In a previous post, I expounded on the merits of not babying your boots. That’s not to say don’t give a shit about them. I treated my Red Wings with some of Red Wing’s natural boot dressing with their dauber brush when I first got them back in March. Since then, the only thing I’ve done to them is hit em with a horse hair brush if they look particularly dusty. I’ve worn them nearly every day since. Through the muddy spring, dusty and dry summer, and now into another dreary fall. They’ve got some serious character now, but were starting to look a bit shabby.
I decided that 6 months was long enough to prove my point that you don’t need to be oiling your boots every month. So I brushed them off and gave them a redressing with some of Red Wing’s boot treatment. All in all, it took me less than ten minutes. I timed it because Sons of Anarchy was coming on. Below, I present you three pictures. Before, immediately after redressing them, and then two days after letting the dressing fully soak.
After applying the boot oil, I brushed them with my other horsehair brush to smooth out the oil on ’em. This also puts a little oil on the brush’s bristles. Since I got two of these brushes for $6 each anyways, I’m using one just to brush off dirt and dust that sits by the front door. I’ll use this second one after to hit it with residual dressing, since it has the faintest bit of oil already on it. Just to give them a little extra shine on date night.
One thing I did start doing was putting these cedar shoe trees in them when I’m not wearing them for long stretches of time. These were pretty cheap and helps keep their shape in the toe area. I use this one pair in my black dress shoes too. It also keeps them smelling like a cedar forest. That’s what we call a two-fer.
Seriously guys, don’t spend your precious time every month caring for your boots and shoes. Yes, maybe it sounds nostalgic and manly at first, but think about what you’re doing. Is this activity really adding value? Could you be spending that hour every month doing something better? Like riding a motorcycle or saving puppies from a burning building? Boots were made for stomping around.
So don’t smother them, but don’t let em wither up. Just let em breathe.
Update, June 2013: It’s been over 6 months since I wrote this article and this picture was taken right before oiling them for the third time… You tell me if they really needed a monthly babying: