Riding boots are an investment. Good tall boots are on the pricey side, therefore, it is crucial to note how you can maintain your boots in order to use them for the longest time possible.
Depending on the type of boot you have, the thickness, material, usage, and the technology behind it, generally, the lifespan of good tall boots is around 5-15 years.
Here are 5 simple steps that will assist in keeping your riding boots to their maximum lifespan:
1. Use Manufacturers Products:
When getting your boots, no matter what brand it is, i would recommend using the brands boot cream/conditioner or balsam/polish, as they are most likely oil and soap free. Boot cream/conditioner should be used on your boots after perhaps every two rides. If you ride more than one horse a day, it is best to condition them everyday.
Do not overuse boot polish. Only use it when necessary (shows), and normal boot cream/balsam can be buffed using a boot brush to give a shiny clean finish. Normal leather care products that are used for tack are harsh for leather boots, and many contain oil which causes the leather to stretch or leave marks/blotches on your boots.
2. Only Use for Riding:
Furthermore, in order to lengthen the lifespan of your boots, i would recommend to strictly use them for riding only. Use any comfortable shoes or boots whilst going to the stables and change into your riding boots just before you’re about to ride. Then remove them once you hop off and switch back the shoes you came in.
This is simply to keep your boots from unnecessary overuse, and to keep them as clean and dry as possible, as water can not only degenerate the seams and stitching but can also dry out your leather.
3. Dry out any Sweat:
If you tend to sweat under your riding boots, make sure to dry it out as the salt in sweat sucks out the moisture in your boots, which consequently leads to brittle and cracked boots. To dry out sweat, you must simply wipe your boots with a damp cloth or sponge with a tiny tiny bit of oil free soap then apply your boot cleaner/conditioner.
If you have a custom wooden tree for your boots then simply place them in as they can absorb the sweat. If not, then scrunch up newspaper and place them in your boot and that will draw out any moisture.
4. Use a Boot Tree:
Boot trees help maintain the shape of your boots as well as keeping them from tipping over or bending. There are a number of different boot tree types, from plastic, to wooden, to inflatable, depending on your price range.
I personally use the Parlanti Roma Inflatable Boot Tree as it can be adjusted to any size and are super soft!
5. Keep Your Boots in a Bag:
Lastly, in order to keep your boots super safe, it is best to place them in a sturdy bag with ventilation, away from direct sunlight. There are a number of different boot bag styles in the market today and for good prices. My boots came with the standard Tucci Fabric Carrying Bag for Boots. Honestly speaking, I changed my Tucci boot bag to the navy coloured Ariat Tall Boot Bag from Equestrian Collections, or even Gulf Rider in the UAE, as the ariats have internal dividers for your boots, as well as a shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry around.
Note: Make sure to keep your boot bag clean in order to avoid any dirt scratches on your boots.