Question, (originally asked by @Ironist ): Anyone have any advice on how to start cleaning and shining these shoes? I've never really gotten any of my shoes this dirty and scraped up so I'm not sure how to begin or if I should be buying any special cleaners like saddle soap / lexol cleaner & lexol conditioner or soaking them in water.

I'm thinking:
  1. use a moist paper towel to get the dirt off uppers and shaft. (water or maybe rubbing alcohol?)
  2. brush uppers and shaft
  3. use renovateur on uppers only and wait 30 minutes
  4. use neutral cream or light brown cream on uppers only
  5. brush
  6. buff
  7. 50 coats of neutral wax

Thanks for any help!

Answer (originally posted by @smoothie1 ): Here are my suggestions to you:

1. Wipe them off thoroghly with a clean cotton rag and water, removing all dirt, dried mud, dust and debris.
2. Allow them to dry.
3. Use a conditioner to moisturize the leather. I prefer Bick 4 because I like its results best, and it seems gentle. But Lexol or Saphir Renovateur will work as well.
4. Buff with a clean rag; you can brush at this point also.
5. Apply whatever combinations of cream and/or wax polishes you prefer. Use colors that are lighter than the leather, if you wish to preserve the antique burnishing. Neutral polish is safe as well, but scuffs may remain visible with neutral polish, which some like as age/patina. Brush and buff with cotton rag between coats of polish. Multiple coats likely will not be necessary, but they can add visual interest.
7. Cover the boots with dust bags, and store them in a cool and dry place.

*avoid alcohol or saddle soap - these can be harsh on some leather. Consider using a toothbrush or other small welt brush to clean dirt along the sole edge.

Good job for wearing your boots and roughing them up a bit! They will look as good as new after a shine. Cheers!

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