During the after Christmas sales you can often find really great sales on the exotic skin cowboy boots that usually run hundreds of dollars more than those made of ordinary leather. While you may be able to get them for a really great price, you are not going to be able to keep them looking great if you do not know how to care for the skins they are made out of.
Exotic skins require a different type of care than your typical leather boot would. The great news is that with a little extra knowledge, and a little extra care, you can keep your boots looking great for years to come.
Know Your Skins
Although many cowboy boots are made from leather, you can find some really good looking boots on the market made from other types of skins. The most common skins you will find on the market are:
While many skins are very discernible by the way they look, some skins can be modified to look like materials they are not. Before you invest in a pair of exotic skin boots, it is very important you actually know what types of skins they are constructed from.
Only purchase your boots from reputable dealers. Not only will they be more truthful about the materials you are purchasing, but you will also be able to purchase boots made from higher quality skins. No matter which skin, or combination of skins you purchase, the most important thing is you address the unique needs that each skin has.
One of the most popular reptile skins is snakeskin. The color, shape of the scales, and other characteristics can vary based on the type of snake they are from. Some of the most popular species of snake skins that you will find boots made out of are:
Although all the skins come from various types of snakes, their care will basically be the same.
How To Care For Your Snakeskin and Lizard
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your snakeskin and lizard skin boots is to ensure you keep them clean. It is important you wipe them down with a soft, dry cloth anytime you wear them. Use a soft brush to brush away any dried on dirt. Always brush in the direction of the scales, and never go against the scales, or do anything that will cause you to lift the scales.
Since both types of skins are water resistant, exposing your boots to excessive water will eventually cause the skins on your boots to dry out and curl. You can keep the skins on your boots hydrated by applying a light conditioner made especially for reptiles.
If your boots are made from a reptile skin that has been applied over a cow leather, it is important you keep the leather underneath hydrated as well. You can do this by applying a leather conditioner to the inside of your boot. This will allow it to sink into the leather and will not damage the skin.
There are two very distinctive patterns that come from the skin of an alligator. Those created from the backside of the alligator produce a very distinctive, but a much rougher texture, than those created from the belly of the alligator. Boots created from the belly are much softer in texture than those created from the back of the hide.
Alligator skin boots should be provided the same type of care you would provide to typical leather boots. Keep them wiped down and clean with a damp cotton cloth. Saddle soap can be used to remove more dirt and grime, but always ensure you rinse them well to remove the residue.
Keeping your boots conditioned with a reptile conditioner will keep them from drying out and supple. If you choose to wax them, always wax them with a neutral wax, or use a wax color that matches your boot.
Another popular material you will find is ostrich skin. This is a very smooth, supple skin that is not only strong, but can be very versatile. These skins are often used alone or used in combination with other types of reptile skins.
The care of these boots are also very similar to those you would provide for your cow leather. Keep them wiped down with a damp cloth, and if they need cleaning, you can use a common saddle soap, and a very soft brush. Always ensure you rinse them well to keep the soapy residue from drying your boots out.
When you condition your boots, use a reptile conditioner. Although ostrich is not in the reptile family, the lighter composition of the reptile conditioner will provider better results than a general leather conditioner.
If you purchase a boot made from any other material, always ensure you know how to care for the materials they are made from. Not only will they last longer, but proper care will keep them looking like the day they were purchased.
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12 January 2015
Most of us who live out in nature are pleased to see little critters scampering around our yards and trails. But part of rural life is the occasional encounter with a creature that isn't so welcome. These intruders may be simply annoying like a raccoon that knocks over a trash can or a wolf loudly yelping to its mate in the middle of the night. Animals like bears and some snakes may even be dangerous. Other creatures we mostly like, such as deer and rabbits, become a lot less cute when they have broken into the garden and are chomping away on our vegetables. Thankfully there are products we can use to encourage those critters to go right back where they came from. This blog will highlight them.