Caring for Leather Boots

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Caring for Leather Boots

It's time to put away my leather boots until the next cold snap, and I am looking for a way to store them so they will keep their shape. I do not want to buy any of those boot shapers, etc. Instead, I want to use what I already have! Any ideas?
Jari W.

Leather Boot Care: Clean Away This Season's Stains

First, make sure any stains like salt (whitish rings) or water/mud (darker) are eliminated. You may need a special leather cleaner. Keep your boots in great shape by stuffing them with empty plastic bags. Once they are stuffed, place them in a large shoebox. This keeps dust to a minimum and eliminates damage from sunlight or light. Boxes are easy to stack and you can label the end for effortless locating next season. To freshen them up, brush lightly with a soft, dry toothbrush.
S. Privratsky

Leather Boot Care: "Eggs-actly" What You Need

I can help! My daughter and I both use egg cartons in our boots to store them. They keep their shape perfectly. If your boots are higher than the egg cartons, you may need to use two stacked on top of each other.
Holly S. from Indiana

Leather Boot Care: Winter Sock Storage

I have had a lot of luck caring for boots by carefully brushing dirt from the area where the sole meets the upper, then applying leather cream generously. I then stuff the toes with crumpled newsprint. I recently read that a great way to store winter socks is to jam them into the toes of boots/winter shoes. The boots or shoes keep their shape and you don't need another place to store the socks. If the calves of the boots are long enough to need support, I roll a piece of cardboard to the shape needed and insert it into the leg of the boot. Store them lying down; if you put the soles on the floor, wrinkles can develop in the leg/ankle of the boots as gravity pulls the leather down.

Leather Boot Care: Maintain and Freshen

Before storing your leather boots for the season, clean them well and then stuff with crumpled newspaper until the boots have the shape of your feet. Stuff all the way to the top. The newspaper will maintain the shape and absorb any lingering moisture, thus freshening the boot.

Leather Boot Care: Baking Soda Stuffing

I would try a couple ways to store the boots and see what I liked best in the long run. First, consider filling some old long socks with baking soda, and stuffing that down into the boots until the boots hold their shape. The baking soda should be able to absorb any moisture and any odor from the boots. It can be purchased in 4- or 5-pound bags inexpensively. Otherwise, I would simply stuff the boots with either rolled newspaper or with heavy winter socks.

Leather Boot Care: Make Cardboard "Legs"

I have two suggestions:

  1. Use a rolled up magazine as legs. A larger magazine works better (think Vanity Fair vs. Woman's Day), but this still has a tendency to bunch up at the ankle.
  2. A better solution is to make cardboard "legs." I got a pair with a pair of boots I purchased, but after looking at them, they would be easy to make. Make a paper template of the shape of the boot from the heel portion to the top of the bootleg on the side opposite the zipper. Then cut it out of cardboard so that it has a fold in the middle (front of boot) and two identical sides that are shaped like the boot. (From the top, it would look like a V, but from the side, it would look like the template.) Zip up and the boot looks perfect, and they stand up on their own!


Leather Boot Care: Use Paper Grocery Bags

I use paper grocery bags. Just fold the bag flat and then roll it tight enough to fit into the boot. It will expand to fill the space when you release it and give just enough resistance. If you plan to pack the boots lying down in a box, I would suggest using two or more bags per boot to create a stiffer filling.

Leather Boot Care: Magazine Magic

For leather boots, stuff the legs with rolled magazines. Use a tall magazine if the boots are tall. As for the foot portion, stuff with old rolled up socks or t-shirts. Be sure to polish the boots before putting away. Putting in some lavender in some lavender or cedar chips will keep the boots smelling fresh as well. Just be sure to put the lavender or cedar in an old nylon hose.

Leather Boot Care: Empty Wrapping Paper Rolls

Clean your boots with leather cleaner or use a small amount of olive oil. You have to remove all of the dirt. Buff with a soft cloth. Old t-shirts make good rags for wiping boots. Then take empty long wrapping paper rolls and stand them up in the boots. If you do not have any rolls of wrapping paper, they are available at any dollar store for only a dollar. Newspapers can be crumpled up and used to help stabilize the rolls.

Check sale prices for green cleaning solutions.

Leather Boot Care: Noodle Know-How

Take a swimming "noodle" (the long tubular kind) that you can find for about $1 or so and cut it to length. Place in the boots to hold the boots up.
Shelly in Guntown, MS

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