cowboy boot shine kit

How to Polish Cowboy Boots

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The boots we wear speak a lot about who we are. Someone can tell if you are fashion-forward or you like following trends by the look of your boots. The cowboy boots you wear, how you wear them, and the care you accord them helps people to have the first impression on you when you meet them.

Thus, it is vital to learn how you should take good care of the cowboy boots. Polishing your cowboy boots is one of the top boot cares you need to apply. But the question is, what is the best way you should polish your cowboy boots? And which products will you use and how often should you do it?

This article has provided you with the answers to your questions. We have explored two main methods on how you should polish your cowboy boots more, especially those with stitching.

Why You Should Polish Cowboy Boots

cowboy boot polish

  • Polishing cowboy boots help restore moisture on the leather and keep them safe from dirt, water, etc.
  • Polishing also boosts the lifespan of your boots.
  • Some cowboys/cowgirls like to polish their boots as a way of taking good care of them. This makes the boot continue shining despite the years they have been used.

Polishing Cowboy Boots with Stitching

There are various steps that you need to follow before you start to polish your cowboy boots. You need to prepare tools to use as well as the following tasks. Before we look at these steps required, ensure that you have done good preparation and clean the boots.


  • As you prepare to polish your cowboy boots, ensure that the following tools are available in your polishing set.
  • Boot polish that you prefer for your cowboy boot like kiwi shoe polish or Saphir
  • An old sock or cloth
  • A chamois or buffing cloth
  • Horsehair brush for shining and cleaning
  • Bleach pen or wax pencil for white and colored stitching, respectively

Cleaning the Cowboy Boots

Ensure that you have cleaned well your cowboy boots ready for the polishing process. Cleaning depends on which conditions the boots are in. However, you need to follow this simple process;

  • Using a brush or old cloth, chase away all the dirt from the boots
  • With a soap and brush, clean dust from the boots, including your welt and outsoles. Using a dry rag, wipe away the boots and let them in an open place to dry before moving to the next step.

How to Polish Cowboy Boots with a Top Quality Polisher

polished cowboy boots

Step 1. Polish application on your cowboy boots

Wrap your middle and index fingers with a piece of cloth, dab the cream or wax polish, and spread it out on your whole boot. To avoid wastage, just dam a small amount. Rub your boot gently in a circular motion. It would be best if you were caring for it to soak your boot properly.
In some cases, the boot might be fogging or clouding in this step. Do not worry because the result will be different. Some products also make the boot rich in color instead of darkening it. To make it shinier, heat your Kiwi for 20 seconds and leave it to dry before using the boot.

Step 2. Brush your cowboy boots

With your horsehair shine brush, brush your boots faster and repeatedly with some short strokes within your shoes. Ensure the brush bristle is made from horsehair. Brush the boot until you feel tired; this is because the long and repeated brushing helps the polish penetrate uniformly into your cowboy boots.
The more you do, the shinier the boots become. A coat of 2 to 3 layers of the polish on the boot’s surface is good because it helps to retain its original color for a long period. Ensure that your polishing brush is different from the one you used in boot cleaning.

Step 3. Cowboy boot wiping

With a clean piece of soft cloth, wipe away the excess polish from your boots. To ensure you have removed all of them, rub it until you experience luster on the boots.

Step 4. Buff your Cowboy boots

Suppose you want to make your cowboy boot shinier, buff the leather with a lean dry cloth. In this process, you will have finished your polish process. The buffing cloth needs to be done in forth and back movement up to when you achieve your gloss that you need.

Step 5. Making stitches back to original colors

For cowboy boots with stitching, other than carefully cleaning them, there are some pens you need to do to bring back the stitching. The pens should be applied after cleaning and polished your cowboy boot with stitching. They include

i. Use Bleach Pen for Cowboy Boots with White Stitching

This pen features a brush and nozzle on each of the ends. Use the small nozzle on the thread and the bleach to remove debris for the stitching. There is no need to use water; you only need to take the pen and stitch to the cowboy boot.

ii. Use of a Wax pencil in colored stitching

To get back your colored stitching, take some time to care to color the thread. It would be best if you were keen not to draw the leather of your boots. After you have applied, let your boot dry and see the result.

Advantages of polishing cowboy boots with Kiwi

  • They make your shining boot look like new brands
  • The method can be done easily at home
  • The polish shine is inexpensive, and it nourishes the leather

Disadvantages of polishing cowboy boots with Kiwi

  • It is difficult to remove hard stains
  • Your boot might look shiny and glossy, which might not be a good look

How to Shine Cowboy Boots without Polish

cowboy boot shine kit

Despite that, you might not get the same quality as when you use a polish, you can shine your boots without necessarily using the polish. This method is good when you run out of polish, and you need to polish your shoe.

There are a few common home items that you might need to make the process successful. Some of the items include;

  • Vegetable oil
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Olive oil
  • Banana peel
  • Vinegar
  • A soft cloth
  • An old newspaper
  • Cotton balls if you use vinegar, petroleum jelly, or oil


  1. Clean your boots as possible using the old cloth or rag
  2. Lay the newspaper on the floor to prevent stains
  3. Dip a cotton ball into vegetable oil, olive, or petroleum jelly if you decided to use them
  4. Rub the dipped cotton ball gently on the boots in a small circular motion
  5. If you used banana peels, rub the inside part of the banana peel on your boots
  6. With another soft cloth, wipe your shoes to get rid of excessive petroleum jelly or oil
  7. Allow your boots to dry, and look at the result

This is an alternative method you can use to polish your shoe if you do not want to use any chemical or are out of the polish. The method can be used occasionally but using quality shoe polish is the best one. To get rid of stain marks, you need to apply a small quantity of vinegar to the stain.

The pros of this method

  • You can use any of these home items to make your boots look new again
  • Your boots become shiny without applying any chemical
  • Vinegar helps to remove scuff marks from the cowboy boots
  • Petroleum jelly is good in repairing cracks within our cowboy boots

Cons of the method

  • Some of the items leave a smell on your boots
  • They do not boost the boot durability as the real shoe polish do

Tips to Note: When Polishing Your Cowboy Boots

how to clean leather cowboy boots

  • Boot cleaning is vital before polishing. Ensure you have cleaned your boots well and pay attention to the boots’ heel, sole, welt, shafts, among other parts
  • Select the best polish that matches the color of your cowboy boots. Where you are not sure, you can choose neutral or uncolored polish, although they will have a little different effect.
  • You can add more layers of the polish for high shinning, although it depends on the type of products used. Ensure that the layers are thinner than their previous layer.
  • The polish brush and clean polish should be different and do not use one in doing the two processes.
  • Use different soft cloths also in buffing and cleaning your cowboy boots
  • Learn the polishing and cleaning tricks

Final Word

Reviving your cowboy boot can’t be hard again if you follow the above procedure. All you need to do is to have the right polishing tools and following the procedure. As we have mentioned, if you want your cowboy boot to be shiny, clean them first and let them dry before you apply your polish.

In case you run out of your polish, you need not to panic because there are some common home items that you can use to polish your boots. This method might not be that good as polish, but it can act as a backup plan for you.

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