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Howdy! We’ve got a bit of trivia for all ya’ll boot-lovin cowboys & cowgirls out there: 

Who had the very first pair of cowboy boots?


Genghis Khan

was the first to sport a pair of cowboy boots!

Mongolian troops in the 12th century spent countless hours riding horses, and even slept while riding horseback! These fierce warriors were constantly traveling vast unknown terrains, so they needed footwear with support, durability, and comfort.

The oldest pair known today was worn by Genghis Khan himself. One of the most infamous warlords in history was known, not only for his skill on the battlefield, but also for his high top, wooden-heeled, red leather boots.

It’s a look that has inspired many, over thousands of years, even including the ever-stylish Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother.  

The distinct cowboy-boot style became popular in America after the Civil War. Soldiers brought their boots back home from the battlefields, and because they were so durable, they started using them for their everyday farm chores.

Not too long after that, the entire United States became crazy about cowboy boots. They quickly became a part of everyday country living. Manufacturers started inventing new patterns, styles and colors. The functional and stylish footwear became a fashion statement, that is still widely worn today.

As we wrap-up our history lesson, let’s talk about how you can keep those cowboy boots looking good for centuries as well.

How to Maintain & Condition Cowboy Boots

A good cowboy knows heat can quickly damage leather. If your boots are exposed to the hot summer sun, they may not show signs of damage for a day or two. But, in the long run this can cause irreparable damage to your beloved footwear.

So, our first tip when maintaining your cowboy boots, is to keep them away from any source of heat.

What to do when my cowboy boots get wet?

When it comes to wet boots, there’s one common and dire mistake most people make. While it seems logical, after getting caught the rain or stomping in a puddle, to dry your soggy boots by a  warm fireplace or source of heat, this in fact is the last thing you should do.

This will dry-out your leather, forcing it to harden and eventually crack.

If you want to preserve your boots and prolong their lifespan, put them in a well ventilated dry place when they get wet. But don’t worry, those leather boots are strong and durable. A little bit of water won’t hurt. Just let them dry slowly.

How to clean cowboy boots?

If there’s dirt on your boots, then remove it with a soft brush or a damp cloth. Use this method only on your classic, leather cowboy boots. If your boots are suede, then use a suede brush to get the stains out.

And here’s a nifty hack to use when removing scuff marks – simply use a pencil eraser to gently rub the scuff away. Then use a lightly dampened brush to wipe them off. Just be sure to soak up all the moisture with a dry cloth or a towel when finished.

Also, reserve a brush or a cloth for the sole purpose of cleaning your boots. You want to avoid exposing your boots to any cleaning chemicals that may permanently damage the leather.

How to Care For Cowboy Boots??

Conditioning your leather cowboy boots is a MUST,  if you want them to last for decades. You’ll need a good leather conditioner, and be prepared to get your hands dirty.

Now, make sure you are rubbing in the conditioner, instead of just spreading it all over your boots. You want them to be soaked in it. You will know it’s right when the leather is a bit darker than usual. Don’t worry, this is completely natural. When the conditioner airs out, you will have a clean, shiny pair of cowboy boots.  

This will also add extra strength and flexibility to your boots. But this won’t affect the durability of the boot’s exterior. If your cowboy boots are for work, then use a waxed leather protector, and you’re good to go!

How to store my cowboy boots safely

After your boots are clean, polished and protected, make sure you are keeping them in a well-ventilated room with no direct exposure to the heat or cool air. Never seal them in plastic. Leather needs to breathe, so give your boots some air.


Karoline Jordan was born and raised in San Saba and is a proud member of the fightin' Texas A&M Class of 2014 with a degree in Agriculture Leadership and Education with an emphasis in Public Relations.

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