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Cowboy boots have proven their worth, from ridin' and ranchin' to two-steppin'...and just about everything in between. They are staples for true western style, but how in the world are you supposed to store them?

With a range of shafts, heels, and materials, cowboy boot storage is an important consideration. It's good to know how to store cowboy boots properly so you can keep them in tip-top shape.

Fortunately, there's not necessarily one "right" best way to store cowboy boots — it all comes down to your personal preferences and how much space you have to work with. However, there are definitely some "wrong" methods when it comes to cowboy boot storage, so we're sharing some of the most important do's and do-nots of cowboy boot storage tips.

Photo of pairs of boots on red concrete

Cowboy Boot Storage Essentials

Regardless of how many pairs of boots you own or how much space there is in your home, every cowboy and cowgirl should know some basics about cowboy boot storage.

Don't Put Boots Away Dirty

If you only wear your boots occasionally or you're putting a pair away for several weeks or even months, take a few minutes to lightly clean them first. Storing cowboy boots with caked-on dirt, debris, or moisture can cause stains, discoloration, or other permanent damage.

It doesn't have to be a deep clean and shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Use a damp rag to remove any dirt or light debris, then follow up with a dry cloth. Let your boots air dry for at least 10 minutes before storing them if you use a boot box or put them somewhere without much ventilation. If you have a cowboy boot rack, there's no need to wait.

There are countless styles of cowboy boots, but no matter which types you own, we're willing to bet you spent a pretty penny on them. Keep them looking and performing their best by ensuring the leather on the shaft doesn't crease. Luckily, it's easy to do — just don't let them fold over.

How, you ask? Invest in boot trees, also referred to as a boot insert or boot shaper, to prevent boot shafts from falling when not being worn. Whether you use a cowboy boot rack and store your boots upright or lay them down in boot boxes, keeping the shafts straight will ensure you don't end up with unsightly creases.

A pair of wooden shoe trees on a light background, one positioned vertically and the other at an angle.

Avoid Heat and Humidity

Similar to how you care for your favorite cowboy hat, the best way to store your cowboy boots is in a cool, dry environment. You don't want your boots to be exposed to moisture or prolonged heat, as that's a recipe for disaster.

Leaving boots in a hot or sunny area can cause the material to dry and crack, while storing them in a place where they may get wet wreaks all sorts of other havoc — especially for suede or leather cowboy boots. Water can cause discoloration, permanent water stains, wrinkling, or bubbling, as well as contracting, which could result in your boots becoming too small.

Even if a particular area isn't prone to rain, it's important not to store cowboy boots in a spot with high humidity. This can cause odors, as well as cracking or even separation.

The bottom line? The best way to store cowboy boots isn't outside.

Three pairs of lizard relic boots sitting on gravel

Get a Cowboy Boot Rack or Boot Boxes

We went over where not to store cowboy boots, now let's chat about where you should. A special boot rack is the best option for how to store cowboy boots if you have multiple pairs. These boot racks keep the shafts straight and hold boots upside down, eliminating moisture and keeping dust at bay.

Many people don't have the floor or closet space for a cowboy boot rack, so another great option is boot boxes or bags. Boot boxes usually have ventilation holes and boot bags are typically made of breathable canvas, which is why they're better than standard versions not meant specifically for cowboy boots.

Wear (and Store) Your Boots Well With Tecovas

Whether you're an actual cowboy or you just have an affinity for great cowboy or cowgirl boots, one of the best ways to get the most life out of them is proper storage. This simple step can help your favorite boots last well over 10 years!