Take pre-emptive measures. Waterproof new boots with suede or leather spray as soon as you get them. This will form “a transparent, water-resistant” shield.
Dry quickly. When boots get wet, stuff the toes “as soon as possible” with “socks, tea towels, even newspaper.” After the boots dry, use a damp towel to “buff away” salt.
Clean diligently. “Polish boots at least once a month,” and patch up scratches with leather buffing cream. Buff patent leather with a chamois.
Store properly. Before putting boots away for the season, polish them and have the heel taps replaced. Add a toe tip if needed, but don’t coat the entire sole with rubber because doing so “throws off the pitch” of the boot. To store, stuff the toes with paper and insert plastic boot trees to keep the leg shape and prevent creases.