One crack and it’s all over. That’s how it is with leather boots. Even more so, for a textured skin such as caiman.
If you can spend that much money buying a pair of leather boots, you’d want to know how to maintain its pristine condition.
That’s why I’ll show you everything you need to know on how to care for caiman boots.
Caring for caiman boots is more or less similar to taking care of other leather boots. You do the regular cleaning so that there’s no dust left behind. Based on how much you wear, you condition the boots. And most importantly, you store the boots in the perfect way to maintain their luster.
We all know that’s just like looking at the top of the iceberg. There’s a whole lot more to it. So, let’s start without delaying it-
What Is Caiman Skin?
It’s not uncommon to mistake caiman skin for other crocodile species. But if you’ve been around long enough, you know that these two are far from being the same.
The bony plates under the caiman skin are what creates some of the most fascinating patterns. Nevertheless, caimans are a close cousin of alligators.
Caiman vs Alligator Boots
Caimans and alligators might be close cousins. But their leather does have its own characteristics.
Instead of explaining in long paragraphs, let’s wrap it up with a table-
|A bit stiffer than alligator||More pliable and softer|
|Bonier because of calcium rivets||Less bony|
|The feel is a bit textured||The feel is more supple|
|The dyeing is difficult because of the calcium deposits||Dyes are evenly distributed as there are fewer calcium deposits|
|Hides aren’t longer than 3-4 feet||Hides range from 3 to 15 feet|
From the comparison, it might seem that caiman leather boots aren’t that good or comfortable. But it’s nothing like that. Sure, a lot of value is for the unique texture, not the comfort.
However, manufacturers make sure the boots are plenty comfortable regardless of the textured outlook. After all, exotic comfort does come with exotic leather.
How to Care for Caiman Boots?
Just because you own a pair of exotic boots, doesn’t mean you’ll have to dedicate all your time to it. While there are a few extra maintenances you need to do, most of them are pretty basic.
But that’s not the same when it comes to stretching caiman boots. You need to give some time to stretch properly.
Anyway, here’s how you can care for caiman boots-
Regular Maintenance – How to Clean Caiman Boots?
Day-to-day cleaning or regular maintenance couldn’t get easier. It’s just like every other pair of leather boots you own.
So, here’s how to clean caiman boots-
Step 1: Rub off Dirt with a Cloth
It’s just as it sounds. You can take any cloth you want, that doesn’t matter.
Whenever you take off your shoes, rub off the excess dirt with a cloth. But sometimes you don’t want to go find clothes for the job.
Well, you can always use your socks. Just throw those socks in the laundry and you’ll be done with it. But you can’t say the same about your exotic leather boots.
Step 2: Clean the Welt
Rubbing with a cloth won’t clean the sneaky dirt lying inside the welt. So, grab a toothbrush and start cleaning.
Monthly Maintenance – How to Condition Caiman Boots?
This one’s the special treatment. You’ve got to give the boots some special treatment. And the frequency depends on how much you wear the boots.
If you wear them every other day, then once a month is a must. You know the drill. The more wear, the more maintenance it needs.
And here’s how to do it-
Step 1: Wipe Down the Boots
It’s just like before. Wipe down the boots to make sure there isn’t debris or dirt left.
But make sure the rag or cloth isn’t wet.
Don’t worry. You’re going to get them wet. Just not now.
Step 2: Clean Dirt from the Cracks
Dirt can be sneaky. You know it and I know it too that most of the dirt is staying there, living the high life.
Well, get a toothbrush and make sure those cracks are squeaky clean with no dirt whatsoever.
Step 3: Choose a Leather Cleaner (Don’t Skip the Explanation)
Let’s get one thing clear. You’re not bringing in any saddle or dish soap here. This is exotic leather. And you better treat it like that.
The product you’re using here is important. You see exotic leather like caiman has its own patina or luster. The better you preserve it, the more exquisite the boots will look.
My personal favorite is Bickmore Exotic. It’s been made specifically for this purpose. And people have been using this product with pleasure for a long time.
Either way, some people suggest Scout Exotic Boot Conditioner. And I get why. Even though the product hasn’t been around as long, the results are amazing.
The luster it gives is a bit more satisfying. I know it seems like I’m betraying Bickmore. I’m not.
But when it comes to exotic leather boots, Scout really does a better job, especially for the luster.
