Maintaining Yard Boots
One of the most disheartening things is to spend your hard earned money on gorgeous new pair of yard boots for work and riding, only to find that your full-on work schedule has all but annihilated them a few weeks later!
This week we are delighted to introduce guest blogger Eada Hudes, who writes for online equine store Church Equestrian, to give some invaluable tips on getting the absolute best out of what is arguably one of the most valuable work tools an equestrian person owns – as the song goes “These boots were made for walking” (and riding, and wading through mud, and walking the course…)
How To Ensure Your Boots Last Longer!
by Eada Hudes
Maintaining riding boots and country boots is very important if you want them to fulfil their promise of being long lasting and durable. Not only will they lose their attractive finish, but they are unlikely to last anywhere near as long if they’re left dusty and covered in mud!
To ensure that they stay and look fresh for longer, here are some things you should do…
Use silicone polymer spray to spray on your boots to protect them from damage. After the first coat, let your boots dry for half an hour before you spray the second coat. Silicone polymer also waterproofs your boots, so when you’re working in a wet environment, this is very beneficial. You should repeat this process at least once a month.
Scotchgard is easy to get hold of and will be a good all-round spray to protect boots and other appropriate items – always check the guidelines of both the spray AND boots/clothing manufacturer before use, and test a patch on an inconspicuous area first!
To clean your riding and country boots, use a plastic spoon or a brush with soft bristles to remove the mud that’s stuck to your boots. Once you’re done removing this dirt, use a sponge soaked in soapy water to remove the thinner layers of dust and dirt by wiping the boots clean.
With suede boots, don’t use water or a sponge, instead use a nylon brush to get rid of the dust and dirt.
Once you’re done cleaning the boots with water and soap, use a damp cloth to give them a final clean. For a further detailed cleaning, use an old toothbrush to clean dirt from the underside of the boots and around the sole. Once you’re done cleaning the grime from all nooks and corners of the boots, use a dry cloth to wipe your boots. Let them dry for 30 minutes or more until they are absolutely dry at the touch.
A lot of boot owners do not do this, but it’s an extremely effective cleaning step to maintain the shine and durability of your riding and country boots. Before you use a conditioner on your boots, you should test whether the purchased boot conditioner is suitable and right for your boots or not. To do this, test the conditioner on a small patch on your boots, preferably on an area which is not directly visible upon wearing the boots. If after a few hours, the tested spot is only a little darker than your original boot shade, then it’s a thumbs up to use the conditioner on your boots. However, if it is extremely dark or changes its colour, then you need to get another conditioner for your boots.
Boots need conditioning each time they lose their shade, develop cracks or crease. Ideally you should condition your boots at least every six months. You don’t need a lot of conditioner on your boots, a thin layer all over the boots will do the trick. Make sure you are using the right amount of conditioner and not over-conditioning it.
You should never use conditioner on boots that are made of suede, nude finish leather, patent leather or microsuede and, of course, always follow the manufacturers instructions!
It is important that you take special care of your riding and country boots if you want them to last longer and not lose their lustre. It’s easier to maintain country boots that are meant for fashion purposes, but if you’re using your country boots for riding and utilitarian purposes, then make sure you take extra care of them when they get dirty and muddy while riding and working in the yard. If you give your boots the regular maintenance they require and need, they will respond with long lasting shine and durability. So don’t take your boots for granted! Look after your boots and they will look after you!
Top Tip: Worth noting if you are self employed, work gear is tax deductible! Or maybe worth having a chat with your boss about this if you are employed directly, they might be able to let their gain be yours in such scenario