How To: Clean and Polish Your Tall Boots

by Lizzie Lengling July 21, 2020 2 min read

Equitation horse jumping and a rider with shiny boots

When it comes to tall boots, it’s no secret that they are an investment piece. That’s why you must be diligent with their care. Not only does regular care increase the longevity of the leather, but proper polishing really makes you stand out as a competitor!


Read on to get the inside scoop on cleaning and polishing tall boots so they shine in the show ring!

Step 1: Make sure your boots are clean! Start by wiping off all the excess dust with a dry rag. Then clean the boots with a damp sponge or rag. Do not use any saddle soap as it will dry and weaken the leather. If necessary use a leather conditioner such as Belvoire Tack Conditioner Spray, to soften and rehydrate the leather. Otherwise, just water will do the trick!

Step 2: Apply a simple layer of your favorite boot polish (we love Kiwi Polish) all over the boot with a rag, except for the inside of the calf. If you apply polish to the inner calf, the leather will become too slick and make it harder to grip the saddle.

Step 3: Let the boot polish dry completely.

Step 4: Time to buff buff BUFF! Using either a buffing brush or towel, buff the polish in a back and forth or circular motion. This will turn the polish from dull to shiny! The Shires Boot Cleaning Kit is awesome because it comes with everything you need!

Step 5: Store your boots in a boot bag when not in use. This will keep them clean and protected until it’s time to ride again! Check out this cool one from Ariat.

Step 6 (Optional): Use a Kiwi Express Leather Shine Sponge or Oakwood Instant Shine to give that extra finishing touch right before you head in the ring.

Following these steps, be prepared to see your reflection in your tall boots! While this process is time-consuming, it really makes a difference in the shine and longevity of your boots. If you’re in a rush, Urad does make an instant shine polish that skips the buffing process altogether. But nothing tops some good old fashioned elbow grease! 

Just look at how my Mountain Horse Sovereign Field Boots turned out below--->

Mountain Horse Sovereign Field Boots freshly cleaned and polished

So get to buffing and feel free to comment below with some pictures of your shiny boots!

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