Cowboy boots just like other leather shoes are prone to wear out with time.
Therefore, what you need to do is take care of these boots so that the leather does not crack or become dry.
Regardless of whether they are made of suede or leather, it is paramount that you waterproof them.
But, how do you waterproof yours?
Can I use mink oil on cowboy boots?
Yes, you can use mink oil on your boots to protect the boot from cracking, drying, or rotting. This oil keeps them moisturized, thereby preventing cracking or dryness.
It makes them soft and consequently, more comfortable to wear in all weathers. It is recommended that you apply it at least once every two weeks.
In this article, we will detail all the necessary information that you need to know about this oil, its application, benefits, and any possible setbacks when using it.
What is it?
The best description of mink oil is a unique leather conditioner that is extracted from the abdomen fat of a mink.
The use of this oil for conditioning started in the early 1950s.
Minks contain over 70% of natural unsaturated fatty acids.
This composition makes the oil unique and ideal for conditioning leather.
This all-natural oil remains fresh for long, thereby guaranteeing that it be used for long.
Why choose it?
It is quite distinctive from other animal and vegetable fatty oils.
This is because it has some remarkable features that protect them from water damage.
For instance, this oil doubles as a weather-guarding agent as well as a waterproof conditioner.
Unlike other oils that only shine, this oil ensures that your boots are cushioned from water damage.
There are a couple of benefits such as:
It acts as a waterproofing agent that protects them from water and moisture damage.
Water is one of the leading aspects that are known to cause great damage to leather footwear.
Mink oil contains a slick coating material that covers the surface.
Consequently, this coating shields the leather material from moisture.
It protects the boot from all surface abrasions that are caused by salt, mud, and other damaging effects including UV rays.
Conditions your cowboy boot
Leather boots are prone to damage due to the effect of dirt and dust.
With continuous exposure to dust and dirt, the material starts to tear and consequently gets worn out.
However, this does not need to be the case as mink oil conditions the leather, thereby making it soft and pliable.
It removes the dirt and dust from the microscopic fibers.
This, in turn, results in enhanced durability and longevity.
Protection against molds, mud, and mildew
Molds, mud, and mildews are microorganisms that have the potential of destroying your boots with time.
However, this does not need to be the case as this type of conditioner acts as a protective coating.
It hinders these microorganisms from penetrating the material of the boot.
Consequently, this guarantees that yours remain in pristine condition for a long time.
Boots made from leather tend to become stiff and hard with time.
When you apply it on the surface of them and allow it to sip in overnight, the oil gets absorbed into the fibers.
Consequently, this softens the boot, thereby impacting its durability positively.
Staining is common in cowboy boots, especially those that are brightly colored.
When this occurs, they get discolored and hence have an unpleasant appearance.
You can avoid all this by applying it to the surface.
How long should you let it stay?
While there is no exact timeframe that you should leave the oil on them, a maximum of 12 hours at a time is recommended.
If your boots are not sufficiently soft after 12 hours, you can consider applying a fresh layer of the oil.
Ideally, there is no specific approach to using this oil on your shoes.
Instead, you should settle for a procedure that will work best for you.
Mink oil is useful and advantageous when it comes to taking care of your boots.
However, if used inappropriately, the oil can do more harm than good.
If applied too frequently, or in excessive amounts, it can potentially oxidize your boots.
This, in turn, will harden them.
Additionally, if applying it you leave them in damp and moist places and let them stay for long on them, it is possible for the oil to turn rancid.
As such, it can leave a strong pungent smell that can be quite troublesome to remove.
To avoid any possible damage to your boots, it is recommendable that you do not let them stay for too long and that you keep them in a dry place.
What to observe when using it?
For starters, it is advisable that you should not apply mink oil on light-colored boots.
It oxidizes and darkens the leather, thereby interfering with the unique appearance.
Only apply it for only once every two weeks.
Do not apply it on new and suede boots
Do not let it remain for more than 12 hours and 24 hours for extremely dry leather.
What is so special about it?
It is a multi-purpose conditioning oil that boasts unique properties and qualities.
Due to this, it is perfect for use in treating, preserving, and conditioning different types of leather.
How does it compare to leather conditioners?
Leather conditioners do not darken them like mink oil, even if the conditioner is applied frequently.
However, it is able to remove stubborn dirt, grease, and grim while leather conditioners only ward off light dust and dirt.
When it comes to choosing between a leather conditioner and mink oil, you should choose the conditioner that will work best for you depending on your type of cowboy boots.
The ultimate goal should be according to your boots the best care and maintenance for extended durability.
Even with the best conditioner, you will also need to use your boots appropriately and limit their exposure to destructive aspects like water and moisture.
Mink oil can last for a long time when stored in a cool dry place away from heat.
Consequently, the oil is designed to enhance the durability of your boots by shielding them from any damaging effects that are likely to speed up wear and tear.
You can apply it on all leather types including oil-tanned leather, full-grain leather, or polished leather.
However, do not use it on suede boots or nubuck leather.
Steve Oddvar Vicantas is a professional electrician and building inspector who loves writing about work boots, work safety, and everything in between. He is also a part-time blogger when he has spare time.