Prepare your boots for the elements
Before you even think about wearing a new pair of boots out on an unpredictable winter day, treat them with a waterproofing compound. The formula will create a thin barrier between your leather (which relies on its own natural oils to remain soft and malleable) and the elements. The easiest way to do this is by using a fast-drying spray, which you should reapply after every few wears. If you’re nervous about the protectant staining, do a test run on a discreet part of the shoe, like the inner heel. This is how to make every single pair of shoes last longer.
Stay in shape
Every time you allow your boots to wilt over in the closet, you’re putting undue stress on the leather. Keep them standing tall (and avoid creasing) by investing in a boot tree. For a more frugal option, roll up a magazine and place it into the boot vertically. (These tiny outfit updates will make you look expensive.)