Equitation horse jumping and a rider with shiny boots

How To Clean and Polish Your Tall 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 makes you stand out as a competitor!

Let's 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 to soften and rehydrate the leather. My favorite is the Der Dau Boot Conditioner because it helps the leather stay buttery soft. Otherwise, just a little water will do the trick!

Step 2: Apply a simple layer of your favorite boot polish (we love Effax 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 (and I want every extra bit of "stick" I can get).

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! 

Step 5: Store your boots in a boot bag with boot trees 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 Effax Speedy Leather 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 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! 

A one stop shop for everything you need to keep your boots in tip top shape is the Effax Leather Care Case.


A few quick tips!

-Don't clean your boots while wearing them with your show pants. No matter how careful you are, you're bound to get some black polish on your breeches (or is that just me?).

-Clean our your boot zippers with a toothbrush! The more dirt and grime that gets stuck in the tracks, the weaker the zipper will become.

-Avoid cleaning and polishing the inside of your boots or they may become to slick.

Check out how my own boots turned out below⬇

 Mountain Horse Sovereign Field Boots freshly cleaned and polished

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

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1 comment

You can get clear polish for the inside of your boots. It’s nice and tacky plus it doesn’t mark your pad or horse.


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