How to care for riding boots

How to care for riding boots

When you invest in a good pair of riding boots, you start off by thinking that you’ll look after them really well, don’t you? You think they’ll last ages. Right? But then what happens? You don’t look after them as you’re not quite sure what to do or what to put on them… read this short article that explains how to care for your boots.

Nowadays most decent boots should withstand the tough conditions that they’re placed in. To do this though, they have some minimum requirements. Without these, they simply won’t last. Follow these simple, easy steps to increase the life of your boots.  

4 Leather Care Tips

  1. Wipe away any dirt and dust from welts and seams with a damp soft sponge or cloth (fig. 1). Tougher stains may be removed with quality leather cleaners (fig. 2). Never use strong household chemicals as they may damage the leather permanently (fig. 3)
  2. If the leather becomes wet, let the boot dry completely before using it again. Do not use artificial heat sources such as radiators, this will over-dry the leather and cause it to crack (fig. 4). Use ordinary newspaper tucked into the shaft and foot part of the boot as this will dry the leather more effectively (fig. 5). Use leather wax, leather cream or quality conditioners to restore the softness and flexibility of the leather
  3. Water repellent protection should be re-applied continuously when water no longer beads off the outer material (fig. 6)
  4. The use of boot trees in long boots will help to maintain the overall shape of the shaft as well as the quality of the leather (fig. 7)

4 Zip Care Tips

Zips are like precision machines. Careful handling and correct usage ensure the longevity of a zip.

  1. Always pull the zip down completely before putting your foot inside the boot or taking your foot out of the boot (fig. 8)
  2. Always ensure that the zip closes easily. Never force the zip.
  3. Keep the zip clean from sand, grit etc. Excessive dirt on the zip can be cleaned using a brush (e.g. an old toothbrush) and water. Wipe down and dry boots naturally away from artificial heat sources (fig. 9)
  4. The use of boot trees is strongly recommended. These will prevent the shaft of the boot from collapsing thus putting added pressure on to the teeth of the zip (fig. 10)
  5. Always ensure that the zip locks into position at the top with the zip tab pointing downwards (fig. 11)


How to care for the leather on horse riding boots


How to care for the zips on horse riding boots


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Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Claire posted on January 12 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Thank you.
    For the wonderful service received, and your persistence and continued efforts to get Niall his boots after the supplier had let us down. The boots finally arrived and fit beautifully. We had a very happy Niall who could not wait to get out and show off his boots. The wait made them all the more precious and he is even cleaning his boots after each wear! (not bad for a 15 year old) With best wishes, Claire.

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