How to Care for Knee-High Leather Boots

Updated November 21, 2016

Knee-high leather boots have been a staple of women's fashion for years. The great thing about them is that they always look stylish in fall and winter. The bad thing about them is they can cost an arm and a leg, which is all the more reason to preserve them. With a little care, maintenance and the proper storage, your leather boots can last for years, making them well worth the expense you initially paid for them. Just follow a few rules of leather care to ensure that their integrity will be preserved for years to come.

Inspect your boots before purchasing them to ensure that there are no marks, snags, cracks, scuffs, creases or rips in the leather.

Condition your boots when you get home in order to loosen up the leather and keep it moist. There are many products on the market that can do this, including WD-40, mink oil and, of course, leather conditioner.

Clear a space in your closet where the boots can stand upright. Knee-high leather boots should not be folded or stored in shoe racks, as this can cause stress to the leather, making it more likely to crease, lighten in colour, crack or simply fit unnaturally.

Place water bottles or other long, hard, cylindrical-shaped objects into the legs of the boots in order to make them stand upright. Though the object does not have to be a perfect fit, it should be big enough so that it catches in the boots' legs. If it falls all the way down to the heel of the boot the item is too small. You can stack one or two objects on top of each other if the initial object is too small.

Wipe your leather boots off with a moistened cloth after they have been worn or stored for long periods of time. This should remove any dirt and debris from their surface.

Purchase and use a leather shoe cleaner if you're unable to remove certain substances from your boots with a damp towel. Allow the cleaner to air dry. Finish by polishing the shoe with a shoeshine cloth or any household item that is made of cotton. There are many shoeshine polishes that you can buy, though you should read the directions carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and always wear gloves. If you find the shoe-shining process to be too difficult or inconvenient, you can always take your boots to a shoe shiner or shoe-repair facility. Some car washes and malls provide shoe shiners, while some dry cleaners also have a person on hand for such tasks.

Maintain the finish of your boots by preserving its appearance. Spread beeswax over the boots if you typically encounter rain, snow or muddy landscapes while wearing them, or you can use a simple leather spray if you don't need the added waterproofing that comes with beeswax. Consult the boot's manufacturer or a shoe repair store, however, if you plan to use both products on your shoes, as it is not always recommended.


Allow your boots to dry naturally if they become damp from outside activity. Do not use a blow dryer or other source of heat to dry them.

Store your boots in a shady place to prevent the leather from tanning.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather conditioner (or something comparable)
  • Water bottles or other cylindrical-shaped items
  • Cotton cloths or towels
  • Shoe polish
  • Gloves
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About the Author

Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.