4 Tips for Shopping for Exotic Leather Cowboy Boots

Posted on: 4 January 2016

Are you in the market for a really unique pair of cowboy boots? If so, it's time for a crash course in exotic leather. Exotic leather cowboy boots can make a great addition to your shoe collection, but there are some things you need to know before shopping for a pair.

1. Don't Buy Boots While Vacationing Overseas

You might find a stellar deal on elephant leather boots while visiting Africa or a great discount on cobra boots while in Asia, but don't assume that just because you can buy these boots necessarily means you can take them home with you. The exotic leather trade is tightly monitored on an international level, and many products can't be transported across the United States border without an import license. If you buy a pair of boots overseas that requires an import license to transport, it will be confiscated by customs upon your reentry into the states and you could be fined.

2. If the Shop Can't Provide a CITES Certificate, Don't Make the Purchase

A CITES certificate guarantees that an exotic leather product has adhered to the rules and regulations set forth by the The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species. Under these rules and regulations, every step of the processing and sale of exotic leather is documented, and fees are paid at each stage. Once collected, these fees go to organizations that help protect exotic-leather bearing animals at risk of extinction. The goal is to ensure that skins taken for the production of commercial goods don't harm the long-term survival of animal species. 

When you buy a pair of exotic leather cowboy boots that come with a CITES certificate, you can be confident that the skin used to produce those boots was obtained legally, and the harvesting of the leather did not threaten the survival of the type of animal that was used in the boots' construction.

3. Don't Solely Buy Exotic Leather Based on Appearance

Eel skin has a lovely pin-striped appearance and makes for a stunning pair of cowboy boots, but if you wear your cowboy boots to do everyday chores, this is not the exotic leather for you. Many exotic leathers are strong and durable but others, like eel, are exceptionally thin and not meant to hold up to everyday wear and tear. 

When shopping for a pair of exotic leather cowboy boots, start by determining what skins are visually appealing to you, but then narrow down your selection to types of leather that suit your lifestyle. Some animal skins are waterproof, some are exceptionally warm, and some just look really, really good on your feet. It takes research to find the perfect pair of exotic leather cowboy boots; shop at a reputable boot store that can help explain the different properties of each type of animal hide.

4. Special Boots Require Unique Care

Part of the appeal of exotic leather boots is that they can be purchased in all sorts of natural colors and textures not available with regular cow leather. With these unique properties, however, comes the requirement for special care.

To help maintain their natural appearance, gently mist your new exotic leather cowboy boots with a waterproof spray immediately after purchasing them. After that, you'll want to apply a conditioner that is specially formulated for exotic leather to help keep your boots from drying out. Store your boots in a cool, dark, dry place, and if they get dirty, clean them with a solution formulated for suede—suede is more fragile than leather and so cleaning solutions that target this material are gentler than leather cleaners.

If you're looking for a truly unique pair of cowboy boots, it's time to start shopping the exotic leather options. Visit your nearest cowboy boot shop armed with the above information and ask to see their selection of exotic footwear today.


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