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How To Condition Leather Tactical Boots? | Step-by-step instructions

Now, you have a pair of leather tactical boots used for a long time. The leather has discolored a bit, with some scuffs and cracks on it. How to restore their original status?

Well, it’s high time to condition your leather tactical boots! Today, we have a step-by-step guide for conditioning your leather boots. Follow us and see the great results at the end!

The advantages of conditioning leather tactical boots

Clean – Condition – Polish are the 3 steps to preserve leather tactical boots after a long time of use. Among them, the conditioning process plays a crucial role to:

  • Keep leather tactical boots new and last longer
  • Protect your boots from external forces such as dirt, grime, water and weather.
  • Restore the original color or make your leather boots rich in color.
  • Cure some light cracks or creases
  • Moisturize and protect boots from drying, cracking
  • Give your leather tactical boots some shine and a base coat for polishing
  • Create a water-repellent/waterproofing layer for leather to withstand wet conditions.

How to condition leather tactical boots?

Leather needs a special caring method without contact with water, especially your leather tactical boots. They usually live in harsh conditions and need more care than other types of boots. Here are the four simple steps to bring your tactical boots back to life by conditioning them:

Step 1. Prepare the materials to condition leather tactical boots

First of all, gather all these items for cleaning and conditioning your leather tactical boots.

  • Saddle soap/Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner
  • Little applicator brush
  • Big horsehair brush
  • A wiping cloth or a sponge
  • A hair dryer (optional)
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Step 2. Clean your leather tactical boots

To begin, you should remove all the laces of the leather tactical boots for your convenience, which makes it easy to condition your boots. Other than that, you won’t forget to clean and condition the important yet hidden part of your tactical boots: the tongue.

Now, take a big horsehair brush to remove all the dirt and grime of your leather tactical boots, then use a cloth to wipe clean them. Next, use the applicator brush and rub on the saddle soap then rub the boots thoroughly(*). Pay attention to all the nooks and crannies such as the sole, the seam, and the space between the lugs.

You can use a little brush (like the applicator brush or an old toothbrush) to touch the hard-to-reach and hidden places such as the welts, the seams, the eyelets and the crannies of the tongue of your leather tactical boots.

*If you use leather cleaner, use a cloth/sponge to apply the cleaner and rub it on the surface of your tactical boots.

Note: If your leather tactical boots are not 100% full leather and have some parts made of suede or fabric (the zipper side or the tongue areas). You can opt for suede and fabric protector to clean and protect these parts.

Or you can check out another one from the famous Kiwi brand:

For a thorough cleaning guide for leather tactical boots, click here!

Step 3. Apply the conditioner on the leather tactical boots

Use a cloth or a rag and apply conditioner on it. Then use it to rub all over the leather surface. If you like, or you can apply the conditioner directly on the leather and rub it with your fingers. Also, pay attention to some hidden areas, they also need to be taken care of carefully.

You should wipe all over the leather tactical boots to make sure the conditioner spreads and penetrates into them consistently. Where leather tactical boots have creases, just rub carefully.

If you see your boots get a bit darker when applying conditioner, don’t worry, it means that the conditioner is absorbed into the leather. And it will get normal when your leather tactical boots are dry.

Step 4. Wait for the conditioner to dry and absorb into the leather

It would take around 15-20 minutes or up to a few hours for the conditioner to penetrate the leather tactical boots. You can use a heat gun or a hair dryer to speed up this process and make the conditioner well-absorb into the leather.

If you want to get the best protection for your leather tactical boots, you can apply the second layer. Just repeat the process and wait. You can leave your boots overnight and see the result.

Step 5. Clean all the excess left

Wait for the tactical boots to absorb all the conditioner. You can speed things up with a hair dryer, remember to set it at an adequate temperature and away from the boots (4-6 inches) to avoid drying and cracking the leather.

Then brush the leather tactical boots with the horsehair brush and use a clean rag to wipe off all the excess left on the surface.

After conditioning your leather tactical boots, you might want to polish them to a high gloss. We covered how to polish tactical boots here.

Note: If you see your leather tactical boots get darker, don’t worry as they might need time to return to the original color. It can take some hours or several days.

Does conditioning leather make it darker?

Leather conditioner will darken your leather somehow, though your leather boots return to their original color after some time. However, it also depends on whether the conditioner is right for the leather of your boots. But if you don’t mind a little shade, the conditioner is just fine for you.

If you want a product that won’t darken leather, Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner claims that it can meet your requirements.

Top 3 conditioners for leather tactical boots

Editor’s pick: Bickmore Bick 4 Leather Conditioner

Bickmore is the top choice for leather care! Check it out on Amazon and you can see that it is highly appreciated by many people. As long as it is leather, Bickmore can cure it all and save a lot of money for you too. Above all, as the product promised, IT WILL NOT DARKEN LEATHER. Such a relief for leather boots!

What makes many people love this product? It is very easy and convenient to apply this conditioner on leather tactical boots, but you might want to use it frequently (remember to shake it before using it). This Bickmore conditioner can save color and moisturize the leather tactical boots well. For your concern, it is wax-free! Besides, this product is not good at water resistance but still creates a protective film for your leather tactical boots.

Lastly, the best thing about Bick 4 leather conditioner places in its affordable price! With such great effects on the leather boots, this product is such a bargain!

You can buy this Bickmore version for suede parts on your leather tactical boots here!

Waterproof choice: Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula

With a small container,  the Obenauf’s conditioner can accompany you for a long time. You can use your bare hand when applying this beeswax because it is melted by the body heat. This conditioner offers a strong smell of honey but is very pleasant.

Moreover, this conditioner can cover the creases, soften the leather and keep it from drying. The wax layer left on the leather surface is great for abrasion resistance.

Notably, what I love the most about Obenauf’s Beeswax is that it can waterproof your leather tactical boots pretty well. So this product is an ideal choice for protecting leather tactical boots in muddy environments or in rainy and snowy seasons.

High shine option: Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovator

Saphir has never let its customers down! This brand always does their job excellently, typically the Renovator line!

What’s best is that when applying this product on the leather, it doesn’t change the leather color much and makes leather boots supple, removing scuffs and cracks. You can see a distinct change after applying this product to the leather.

What sets Saphir apart from other conditioners is the shine! Your leather tactical boots would have a subtle shine after conditioning, which is a perfect coat for polishing them to a mirror shine. However, it is not good at resisting water but does have a protective layer on the leather surface like Bickmore.

Above all, the excellent outcomes of leather tactical boots are undeniable. As a premium product line, it’s all worth your money, right?


Conditioning leather tactical boots is necessary to keep them in good condition for a long time. Prepare your tools, clean your leather tactical boots, apply conditioner and wait, then wipe clean all the residues. Just that!

Give your leather tactical boots some treat, and get a full set of clean – condition – polish to fully protect them. Ultimately, you won’t regret caring for your beloved leather boots as they can last for many years!

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