Exotic snakeskin can spruce up any outfit, but the delicate material requires specialized care. Don’t just toss the boots in the closet when you get home, or go jumping through muddy puddles when you have them on. Care for your snakeskin boots properly and they’ll retain their luster for years to come.
Apply a water-based waterproofing and leather-protectant spray to the boots as soon as you buy them and every few months after that. Choose a spray that is designed for exotic leathers and safe for snakeskin. Reapply the waterproofing spray each time you clean, condition or polish the boots.
Brush the boots with a boot brush to remove surface dust and dirt. Do this every day, or after every wear. Move the brush back and forth over the boots, going with and against the grain of the scales, until all of the surface dirt is gone.
Clean the boots with a damp white cloth to remove dust and dirt, and help prevent the material from deteriorating. Run the cloth gently over the surface, going against the grain of the scales to lift out dirt. Let the boots sit in a well-ventilated spot to air-dry.
Apply a leather conditioner to the boots after cleaning to keep the snakeskin from becoming brittle and dry. Choose a product that specifies that it’s safe to use on snakeskin. Apply a thin coat of conditioner to each boot using a soft cloth and going in the direction of the grain of the scales. Allow the leather conditioner to dry completely.
Polish the boots with a boot polish designed for snakeskin or exotic leathers. Use a neutral colored polish, or choose one that matches the color of your boots. Use a soft cloth to apply the polish in the direction of the grain over the entire leather surface of the boots. Apply one thin, even layer to the leather, then let the polish dry completely.
Store snakeskin boots in a dry, cool spot away from direct heat or sunlight, which can cause deterioration and may also affect the colors.
When storing the boots for an extended period of time, place them in a shoe box and in a cool, dry spot.
Avoid soaking snakeskin boots with water. If the boots become wet, wipe them down with a soft, dry rag and let them air-dry completely.
If your boots are a combination of leathers, follow specific care methods for each type of leather. Products and methods for snakeskin may damage other types of leather, such as suede or distressed leather.