If my tall boots are really dirty, I'll wipe them down with a damp rag before I put any product on. After I do that, I put either Effax Leather Balm or Fiebing's Mink Oil on my boots. I usually do a few layers until my boots no longer soak it up and I then wipe off the excess. I don't use leather soap on my boots as I find that it wears them down quicker. If I'm cleaning for a show, I'll use a toothbrush to go over the stitching, otherwise I just use a soft rag.