1. Clean Early, Clean Often
Winter conditions expose your leather boots to dirt, salt, and moisture that can damage the leather.
To keep your JK Boots in prime condition, it's essential to clean them regularly. Use a brush to gently remove dirt and salt deposits.
This is true regardless of if you have a roughout boot or a smooth, full grain leather.
Pay particular attention to the crevices and seams where dirt and salt can accumulate. Remove the laces for better access to all the nooks and crannies.
2. Condition the Leather
After cleaning, it's crucial to moisturize your JK Boots using a quality leather conditioner like Obenauf's Leather Oil or Obenauf's LP.
This step is vital in preventing the leather from drying out and cracking in the dry winter air.
Apply the conditioner evenly, ensuring it penetrates the leather thoroughly.
This not only keeps the leather soft and flexible but also adds a layer of protection against the elements.
Remember, leather is akin to skin and needs regular hydration to maintain its integrity and appearance.
3. STORE THEM WELL
You don't need to baby your boots (especially if they're JK's).
But giving your boots a proper rest when you're not wearing them is especially critical in winter as more moisture drives into the leather.
Either add a cedar shoe tree into your boot when you're not wearing it, or you can even stuff a rolled up pair of wool socks into the toe area of the boot.
This will help absorb some of that excess moisture and will keep your leather more supple.
A lot of people like to have at least two pairs of boots, and they rotate them back and forth every other day. This is the best way to ensure your boots aren't getting logged with moisture in winter.
In any case, giving your boots some sort of "rest routine" will help them last significantly longer.
Stay safe out there in all that winter weather.