Take care of your hiking boots and your hiking boots will take care of you.
Just remember to look after your footwear and learn how to take care of them. There are a few different types of hiking boots and each type has its own maintenance. The following are some helpful hints and tips to help you maintain your hiking boots.
Clean the boots
When you have finished using the hiking boots for the day and you are ready to put them away, completely clean and wash the boots. Take the stones out of the bottom of the soles and remove all mud. A soft toothbrush with a little water will help clean those hard to get areas. Remove the footbeds and then top up the proofing.
Waterproofing the boots
Regular proofing of your boots will keep them performing to their best and also extend their life span. Once you have washed away the mud, use a water based proofer on the WET boots. Water based proofing is drawn into the leather / fabric and both waterproofs and conditions them. Do this every time the boots have been subject to a good soaking on your walk. Always wait until the boots have fully dried before putting them away.
Check the laces
Always check the bootlaces for potential lace breaks. Catch the defective laces before they break.
Don’t apply heat
Never dry your boots near a radiator, or other heat source. It will damage the boots and might even effect how the boot fits. Always let the air dry the boots and don’t leave the boots in the sun. The sole of the boot is attached to the boot with a special adhesive. Excessive high heat might cause the boots to come apart. The boots should dry slowly or else the leather might crack. Never put them in a drying room if you are staying in a hostel.
A light amount of regular foot powder or baking soda will remove most of the boot odor. Just don’t over do and use light amounts. It is good practice to rinse the inside of the boots from time to time in order to remove any grit that may damage the Gore-tex liner, this also removes any body salts that may cause dampness from the lining.
If you are a seasonal hiker and the boots are only used for a couple of seasons, don’t store the boots in a cold attic or a hot basement for an extensive period of time. Keep the boots in a place that have normal air temperature. Always put them on every once in a while to keep the proper shape of the boot and also to keep the leather soft.
Break in the boots
Not everyone is lucky enough to wear boots or shoes for the first time without breaking them in first. So here’s our tip….. Wear the boots in an easy environment; go for short walks around the block, etc. Once your feet feel OK, the boots are ready to go. If you are local and the boots still don’t feel comfortable, bring them back to the store to see if any adjustments can be made.
Lace the boots
Always keep the boots laced when walking around wearing the boots. The laces will keep the hiking boots in the shape the boots were intended to be in and not having the laces tied might possible damage the laces.
Never cut corners on your socks. A good quality sock makes all the difference to your comfort and helps prevent blisters.
Have fun walking and don’t forget to take care of your hiking boots when you return from your hike.