Take 15 Minutes to Care for Your Boots
Day in and day out we hear customers who say, “these boots are done.” Some customers are quick to throw out their old boots and buy new ones, which sounds like it’s great business for us, however, we want to show you another option.
Short Story: For those who really invest in their footwear and buy great quality Red Wing boots, it is worth it to take 15 minutes to care for your boots. There are dozens of reasons to care for the things you buy, but especially a product that serves you while you’re working on your feet all-day every-day. As you can tell in this side by side, you can extend the life of boots by taking 3 simple steps: Clean, Condition, Protect.
Long Story: A customer wanted to buy and wear out a new pair of the Red Wing model 606 boots and to discard his old boots. While we were happy to sell a new pair of boots, we were surprised that he wanted to leave his old boots when they had so much life left in them. We are all about the value of the products that we sell, and Red Wing creates true value in their boots when creating them with top quality leather, hardware, and outsoles. So when your boots start to look like this, it doesn’t mean they need to be donated or thrown in the garbage necessarily. It can also mean it’s just time to take a few minutes and care for them.
Step 1 - Clean: With a mixture of warm water and a bit of a mild soap, use a soft rag or a soft brush to clean off all of the dirt and dust. This process takes about 5 minutes. You don’t want to soak the boot, but you need to get out any dirt that has really sat on the leather for a long period of time. Pay attention to the seams, the edges of the tongue and wherever there is stitching so that you can really get out all of the grime. Once you are done with the cleaning, use a dry rag to try to soak up any excess water.
Step 2 - Condition: After letting the leather dry for a bit (usually a few hours), use a conditioner that is safe for the leather. For this boot (Red Wing 606 that has an Ebbtide leather), we are using mink oil that provides a conditioner with a bit of silicone as a protector. Dab a new soft rag into the mink oil and apply it all over the boot. The mink oil will bring a bit of shine to the leather, and as it moisturizes the leather, you will notice that it starts getting back to its original color. Leather is skin, and skin needs to be moisturized to remain flexible, strong, resilient. The best part about using a good conditioner is that once the leather is conditioned, it will form better to your feet. It is best to go over the main seams and the parts of the boot that usually gets the most wear. This will take about 10 minutes.
Step 3 - Protect: This step is optional, but highly recommended. It takes under a minute, but it can greatly decrease how often you need to clean your boots. Think of leather protector as like wax on a car. It sits on the surface and it helps water, oil, dirt, and mud bead up and easily wipe off the surface. Using the Red Wing Leather Protector (which is a pump spray), spray your boots from a few inches away and let it sit for a bit. It does not take long for the leather protector to dry. It is a non-silicone based formula and it is good for use on all types of leather. In general it does not change the color or texture of the boot, and only adds a slight bit of shine.
We can honestly say that we go through this conversation several times a day with our customer. And the reason why we do it is because we feel like you should get your money’s worth when you purchase boots from us. When you invest a couple hundred dollars in your boots, and you work hard every day, it is worth it to take care of your footwear. As you can see the finished product compared to the original (after 4 hours total, but only about 15 minutes of cleaning), there was a lot of life left in these boots. All they needed was a little bit of TLC….or in this case CCP (Clean, Condition, Protect).
Adam, Dave’s New York