Lifelong Leather

Keep Those Boots, Bags, and Saddles in Business Forever

Article by Aubrey Matson

Photography by Paula VM, Daniel Gertson

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

After ten years in business, the pros at Boerne Boot and Hide don’t just sell high-quality leather goods. They help take care of it, too. Owner Kari Valentine and cobbler Kelly Mullin understand that leather products can be expensive, so maintaining your investment in top condition is critical. 
They emphasize that it all starts with protection. “It’s good to protect instead of getting a loss from dropping a glass of wine on your foot,” says Mullin. She and Valentine highly recommend KIWI leather and suede protectant products, which are readily available everywhere, from big-box stores to online. These products provide basic waterproofing for the skins. “You should always do that—especially if you have a light-colored pair of suede or nubuck,” Mullin advises. She adds that since suede stains easily, applying the waterproofing as soon as possible is essential for any product, particularly boots.
Leather conditioners are essential to keep your leather soft with its original texture. Valentine and Mullin recommended Kali Leather Life for all types of skins, including exotics. They also endorse the Blackrock brand, which can remove deep scratches and treat thicker hides.

General tips for lengthening the lifespan of your leather products leathers include climate control. “There’s a lot of gentlemen that will leave their boots in the back of their truck, and they wonder why there’s dry rot,” said Mullin. Keeping the skins dry to the best of your ability is also crucial. “Some people might have closets that get real damp, and you want to keep things away from the extremes,” Mullin commented. Overall, the pair emphasized that exposing skins to the elements—including leaving saddles out in the barn—can lead to molding or dry rot over time. Mullin summarized her approach: “Leather is skin, and you kind of have to treat it as such.” 

“Leather is skin, and you kind of have to treat it as such.”

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