

Franny Syfuy About Guide to Cats has lots of information about odor control products in Top Cat Urine Odor Removal Products . Clean the bottom of your boots occasionally so they don't have to be banished to the cold garage or back step for fear of the lingering barn smells.

Cleaning the Inside of Your Boots

If you've ever been stuck sitting beside someone who has just removed their boots after long days riding you'll know it isn't just the outside of a boot that needs cleaning. Like any other footwear, the inside of your riding boots may become a tad 'odoriferous' especially after a hot or rainy day!

If your boots or riding shoes are retaining the odor of too many hours in the saddle and too long standing in the stable, there are lots of products on pharmacy shelves. Try insoles that contain charcoal if there is enough room in your boots to accommodate them. Consider wearing socks designed to absorb perspiration. Good socks can also help prevent blisters - a problem with new boots. Wendy Bumgardner, Your Guide to Walking talks athletic socks

Sarah Aguirre, About Guide to Housekeeping offers tips for using baking soda to combat shoe odor.

These articles from About Shoes Guide Desiree Stimpert, may help you avoid foot odor altogether.

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