What Polish to Use on Gore-Tex Riding Boots

Updated April 17, 2017

Gore-Tex is like a miracle for horseback-riding enthusiasts. The high-tech Gore-Tex helps to protect leather from moisture due to inclement/unexpected weather or the various messes from horses during the ride or in the barn. Caring for Gore-Tex treated leather riding boots can seem confusing and tricky. Choosing the wrong product means harming the Gore-Tex and possibly damaging your boots. But with some smart shopping for a proper polish and careful application, you can have your boots gleaming once again.

Durable Water-Repellent Polish

Before doing anything with your boots, it's important for them to be dry. The best way to dry your boots is to let them air dry outdoors with access to sunlight. This drying process will help to eliminate any odours before polishing. Before applying a polish, you should clean off any dried up mud, dirt or other particles that may be stuck to the boots. Use a stiff shoe brush for heavy stains, and an old toothbrush for more gentle stains and hard-to-reach places. Using a soft shoe brush or a clean microfiber cloth, buff the boots in a circular motion to shine and remove any remaining dirt. After the boots have been cleaned, you can apply a durable water-repellent polish with a clean cloth. One of the best polishes to use is Revivex boot cleaner. It's engineered for shoes that get a lot of dirt and grime, and works especially well for Gore-Tex treated boots. It also comes in a kit with various treatment products and care tools.

The Magic of Beeswax

If you are worried about waterproofing after polishing, you should look into applying some pure beeswax or a beeswax-based product to your boots. In fact, you can do this as an alternative to the coloured polishing. The beeswax is a great substance to use because it doesn't affect or damage the Gore-Tex elements or properties of the boots in any way. It also helps to fill small gaps and hairline cracks in your leather, while giving the leather a slick, subtle sheen and a dark, rich finish that is very waterproof. Beeswax sits on the surface of the boots, and it's incredibly durable. It also has a very high melting point and is very dry. All these properties make it great for riding boots that see a lot of wear and tear. Apply some to a microfiber cloth and buff in a circular motion to give your boots a new polished finish.

Avoid Oils

Make sure that whatever product you are using to polish or clean your Gore-Tex boots isn't oil-based or doesn't contain any trace oils. The oils in these products will damage the Gore-Tex and eliminate the breathability of the boots. It will also leave the boots vulnerable to water damage. Water from outside the boots seeps into the surface, and the moisture created from your feet on the inside will not be able to escape.

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About the Author

Darren White is a third-year student studying photography and art history at Haverford College. Raised in the Philadelphia area, he has followed its art scene for some time, which has influenced his column, The Fashion File, that he writes for the "Bi-Co News." He also writes, edits and photographs for Haverford's fashion magazine, "Feathers & Fur."