How to Restore Cowboy Boots – 5 Actionable Steps to Consider

If your leather boots have taken a beating, you should realize the importance of a restoration process at this point. You likely spend lots of time and money purchasing the cowboy boots, which means you need a bit of TLC occasionally. 

We take a look at how to restore cowboy boots in this guide?

The best way to restore cowboy boots involves several procedures. You have to realize the leather boots are always easy to rejuvenate unless they have undergone extensive damage. A good example would be a significant tear or damage to structures like the sole.

If you are struggling with how to make old boots look new again, this guide should help you:

Tips for How to Restore Cowboy Boots 

Tips for How to Restore Cowboy Boots 

If you are still struggling with how to restore leather boots, realize that you have many practical alternatives, including:

Tip #1. Perform a Resoling or Rebuilding Process

The sole of your boots is the most convenient place to start the re-soling process. You have to perform this process if the cowboy boots loosen or suffer from aging issues. The choice is partially yours.

If your boots have a slight decline into funkiness and still show plenty of life, then proceed to the next step. However, if the soles are worn out, or have a pair of used cowboy boots, start with the re-soling process.

Tip #2. Clean the Leather Boots

Once you are done with the sole stage, proceed to clean the boots. The items and steps involved include:

Items Required

ItemPurposeLink Recommendation
Horse hairbrushFor cleaning the boot.Chemical Guys ACC-S95
Saddle soapFor preparing a cleaning lather solution.Fiebing’s Saddle Soap


  1. Get a brush and use it to remove any dirt, dust, or grime collected around the shoe. Perform this process thoroughly, as it will ease the actual cleaning process. For hard-to-reach sections such as the welting, try using an old toothbrush.
  2. Next, clean the shoes using some saddle soap. Use saddle soap because it’s a natural cleaning compound. In addition, it also hydrates and enhances the feel of your leather shoes.
  3. Work the soap such that it produces a lather by using a wet piece of cloth. Use it to clean the boots until it’s clean.

Tip #3. Remove the Creases from Your Leather Boots

Boots that are old or heavily used are likely to develop creases. These often occur due to flexing in the leather material as you move around. While some people won’t pay attention to this step, it’s suitable for the appearance of your brogues. 

Removing creases is one of the ways you can use how to reshape cowboy boots. The steps and items required for this process include:


Cedar Shoe Trees For placement inside the footwear. It’s the solution for how to reshape cowboy boots.STRATTON Cedar Shoe Tree 
Saddle soapFor creating a soapy lather solution for boot restoration.Fiebing’s Saddle Soap
Heat gunFor heating the footwear material.SEEKONE Heat Gun


  1. Start with the cedar shoe trees if possible. These cedar trees are also crucial for procedures like how to stretch out suede shoes. While the devices often have a vague shape, they are perfect for restoring the appearance of your shoe. If you can’t find them, fill up the boots with some newspaper.
  2. If you did the saddle soaping process right, your boots should have softened and hydrated at this point. So, the next step is to heat the leather to assume the shape of shoe trees and newspaper in bringing out the shape of the boot.
  3. We highly recommend that you use a heat gun for this process. Avoid getting it too close as it can scorch the leather. Perform some slow and accurate passes with the heat gun over the creased section of your footwear.
  4. Once the brogues cold down, you will notice a significant reduction in the creases around the boot.

Tip # 4. Condition the Boots Using Leather Oil

Once you are done removing the creases, proceed to condition the leather shoes. The best resource for this process would be leather oil, which has man benefits. Leather brogues should not feel dry, as this can eventually damage the structure of the material. 

