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You're A Bootman

Care For The Insides of Your Boots
By Sarge

I suggest that as a part of conditioning both older and new boots, that we use a conditioner on the inside of the boot, as well as the outside. This is primarily the area which will 'dry out' and become contaminated with body salts, oils, etc., and is usually the first area to fail with boots. As we know, most fine-quality boots are, themselves, lined with leather (such as Dehners, which use an elkhide lining) for stiffness, durabiliy, etc. - so this is an area which needs attention. I prefer using Lexol on the boot linings. A little goes a long way.

I merely use a fresh cotton cloth and apply the Lexol to the cloth, swab it on the interiors in a 'circular' motion, let it 'dry' and become absorded for about an hour, and then wipe it down with a clean cotton cloth. I've also heard of 'dabbing' it on with cottonballs.

Other than this step, the boots' interiors need little else to keep them fresh and maintained, I've found. I do prefer Lexol, as it's a moisturizing cream as opposed to being an abrasive, and, as we know, leather was at one time, a living, breathing organism - so the more internal moisture it gets, the better it reacts.

I will usually 'condition' my boots' interiors no less than every six months, even if I don't wear them all that often. I also include the inside lower foot area and the interior sole when doing this for the sake of protection. While this is a time-consuming and added task we go through, the end result is that the entire boot benefits.

I own a pair of custom Dehner Bal-Laced Patrol boots I purchased in 1987, and have conditioned them in this fashion - and today they look brand-new and retain their stiffness - and that wonderful Dehner odor. Granted, I don't wear them daily (they're constructed of all French calf leather, which is, in itself subject to scuffs and scratches) - usually only for the formal events and special occasions, but I feel their longevity can be attributed to proper care and maintenance....and Dehner's legendary attention to quality and construction.

Just a tip from many years of experience and hope it helps someone in the care of fine boots.


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