Ask Zach

Ask Zach


Over the years you've asked a lot of different questions, and we've loved reading the wide range of them while getting to know you a bit better along the way. If you've reached out more recently then you've had a chance to talk to Zach, our Customer Experience Manager. He knows boots and shoes, going from HELM customer to HELM team member and now the go-to guy for any issues or questions.

That's why we are kicking off our new series where you ask Zach anything that comes to mind, read questions from customers just like you, and hopefully learn something new along the way.




Help! I spilled beer on my boots. How do I restore the leather?

Depending on the tanning process, leather types patina and stain in a range of ways. Alcohol will dry out a hide and it’s always best practice to consult with your local cobbler when dealing with leather stains or undesired patina. Each hide is stuffed with wax and oil as part of the tanning process. A reputable cobbler will be able to consult on what your specific leather type needs most to restore the original luster. 

That said, if you want to wing it at home, here’s what to do. You’ll first want to apply saddle soap to lift the stain out of the leather. The type we stock at the shop comes in a convenient tin can and is made of all-natural ingredients. To use, add a bit of warm water and work into a lather. Apply the soapy foam to the leather with a soft brush and wipe clean with a damp rag. Allow the leather to dry for 24 hours and keep out of direct sunlight. Once the hide is dry, apply a coat of Blackrock Leather N’ Rich to restore.



I’ve been breaking in my boots for about a week. One foot is creasing more than the other. Is this normal? 

Yes, this is completely normal - in fact, we notice it often in our own boots. Your dominant foot often has extra flex points which you notice most in the first few weeks of wear, and most of the time the wear patterns catch up to one another over time. Creasing is to be expected in high quality, full grain hides and will lend itself to a beautiful and unique patina with age.  




I’ve had my mini-lug boots for a while now and I’m noticing pronounced wear on my heels. Do I need a heel replacement? How can I make my mini-lug soles last longer?

Every wear pattern is highly individualized to each user. The rate at which you cycle through a sole depends on a range of factors from environment to pavement to even body weight and gait. For example, we often notice guests with flatter feet  have a more pronounced wear pattern on the inside of their heels. After 3 to 6 months of wear, you can always take your boots to a local cobbler for an inspection. Simple tricks like adding a heel saver to areas that are taking the brunt of stress (toe and heel are the most common) can save you money down the road. You can cycle out a $15 heel saver every few months and delay a more complicated heel replacement or full resole.


Zach's Product Pick

"I love my pair of 
Hollis right now. It looks good with whatever outfit I pick out for the day and the sole is perfect for the winter weather."


Have a question for Zach? Ask him anything and keep an eye out for your questions to be featured in future emails and blogs 


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