The items and steps involved in this process include:


ItemPurposeLink Recommendation
Leather oil.For conditioning the boot material and boot restoration purposes.Leather Honey Conditioner 
Cleaning cloth.For cleaning the exterior boot material.N/A
Cleaning brushFor removing any stubborn stains.Chemical Guys ACC-S95


  1. Start by wiping the boot clean. Clean it using the brush first, and ensure it’s slightly wet for your convenience. Then, use a clean cloth to wipe the surface of the shoe gently. Next, pick them up and evaluate their overall feel. If the boots still feel dry, you may have to repeat this process.
  2. The next thing you will notice is that the leather material darkens as it keeps on getting wet. However, dont be scare is the norm. Remember that once the brogues start getting a tack feel, move on but a new pair.

Technique #4 Grease of Polish the Leather Boots 

The next step is for your polish and greases your leather brogues. Usually, you can use either or both procedures, and the result depends on your footwear.

Items Required 

ItemPurposeLink Recommendation
Boot greaseYou will apply the grease on the leather after cleaning.Huberd’s Shoe Grease 
Dry cotton clothFor cleaning the boot and applying the conditioner.N/A
Leather conditionerFor boot restoration applications.Leather Honey Conditioner


  1.  People who own casual heritage boots might just prefer using the traditional shoe polish product.
  2. Consider polishing the shoe provide produce a high mirror shine, or settle for the traditional matte-like appearance. If your boots are more of the “rough out” type, or you perhaps use them for work, then skip the polishing step.
  3. In such a case, consider using boot grease. Use the same steps you would use with oil, and remove any excess oil. Then, allow your shoes to dry throughout the night.
  4. When it comes to polishing, consider using some cream polish because it helps nourish the leather material. Then, use it to fill in any cracks and creases that exist in the leather material.
  5. Once it’s complete, use a swirling pattern and ensure you coat all sections of the boot material.
  6. After creaming, apply some wash polish on the boot structure, and ensure you use a swirling motion. Do this until you achieve an even coat all across the boot.
  7. If you want a matte finish, use a dry cotton cloth or a non-abrasive brush.
  8. If you prefer the mirror shine, use a slightly damp cotton cloth. Place it around the top of your fingers, and use it to buff the footwear in swirling motion. Realize that it’s not about making the leather shine but about making the wax polish shine.
  9. Let the shoes dry overnight, and store them.

Step #5. Dye The Cowboy Boots

The other practical approach for breathing life into your boots would be to use the proper dying technique. Boots tend to lose their color after a while of use or exposure to contaminants such as dirt. You will find a suitable dye for your cowboy boots in a leather restoration kit. 

The process of learning how to dye cowboy boots should be straightforward. The video below should be helpful if you are new to this process. The leather dyeing process is crucial because it’s the best solution for how to make boots look new.

How to Dye Leather Boots Video –

Sometimes, techniques such as re-polishing are not as effective as you would expect. In this case, you will need a Boot Dyeing Kit, which contains several components. The steps involved in this process can include:

ItemPurpose Link
Boot Dyeing Kit It contains all the items you need to condition the boots effectively.FORTIVO Dark Brown Leather Recoloring Balm
Leather conditioner The conditioner helps restore the original quality of the leather material on your brogues. Leather Honey Conditioner
  1. Clean the boots and use a conditioner product.
  2. Apply some dye to the entire boot structure. 
  3. Let it sit and dry for a few minutes.

PRO TIP – The steps involved for dyeing a suede shoe might be slightly different. 

What Household Items Can Restore Leather Cowboy Boots? 

What Household Items Can Restore Leather Cowboy Boots 

There are various household items that you can use to restore leather cowboy boots. While household items can work well, we recommend that you avoid them unless you have no other alternative available. Household items present the perfect opportunity for how to restore leather boots DIY.

Below is a quick rundown of some household items you can use for this process:

  • Olive Oil

Aside from making up a large portion of healthy diets today, olive oil also works well for restoring your cowboy boots. Using a soft cloth, apply the olive oil to the structure of cowboy boots. Ensure you do it in such a way to ensure you don’t cause a compromise to the leather material. 

Recommended Product – Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Use Vaseline Oil 

Similar to olive oil, vaseline works well for shining cowboy boots. The steps involve getting a soft cloth and use it to rub the vaseline evenly on the cowboy boots. Vaseline oil is perfect for people struggling with how to restore cracked leather boots.