Step 4: Spray Tons(!) of Cleaner on the Boots
I mean it. You have to go all out. It’s caiman leather, you’re not getting in there that easily. So, spray the heck out of that leather cleaner.
You want the boots to be watery, kind of foamy you could say.
A lot of people say spraying doesn’t work!
Well, I can say for sure that they didn’t spray enough.
Once you’re done, leave that conditioner/cleaner on the boots for about 15 to 20 minutes. It’s stiff leather.
So, it’s going to take some time for the liquid to penetrate the leather.
Step 5: Brush off the Boots for a Minute or Two
Don’t worry if the boots look too wet. You want to get the boots as wet as possible. Trust me on this, it’s not going to damage the leather.
Now, grab your horsehair brush brushing. Your main goal is to get between the cracks. You never know how much dirt is lying there.
And believe it or not, those cracks or textures are the first spots to break. So, take your time doing it.
The best part about using a product like this is your conditioning the boots along with cleaning them.
Step 6: Wipe Down the Boots
Cleaning and conditioning are mostly done. All that’s left to do is to wipe off the excess leather cleaner.
So, grab a cloth and get that done
Extra Tip: Apply Mink Oil Every Once in a While
The cleaner is already kind of conditioning the boots. But in most cases, that’s not enough. That’s why you need mink oil for the upper part of the boots.
- Apply mink oil lightly as it can darken the color of the leather. If the color is particularly light, only use thin layers and keep it on for 30 minutes.
- Let the mink oil sit for at least 1 hour. It’s stiff leather so it’s going to take its time to sink in.
- After an hour or so, rub off the excess with a cloth.
- Move on to the next section to get them the shine they deserve
How to Shine Caiman Boots?
It’s confusing to figure out whether or not you should use any wax to shine your exotic leather boots.
After all, caiman leather does have its unique luster. Either way, you shouldn’t stress over it too much.
Here are 2 effective solutions for you-
Method 1: Instant Shoe Shine
I had to do a lot of soul-searching to find a decent instant shoe shine. The only one I could trust was the one from Simple Shine.
The Pros are-
- You’re getting an instant shine
- You don’t have to wait for the wax to set in
- You’re saving time
The Cons are-
- The shine isn’t going to last long(especially if you live in areas like Texas)
- It’s rather expensive as you can’t use that many times
Method 2: Cream/Wax Polish
Cream Polish: 1 hour
Wax Polish: 15-20 minutes
You don’t need any special cream polish to give your caiman leather boots the shine it deserves. But you can make it look better by following one thing.
Always go with neutral-looking cream/wax polish. Choosing black, brown, or any other color messes with the natural patina of the leather.
You’re willing to pay a lot of money for these exotic boots. So, keeping their authentic look is the right thing to do.
If you want my recommendation, the Red Moose (you need to wait 1 hour for it to dry but the result is amazing) is quite popular and holds up well.
But Angelus Wax (you only need to wait 15-20 minutes and the result is quite decent) fans aren’t going there. Either way, the process is the same.
- First, clean the boots.
- Apply some polish on the boots
- Rub it all over with your fingers
- Leave the polish for 20 minutes
- Buff up the boots for 5-10 minutes or until the shine is to your liking
When to Use Colored Boot Polish?
The only time you should use colored shoe polish on caiman boots is when you want to hide scuff marks. Colored shoe polish is going to camouflage those scuff marks.
But you need to keep in mind that these aren’t calfskin boots. So, you can’t use colored ones every single time. For most cases, stick to the neutral wax or cream polish.
How to Store Caiman Boots?
Everyone wants to protect their expensive items. The same goes for caiman boots-
Store Your Boots Like a Fine Automobile
Whenever you’re not wearing the boots, keep them stored properly.
- Don’t keep them jumbled up with all your other boots and sneakers
- Cover the boots in soft flannel bags to prevent any dust
- The closet should be dark and dry as sunlight can do a number on the luster you’re so fan of
Buy Separate Cedar Shoe Trees for Your Boots
Nope, you can’t settle in with those cheap plastic ones. If these were any other boots, I’d say yes.
But genuine caiman boots deserve authentic cedar shoe trees. Along with keeping the shape, they’ll absorb any excess moisture, maintaining a pristine condition of the boots.
Well, that’s about it. Now, you know how to care for caiman boots. It might seem exotic boots need a lot of extra care but in reality, they’re not much of a hassle.
If you know any extra tips on maintaining caiman boots or caiman leather, let me know in the comments. I’d love to get some new info on it.