All you need advice and stories for your sport, delivered straight to your inbox (every month).Nothing more.Nothing less.
P.S: You will enjoy this.
This article was originally published here
You may not know it, but mud, water and the elements you encounter in the great outdoors weaken the leather of your boots and cause them to lose flexibility and water-repellency.Washing your hiking boots well is the way to guarantee keeping them longer!
Prepare the following items:
If the boots are muddy: let the soil dry and then knock it off by tapping the boots against each other.
Then remove the laces from the boots: if they’re dirty, put them in the washing machine. Also remove the insole to prevent it from soaking up water during cleaning.
Then, take the soapy sponge and clean the boot.
If a little mud remains in the recesses of the boot, use a soft brush to dislodge it. Be careful when using the brush: proceed gently so as not to scratch the leather.
What about the inside of your boots? If you’re short of time, you can cheat a bit by using a boot deodorant or shake in some baking soda to absorb odours.
Otherwise, remove the insole (also called a “sockliner”) and check if it's time to change it. Avoid rubbing the inside at all costs, as this could damage the internal membranes.
Drying is an important step in boot care because, if done incorrectly, you could damage your hiking boots.
Why lubricate leather boots? With time and bad weather, leather dries out and risks cracking, and isn’t as waterproof as it was in the early days.
By nourishing your leather boots regularly, you prolong their life and ensure good waterproofing!
Good to know: lubrication is especially useful for full-grain leather.
Prepare the following items:
Before any treatment, make sure your leather boots are clean and dry (see previous paragraphs).Remove or loosen the laces so that you can reach anywhere there’s leather. Moisten your soft cloth with grease then rub the leather in small circles to allow the grease to penetrate fully.Once the boot has been fully treated, wipe off the excess grease with a dry part of the soft cloth.Finally, leave to dry in a dry place at moderate temperature.
Boots that take on water can be a real problem when trekking or hiking. Greasing the leather of your boots is a good solution to reactivate water-repellency (see previous paragraph).
Good to know: a boot that wasn’t waterproof originally cannot become waterproof! These treatments let you reactivate the water-repellency of the leather, that is, its property to be hydrophobic and not absorb the droplets on its surface.
Good to know: if you already have a storage bag for your boots to protect your clothes from the mud in your backpack, now is a good time to take it out! Your boots will thus be protected from dust during storage.
If you experience any pain, the insole may not or may no longer be suitable for you. So you can simply remove it and replace it with a more suitable insole.
(smooth or loose outsole, torn membranes, etc), it’s best to call on the expertise of your favourite cobbler!
Good to know: you bought your boots several years ago, used them a little but they’ve been stored in a rather warm and humid place. They still look in perfect condition, but after a few steps, the outsole comes off? You’re a victim of what’s called hydrolysis. The polyurethane in the sole has crumbled, after hardening and becoming porous. Boots get more damaged if they’re not used! More a good for getting some fresh air !
Now that your boots are clean, re-waterproofed and smell great, you're ready to hit the trails, come rain or shine!
Any other leather boot care tips? Please feel free to share them in the comments.
When you join our subscribe list, you get access to the best of sports inspiration, tips, stories and more to practice your sport. Just One Digest Per Month (Promise)
Please subscribe here