Recommended Product – Vaseline Blue Seal Jelly 

  • Use Lotion

If you feel your boots have taken a beating over time and are overly hard, apply some lotion to the boot structure. Lotion helps make the boots a bit more supple and comfortable.

If your cowboy boots are dry and hard, use a bit of lotion to rub them all over their surface.

Recommended Product – Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion 

  • Use Household Powder

Remember that boots are often susceptible to various issues such as moisture, sweat, rain, and snow. These are factors that can eventually have a negative toll on the structure of your boots.

To help solve such an issue, invest in some household powder products such as Talcum powder or Cornstarch. Using such household powder in cowboy boots will help remove moisture and makes the boots convenient to wear.

Recommended Product – Gold Bond Powder 

  • Use Vinegar 

For this step mix, some get half a cup of vinegar and water. Then, mix the two products and then apply them to the structure of your boots. These products will help improve the leather softness and also helps make the cowboy boots cleaner. 

Next, use a dry towel to ensure the boots are dry. You have to ensure that you get the cleaning cloth to be overly wet. Finally, complete this process by using a dry towel to ensure the boots are dry. 

Recommended Product – Lucy’s Family Owned Vinegar 

How to Restore Leather Boots: Grain vs. Roughout Leather 

How to Restore Leather Boots Grain vs. Roughout Leather 

There are various techniques for restoring leather boots, especially the grain vs. roughout leather. The first resource you need is a leather boot restoration kit. 

The rough leather boots types contain dye, which is not a color. Usually, the roughout leather boots have a flesh underside of material to help provide longevity. Most leather workboots feature roughout leather material because the grain section of the hide breaks down easily.

The characteristic appearance of roughout boots is that they often have a fuzzy appearance. If the cowboy boots had smooth material, then these are the gran types. The best part about it all is that the roughout types are easy to maintain.

They don’t require lots of leather restoration procedures like oiling or greasing. However, the grain types require regular maintenance. 

If All Else Fails – Call A Leather Boot Restoration Near Me Service

Consider this option if you have tried the techniques above and are still not satisfied with the results. Search engines will help you locate a suitable service provider near your location. A simple query such as “boot restoration services near me” should yield several beneficial results.

Most leather boots that require substantial amounts of repair typically need re-soling. Why? That is because it’s the part of your footwear that suffers from gradual damage. Most boots makers use a welting method to attach the boots to the leather material.

The structure makes it easy to remove the sole without causing a compromise on the leather material.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  • How Do You Make Cowboy Boots Look New Again? 

There are various steps involved in making your boots look new again. Plus, you may also have to consider factors such as the level of shoe damage before choosing a suitable approach. That said, below are some of the basic steps to expect in this process:

Polish and condition the boots as we had mentioned earlier. You may also consider using procedures such as dye, which depends on the level of material damage. It’s the perfect way to restore your boots without having to spend lots of money.

  • How Do I Bring My Cowboy Boots Back to Life?

You have various options for bringing your cowboy boots back to life. You can use the steps recommended above, with leather honey being essential for this process. You may also have to perform a resolling process and boot restore kit, which depends on the level of damage.

  • How Much Does It Cost to Restore Cowboy Boots?

The average cost it takes to restore cowboy boots is between $100 to $1000. Various factors come into play, including the type of leather, and level of restoration required. A reliable boot restoration service near your location should help.

  • What Household Items Can Restore Leather Boots?

There are various household items that you can use to restore leather boots. These include olive oil, lotion, and different other basic household items. However, you have to be careful when using these items, such as mink oil, to darken leather boots.

Instead of discarding your old leather brogues,it’s finally time for you to consider how restore leather boots DIY. Whether it has a sentimental value, or you just plan on testing out your skills, this process can be helpful. While you have many options and product categories to try, proceed with caution to avoid damaging the brogues.

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