Leather is a skin. Like any type of skin, it requires cleaning and conditioning from time to time. Most new leather products already have enough oil embedded into them to protect it, but from age and wear, this protectant dries out.
If you get caught in the rain or have stepped into a few puddles, you'll want to get your boots dry as soon as possible. Stuffing newspapers into the toe box as well as the rest of the interior of the boot will help soak up water and help the boot keep its shape. Do not place the boot in front of a heater or fireplace to dry. This will cause the leather to stiffen and dry. It may also cause the boot to take on an uncomfortable shape. Once dry, condition the leather with Red Wing leather conditioner or Bear Grease leather grease.
Red Wing Shoe oil is fantastic should you live in wet or snowy climates. Apply more often if this is the case, but in general, twice a year is good for most boots. When applying, be careful because a little goes a long way. Also, applying a conditioner every few months helps!
- Make sure the leather is clean and dry. For boots, remove the laces as well as any mud, dust, and debris with a stiff brush or damp cloth.
- Allow to dry
- Use Red Wing leather cleaner and rub in with your hands or a soft cotton cloth. This will remove build-up, dirt, and other grime.
- Wipe away with a fresh cloth
- Let dry
- Apply Red Wing leather conditioner or Bear Grease with a dauber brush and work into the leather while paying special attention to the seams and welt.
- Buff with a shoe brush and finish with a soft cloth if you desire a bit of a luster.
- Allow 24 hours for the conditioner to soak in and dry.
Use a cedar shoe tree to help keep the shape of the toe area and help dry out the boot after wear. Cedar is also a delightfully aromatic and fights odors!