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After a hike in damp weather, it is important to clean your shoes, especially if they are leather shoes. The risk is that mud will dry out the leather and it will lose its qualities. Before cleaning the top of your shoes (also known as the upper), bang the soles together to remove remaining dust and mud. The simplest and most efficient way is to hand wash your shoes (or with a soft sponge) with warm water and neutral soap. If the shoes are very dirty, you can use a small brush to clean stitching, hooks and lace holes. We recommend that you remove the insole to avoid wetting it.
Despite their breathability, you will always sweat inside your shoes. The water may also enter over the top of the shoe during a rainy hike, in this case you must dry your shoes for them to retain their properties. If you haven't already done it to clean them, remove the insole so that your hiking boots air and dry faster. Dry them at room temperature. Do not expose them to direct heat, it could damage them. Strong heat will dry out the leather and could damage the glue used to assemble upper and sole. This may also happen to the reinforcements inserted in the shoes and deform them. Avoid leaving your shoes on a terrace in the sun, at the back of a car or in front of a fire or radiator. The best technique is to stuff them with newspaper which will preserve their shape and absorb the damp!
Shoes are waterproofed by design, by the possible use of a waterproof and breathable membrane, or a component such as waterproof leather. It is therefore difficult to change the waterproofing of shoes, however, it is possible to revive the water repellent properties of boots that have been exposed to a lot of rain, for example (meaning reviving their ability to repel water). To do that, you can use waterproofing spray. You can treat them once or twice a year.
Before using the product, read the instructions and open the windows to avoid breathing in the fumes.
Warning, a non-waterproof shoe cannot be made waterproof with this type of treatment. For leather, we recommend using waterproof grease, to nourish it and protect it from drying out and cracking, waterproof it and protect it from stains. It also has water repellent properties that does not alter breathability. It can therefore be used on shoes with a membrane. Apply this grease with a soft rag.
Check that your shoes are dry before storing them. Store them in a dry and ventilated place. Avoid leaving them near a source of heat or exposed to direct sunlight. You can protect them in a 'case. If your shoes remain unused for a long period, it is best to stuff them with newspaper so that they keep their shape. Long life and long hikes to your shoes!
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