Wet Winter Cowboy Boot Care Tips
Lately people have been asking me how to care for their handmade leather boots during winter snow, ice and rain. Oftentimes, people think that you can’t wear cowboy boots in snow or avoid the rain, etc. but, they are forgetting that leather is a very durable material. Leather boots can handle many climates. Think about all of the Cowboys during winter months in a place like Montana or Wyoming, and you better believe those Gents are rocking their trusted favorite pair of western boots during every season. That’s not to say that harsh winter weather cannot cause some major damage to your favorite pair of cowboy boots if you don’t know how to properly care for the leather soles. The biggest enemy is the rough salt stains that can accumulate if you are walking in snow. (We have a trick for that in our next blog). For when your leather cowboy boots get soaking wet for hours let them dry naturally and not on direct heat. On another note, getting your cowboy boots sopping wet is easily preventable or treatable with the right water proof products and proper cowboy boot maintenance. It is easy to protect your leather in the winter snow and year around rain.
So how do you prevent your handmade cowboy boots from getting soaking wet? And can you wear your leather sole boots in the winter? The answer is absolutely yes. Now, I'm not saying they are snow boots by any means. You cannot make traditionally handmade all leather cowboy boots completely waterproof, but you can make your boots water resistant. For this remedy we recommend Mink Oil all year around, but especially during the snowy, icy, rainy months. It prevents water from absorbing into the leather sole, the pegging and the leather heel. This you want to avoid or you'll end up with not just a wet sock, but it will erode the glue and welt stitch over time.
How to use Mink Oil: Apply Mink Oil to a clean, dry cloth and use that to slather onto the dry leather sole and heel. Make sure to cover the entire sole, the pegging, the heel and the edge of the leahter sole. I do not recommend using Mink Oil on the rest of the boot, unless you want to make it fully waterproof and non-breathable. Also, if you apply Mink Oil regularly (about once every month or two) you can keep your handmade leather boots soft and supple and prevent future drying. Make sure you are generous with applying the Mink Oil to the heel of your boots, but use sparingly on the edges of the sole to avoid getting too much into the crevices of the welt stitch. This can cause rotting and erosion over time. If you accidentally get oil in there, rub it out, let it dry and use an old hard toothbrush or suede brush to whisk away dust or debris. If you don't have access to Mink Oil, apply some old school beeswax like my grandpa did on his boots. You will find that with this trick, your handmade all leather cowboy boots will last many years and your feet will thank you too!
Which Mink Oil do we recommend? For over 10 years we have used Fiebing's Mink Oil and carry it in our ‘lil shop here on 12 South in Nashville. Fiebings is a family-owned business and all of their quality leather cleaning products have been made in the USA in Milwaukee since 1895. We are proud to carry their products which you can find on our website link below. If you make a cowboy boot purchase from us before the end of 2020 we will throw in a free Mink oil as a gift with purchase! Happy winter y'all and keep those piggys dry!