You got your dream hiking boots on, have just had a lovely walk in the fresh air but you’ve just come home and it being Janurary, they are caked in mud. Do you leave it on and wait for it to fall off or do you go for a deep clean?
Why is it important?
Straight out of the box, your boots are in the best possible condition. Meaning you don’t have to do any sort of treatment, or cleaning of, your boots. As long as you properly break in your hiking boots, you’ll be ready for the next adventure.
But once you’ve got your first hike in with your boots, and they’re caked with mud, murky puddle water, or even bits of leaves, clean them. Even if they’re not that dirty, it doesn’t matter. Each step on a walk results in either dust, mud or general dirt creeping in. Any sort of buildup inside your hiking boot that goes uncleaned always leads to excessive wear and tear on the boot. It might be a pain but the best way to extend the life of your boots is by cleaning them after each hike.
Cleaning your boots straight after a walk may not be the most exciting way to round off a day on the trail but you’ll be grateful for it next time you head out and your boots are ready and raring to go. So, how do you go about cleaning your boots?
It's as easy at 1,2 3!
Step 1: Scrub clean
Simply rinse with warm water and use a brush to remove stubborn mud and grit. Don;t use any soaps or detergents as these tend to damage your boots, especailly if they have any special fabrics int hem like GORE-TEX. Try not to soften your leather uppers too much while washing to avoid your boots losing their shape. A hefty sole will take some scrubbing but be gentle on the more delicate upper surfaces of your boots.
Step 2: Treat them to a little pampering
A proofer or Nikwax will help to keep your feet dry against the elements. Remember to check that the type of proofer is the right one for your boots as treatments vary. Use one that’s suitable for use on footwear with waterproof breathable lining and waterproof leathers to maintain your boots’ performance as you clock up the miles.
Step 3: Give them some air
It's really tempting to leaver them on a boiller or near the radiator, but the ebst way to look after your boots is to let them dry naturally in the air. If your boots are wet inside too, then use some newspaper to coax out the moisture to keep them in tip top shape.
If you look after yoru boots they'll look after you. Clean boots also allow you to have a closer look at them, and will help you identify when it might be time for a change.