How to Take Care of Your Boots in Winter to Get Longer Shoe Life

how to take care of your boots in winter to get longer shoe life

Before winter comes, you should be aware of how to take care of your Boots in winter. Knowing how to protect shoes from ice is going to help prolong its lifespan.

The good news is it doesn’t take much to clean and maintain your boots. Whether it’s muddy puddles, salt stains or just dirt, the cleanup process is straightforward.

How to Clean Your Leather Boots

  1. Whether there are dirty marks, dried salt cracks around the bottom, salt ring etc. the first thing you have to do is remove the debris.
  2. If there are salt stains, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Dip a soft cloth in the mixture and wipe the stains.
  3. Let the boot dry and use a clean cloth to buff. Remove salt stains as soon as you see them. If you can get to the salt stains before it dries up, wiping with a damp cloth will suffice.
  4. ​Use a saddle soap to waterproof and condition your boots.
  5. ​Dip a damp cloth in the saddle soap until you get a lather.
  6. ​Start wiping the boot and remove the dirt.
  7. ​Wait a few minutes and then wipe the boot with a clean rag.
  8. If there’s too much saddle soap, add more water.

How to Get Rid of Boot Scuffs

It’s easy to remove scuffs on shoes and boots. All you have to do is dip a soft cloth in water and into baking soda. Gently rub the scuffs until they’re gone. Allow the boot to dry once the scuffs are gone. After the boot is clean, get a clean cloth and buff it up.

How to Prevent Damage During the Winter

  1. Provide your boots with a protective solution at the start and end of winter (if you can do this after each season, that’s even better).
  2. Use a spray cleaning solution to waterproof your boots. This is also an effective method to keep salt stains away. If you’ve got several boots and shoes, you should clean them all at once.
  3. Storage solutions: if you’re going to dry the boots, i.e. after cleaning, leave them in a warm location. Do not put them anywhere near a direct heat source (like a radiator). Excessive heat can produce cracks in leather boots and cause leather to brittle. Do not put leather boots in plastic containers because leather must have breathing room. Do not put the boots in any environment where there is no air because mold will set in. The absence of air could also dry the boots.
  4. If you’re not going to use the boots for a long time, store them in a fabric bag or a container with a loose cover.
  5. Clean your boots before storing them. Make certain the boots are dry and clean, otherwise salt will damage the leather.

How to Clean and Maintain Suede Boots

Suede boots and shoes need to be handled differently from regular leather. Rather than wetting the boot and cleaning, use an emery board or a kneaded eraser to remove marks.

  • Be careful when using the eraser or emery board as they could flatten the boots’ textures. If that happens, use a terry cloth towel or toothbrush to scrub the affected area.
  • If there are heavy stains, grab the boot and place it over a steaming kettle. Let the steam from the kettle go over the boot for a few moments, and let the suede grain brush the kettle. This ought to remove the dirt.

About Boot Cleaning Solutions

There are a lot of boot and shoe cleaning products online, but you have to be careful. Use only solutions that are compatible with the material. If you’ve got leather boots, use only cleaning products designed for it. This is especially important for suede as it is more delicate than other leather.

Cleaning Tips

  • Leather boots are not waterproof unless it has Gore-Tex or other waterproof liner built in. There’s a difference between a watertight and waterproof construction, so your boots could still get moist when used in wet conditions.
  • Clean your boots regularly regardless of the season. Regular cleanup prevents clogging, mud and dirt buildup as well as cracking. Cleaning also prevents leather from drying up. Keep in mind that leather is just like skin in that it has pores, and these have to be unclogged to remain in good condition.
  • There’s no need to use fancy cleaning equipment: a leather cleaner and brush will suffice.
  • Always remove the laces prior so you’ll have an easier time cleaning hard to reach areas in the boots.


Caring for your leather boots and shoes isn’t as difficult as others may lead you to believe. As long as you use the right products, it should hold up fine during the winter and beyond. 

Corey Feaster

I am Corey Feaster, Founder and Editor of I spend my major part of life researching footwear. Hope i can help you regarding footwear from our blog feetstrap. Stay with us and let us know what else do you want.

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