Hand-made quality leather boots can last many happy years. The first pair I had made by Don Carlos is now five years old, and I still wear them all the time. I find that they get more and more comfortable as you wear them, since the leather molds around your feet. The same thing with the leather sole – the more you wear them, the sturdier they get as you wear off the slick. (But remember, you can also order your boots with rubber soles if you prefer.)
Here’s a little guide to make sure your Gray Boots enjoy a long and happy life:
1. Polish your leather. If you live in a place where you can’t just walk around Parque Central and have your boots hand-polished by the man next to the newspaper vendor, then the next best thing is doing it yourself.
Just use some shoe polish like Kiwi, and rub with a rag. Repeat until shiny. Easy! This will protect the leather and make it softer, too.
2. Clean your textile. Clean it like you would a piece of carpet, dabbing it with this magical, natural recipe:
1 part baking soda
2 parts vinegar
2 parts water
Mix and dab onto the parts with the fabric. Make sure to let dry when finished. Mixing baking soda and vinegar never ceases to amuse me. The volcano is erupting!
Here in beautiful Antigua during the rainy season, everything gets damp and inevitably some things mold if you do not take care of them. I make sure that my boots enjoy the sun once in a while during the wet season, and protect my leathery treasures with a coat of tea tree oil, which is a natural fungicide. So far, this has been working very well. For those living in California, you probably don’t have to worry about mold, but now you know what to do if you decide to move to Guatemala.