If you plan on keeping your boots around for years (which I hope you do!), here are a few things you can do to keep them in tip top shape!
General Boot Care
Keep an Eye on the Heel - The first thing that will wear down is the rubber heel cap. This is inexpensive to replace. But if it wears past the rubber cap into the stacked leather of the heel, it is expensive to repair! So be sure to keep an eye on it!
Boot Storage - Keep them away from hot air registers, which dry out the leather. Don't store boots in plastic bags, which will keep the leather from breathing. Lack of air can cause boots to try out. If there's moisture in the leather, they could even mold!
Leather Soles - If your boots have leather soles, keep them conditioned with Blackrock so they won't dry out and crack!
Conditioning and Waterproofing Products - Always test a product used on your boots in a small area before applying to a whole boot.
Must-Have Products for Boots
Tarrago Nano Shoe Protector - Add a protective barrier to your boots at the beginning or end of every season AND after every cleaning in between. Follow instructions on can and spray leather soles of your boots as well. [not sold on the website, but can be found online here.]
Blackrock Leather Conditioner on Soles - I use this on all my leather soles to condition them and protect them from salt. If your boots are exposed to salt, wipe them down to remove any remnants of it. [product link]
Blackrock Leather Conditioner on Boot Leather - This is best for finished leather (exotics or shiny leathers) because it will darken an unfinished or matte finished leather. [product link]
Horsehair Brush - Use this soft bristled brush to remove any dirt or grime from your boots. [product link]
Salt, Stains, Scuffs
The faster you remove it, the less time you will spend cleaning them later.
Salt - If the salt hasn't dried, a lightly damped cloth should wipe it right off. For small, dried salt stains, mix up equal parts water and white vinegar, and use a soft cloth to buff out the stain. Allow to dry naturally (don't use heat), and then buff with a dry, soft cloth.
Stains - These may need the help of a shoe repair shop depending on what it is. For sticky spots like dried soda or alcohol, mix up equal parts water and white vinegar, and use a soft cloth to buff out the stain. Allow to dry naturally (don't use heat), and then buff with a dry, soft cloth.
Scuffs (or marks) - Use a pencil eraser to buff out. If the scuff has removed the dye of the boot, you will want to apply a matching polish and buff. I personally don't mind a little scuff, so don't be afraid to wear them scuffed too!