How Should We Condition Tactical Boots: A Complete Guide

Tactical boots are gradually becoming a culture. As evident with the growing market size, more people are more open to buying or using tactical boots.

As we integrate boots into our closets, we must also learn how to condition and keep them clean! Conditioning tactical boots is not a choice if you’re going to use them for what they were made for!

So, how should we condition tactical boots? How should we clean them? Read on to find out!

How to Condition the Upper Unit of Boots

Tactical boots have different conditioning procedures. You can’t condition suede boots the same as leather boots.

Below is a quick rundown of how to condition-specific types of tactical boots:

Suede Boots

How Should We Condition Tactical Boots
Suede Boots
  • Use a soft brush to remove dried particles glued to your boot. Brush gently to avoid damaging the surface.
  • Use a clean damp cloth to wipe your boot.
  • Depending on the color of your boot, apply a suede conditioner to your boot evenly and moderately. You can use a universal that is used on any boot color.
  • Allow the boot to cool and dry

Leather boots

  • Use a clean damp cloth to wipe your boot. For rigid and glued particles, brush them off. You can spice the wiping by adding some detergent.
  • Apply the boot leather cream to the leather surface. Conditioning products like Kiwi are widely used and very economical.
  • Leave for a few minutes to dry in the sun. Air drying is also okay.
  • Use a shoe brush to polish the boot finely. This is an excellent practice done to make it shinier.

Waterproof boots

  • You can use a brush or damp cloth to pre-clean the boot surface.
  • Apply the boot sprays or waterproof cream to your boot.
  • Store the boots in a cool, dry place.

Quick Note:

Always use the appropriate conditioning technique matching the boot material. For instance, brushing suede boots destroys your boot. If you are unsure what material your boot is, check the manufacturer’s manual. The manuals are lifesavers when you need any information about a product.

Darren Finlay

Do I Need to Condition My Tactical Boots Every Time I Wear Them?

No, you don’t have to condition your boots every time you wear them. That is unless you go through mud pits daily.

The main idea behind condition boots is to keep them looking good and clean. You can’t keep conditioning clean boots. It’s not sustainable.

Dirty Military boots
They were worn alright! Should we condition them?

We recommend conditioning your boots once every one to three months. Depending on where you live and what you use the boots for!

Too much conditioning and brushing wear off your boot. You will look good, but it won’t be for long due to wear and tear.

Things to Avoid When Conditioning Tactical boots

Conditioning boots is great. However, you must do it properly to avoid damaging your boots. Below is a quick list of things you need to avoid when conditioning boots:

  1. Never dry your boots directly from a heating source. Let them dry naturally.
  2. Do not soak your boots in water, even for the waterproof types. Do not clean them using a washing machine either.
  3. Scrubbing can damage suede and leather boots. Soft brushes and wipes settle the deal.
Boots in water at the beach
How do y’all do this?

Can You Resole Tactical Boots?

Yes, you can resole tactical boots. Soles wear out over time, however good you are to your boots. When that happens, it is much better to resole the boot than lose it entirely!

In most cases, finding a matching sole is challenging. This is the big obstacle when resoling boots. As such, the cost can equate to buying a brand-new pair of boots!

When it comes to that, no one can recommend resoling tactical boots. That said, there are reputable companies that resole tactical boots. Companies such as Cobblers Direct pick up and drop off boots for repair.

Rubber soles
Rubber soles for Military/Tactical boots manufacturing

Is Water Enough to Maintain Boot Quality?

Big no! Wet cleaning is merely for removing dust and mud glued to your boot. Water has no chemical compounds that can fix your boots to improve luster or cure leather of flaking and cracking deformities.

Keep cleaning with water, and your boots will fade (suede and leather). Use boot conditioners to maintain your boot quality and make them last longer.

When Should I Replace My Tactical Boots?

Nothing lasts forever. Conditioning and maintaining your boots lengthens a boot’s lifespan. However, it is not a foolproof defense against wear and tear, reduced comfort, and loss of traction.

Tactical boots, when taken good care of, can last up to six years, depending on their quality and usage. Of course, the more you demand from your boots, the more you wear them out.

How can I soften my tactical boot?

Before trying to soften any boot, it is vital to understand why it is rigid. We can mention several reasons. However, over time boots lose.

Walking in your tactical boots in-house helps to make your boot flexible. You can also soften your boot using boot sprays. However, to maintain the soft feel, have a conditioning routine.


Always know what to use when conditioning your tactical boot. The choice depends significantly on the type of fabric on the upper unit of the boot.

Upper fabric may have a blend of two or more materials. Therefore, whichever conditioner you choose must be great for all of them.

Boot conditioning methods should take care of the soles, midsoles, inner boot linings, upper boot, and even boot laces. You should comprehensively ensure all your boot’s parts are taken care of.

You can take care of your sole by polishing, re-stitching, and replacing it if necessary. Boot laces can get weaker due to frequent brushing during cleaning.

So, what can we do to preserve lace quality? Simple, remove laces when conditioning. Install the laces when all is done. Otherwise, have a spare pack of laces; you’ll eventually need them!

Inner boot linings have to retain their comfortability, which you can achieve by occasionally directing humid air inside your boots, spraying boot sprays, and leaving them to cool dry.

In summary, conditioning your boots is an excellent practice for maintaining boot quality, and knowing what to do, is essential. Please share this information with your friends to help them avoid guesswork and inconsistency when conditioning their tactical boots.