I learned how to fix a broken riding boot zipper with two unconventional items: a candle and a glass cleaning product. It sounds like the start of a weird joke, “What do you get when a riding boot, old candle, and Windex walk into a barn. . .”
The Back Story
One day after a riding lesson I had a stuck zipper; the jam was about three inches from the bottom–so close, yet so far from freeing my foot and leg.
“Can you try to get this thing off me?” I asked my horse husband.
Mark successfully muscled the zipper down far enough that I could slip the boot off. I was thrilled to be free, yet bummed about not just the cost of getting a zipper repaired, but the down time required to send my trusty riding boots in for a repair.
After that I did a little Internet sleuthing and figured out a way to fix the zipper that actually worked (I’m not handy at all!).
By the way, this post includes affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, at no cost to you I will receive a small (very small) commission that will finance carrots for my horse. Thank you for your support.
How to Fix a Broken Riding Boot Zipper
1. Spray glass cleaner like this all along the zipper and pull the zipper down to the bottom, the starting point. You might have to really muscle it to get it to go up or down.
2. Smooth a fragment of candle wax along the zipper. (Just to be sure. You could probably do either the Windex or the candle wax, I chose to do both because sometimes more is better).
3. Zip and unzip a few times to test it out. Once you get the zipper going up and down fairly smoothly along the full length, proceed to step 4.
4. Clamp down the zipper with pliers or a wrench when it is all the way at the origin. The reason this part is important is because I temporarily fixed my boots and then they unzipped from the middle during my next ride. I believe the first time I “fixed” the zipper, I didn’t press down hard enough to trigger a change in how the little teeth aligned at the origin. Since I tried it a second time using more force, the zipper has been perfect
5. Pull zipper up (or down) and voila! It should be fixed.
What to Do If the Broken Riding Boot Zipper Is Still Stuck After Steps 1-5
If that doesn’t work, you can take your boots to a shoe repair shop and they can put in new zippers (I would recommend putting new zippers in both boots.) Depending on where you live, it could run you about $100-150 simply to have the zippers replaced. If you have a pair of low to mid-range boots like maybe the Tredsteps (which are a good every day boot) or these boots from Mountain Horse, it might not be worth it to get new zippers since for a mere $150 more, you can have a brand new pair of boots.
Speaking of boots. . .
These boots are my favorite at the moment. Very comfy. And the gorgeous brown boots boots below are on my wishlist. But I digress.
How to Keep Zippers in Good Shape To Avoid Them Getting Stuck In the First Place
Quite honestly, if I take better care of my boot zippers by using this product after every ride or two, I might not have had to deal with them getting stuck. I didn’t know such a product existed until I went to the shoe repair the weekend I was at a horse show and a different pair of boot zippers got stuck!
Also, carrying boots in a boot bag is a wise choice to keep them as dirt and grime free as possible.
What’s been your experience? Have you ever fixed a zipper? What was your trick? Do you think it’s better to repair or buy new?
If this post was helpful or at least mildly entertaining, please subscribe to my biweekly email for exclusive content, horse-related tips, product reviews, and riding fun. And please send a little Facebook love the Saddle Seeks Horse direction.