Boots made from exotic skins such as alligator, snake, lizard, ostrich, eel, etc. require special care. You can’t use any boot conditioner and hope the end result is a positive one. The additional maintenance is minimal especially when you consider they beauty of a boot made from exotic leathers.
It is extremely important that you don’t use products intended for mammal leather on your exotics. The scales and skin of this leather are held together by membranes, and if the wrong product is used, it will greatly damage the leather causing the scales to dry and eventually fall off. This greatly degrades the beauty of the exotic leather boot. You should also be aware that you don’t want to a product designed for exotics on a smooth leather.
Let’s get started:
1. Clean boots with mild leather shampoo or mild cleaning foam, and use a good quality brush to remove loose surface dirt. It is easier to clean reptile/exotic leather boots if while they are dry, but if they are wet you will need to let them dry before you begin to condition them. While boots are drying, insert a boot tree or paper to keep them in their original shape. It is not recommended that you place boots near heat while drying. This may cause boots to shrink.
2. Conditioning is very important to keep the leather soft and supple. The product should be specifically formulated for reptile and exotic leather. Using products for smooth leather may leave a residue that will build up around the base of the scales and cause them to crack or fall off, or it might lead to discoloration. NEVER buff reptile/exotic leather with a shoe shine cloth, as the scales may come off. Instead, gently use a shoe/boot brush to remove dirt and grime.When applying shoe polish to reptile/exotic leather, it is highly recommended to use a wool dauber. Do not press hard on the reptile/exotic leather when applying shoe polish. Gentle application will garner optimum results.
3. Water-/Weatherproofing is very important if your boots are regularly exposed to rain and sunshine. This is step is not necessary if you only wear them primarily inside. Make sure you look for products that are specially designed for waterproofing and weatherproofing reptile/exotic leather.
No matter the occasion, you can count on Tony Lama to be indicative of the quality, comfort, and style of the modern western character. Tony Lama will continue to maintain its commitment to provide superior and authentic craftsmanship making each pair of the world’s most iconic western boots a breed apart.