Sneakers, sandals, heels — they all play an important role in the wardrobe, but no shoe type is quite as belabored as the boot. Carrying you through winter, a good boot is made to withstand the elements, deliver comfort and warmth, and above all, look amazing. But have you asked yourself lately what you do to return the favor? This fall, give back to your waders with these five simple tricks. We promise that the more you love them, the more your boots will love you in return.

1. Buy Quality

Step 1 to ensuring happily ever after with your winter footwear is purchasing high-quality boots to begin with. Look for a leather upper and a leather sole to ensure your shoes will break in beautifully, or opt for performance materials you know you can count on for boots that will last for years. Worried about the price tag? Shopping vintage is a great way to get your kicks without spending hundreds.

2. Re-Sole Each Season

I began implementing this rule a couple years ago, and it’s given new life to countless pairs of fading shoes. Even if the soles of your shoes aren’t totally destroyed, getting a fresh new set applied at the beginning of the season will instantly revive your boots and give you better traction in rain or snow, plus, it’s way more cost effective than buying a new pair altogether.

3. Clean Them Frequently

I give my brother a hard time for being neurotic about the cleanliness of his sneakers (he is constantly cleaning and buffing them!) but in truth, he’s totally inspired my to keep my winter boots looking good-as-new by giving them a quick cleaning after every couple wears. Leather wipes like these make it easier than ever.

4. Go The Extra Mile

Conditioning your leather with a moisturizer so that it doesn’t dry out and crack is a really easy way to show some extra love to those hard-working boots, and adding a water repellant and a polish on top of your boots gives them that next level treatment they so deserve. We recommend spending an hour each season giving your winter footwear a full-on facelift.

5. Don’t Skimp on Storage

You mean we can’t just shove all our boots on top of each other on the top shelf of the closet until next year? Come on girls, it’s time to store your boots like a grown up. I’m talking shapers (rolled up magazines and cut-down pool noodles work too!) and dust-bags. You’ll be happy to unpack your boots one year later to find them in excellent condition.

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