The Thirteenth Episode of The Denim & Boots Podcast

Keeping your boots clean and properly conditioning is not only important because it makes them look good. It’ll also make them last longer. So in this episode, Jake and I talk about boot care.

News of the week

Quite fitting for the topic of this week, Jake shares a blog post about whether one pair of boots can objectively be better than another, which you can read right here.

Related podcast episode: How leather is made and types of leather

Topic of the episode: Boot care

We open the discussion by talking about how often you need to clean your boots.

As Jake argues, ideally, you should wipe your boots clean with a horsehair brush after each wear. In reality, though, neither of us do that, but at least once a week is a good standard to go by.

When your boots get really dirty, you’ll first need to clean off whatever’s on them with a damp rag or towel.

Then we talk about shoe trees, which certainly help keep the boots in their original shape. Even more importantly, shoe trees help remove moisture from the inside of your boots.

That said, neither of us really use shoe trees in our boots because we want them to age ruggedly. Jake also points out that, for instance, he likes when the toe box of his boots collapses a bit.

But for dress boots and dress shoes, shoe trees are a necessity because they should be kept as clean and new as possible since they’re more formal.

Guide to boot cleaning and conditioning

  1. First, brush clean with a horsehair brush.
  2. Wipe clean with a damp towel if necessary. Let dry after.
  3. Condition with leather conditioner. Jake recommends Saphir Renovateur and Smith’s Leather Balm. The Renovateur he applies with a piece of cloth while he uses his fingers to apply the Leather Balm.
  4. After the conditioner drys, you can go further by either using a waterproofing product such as Sno-Seal or Obenaufs. However, be aware that these (and Smith’s) will darken the leather.
  5. You can also use a coloured or neutral shoe polish after the conditioning product has dried. This works particularly well for smooth-finished leather.

Listener question

At the end of the episode, we answer a question from listener Paul Dutra aka Glowingglass who asks if we take the back pocket stitching into consideration when we’re buying jeans.

People and companies we mention

Listen, Subscribe, Rate and Review

You can listen to the episode with the player at the top of this blog post. Or you can listen and subscribe on: StitcherTuneInSpotifySoundCloud, and of course Apple Podcast.

If you like this episode, and the podcast in general, please leave a 5-star rating and a positive review on iTunes.

Featured image from Pigeon Tree Crafting who’s selling Smith’s Leather Balm.


Thomas founded Denimhunters in 2011 and built it into a voice for the denim industry and community. Today, he helps companies grow and gain market shares using his STORY/SELLING BLUEPRINT.

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