How to care for your boots

You have just got you new pair of Hiking Boots and they most probably cost you a fair bit of your hard-earned money so you really want to look after them and get the most life you can out of them. So what do you do? How do you care for your boots? Well it isn’t hard and just takes a small amount of time and that little time you spend will help prolong the life of your new purchase.

Click here if you would like to see How to Choose Your Boots. 


Here are a few simple steps to follow

Take a few minutes at the end of the days hiking to do your boot maintenance. I know you are tired after the days trek but as we always say when we finish our hike or get to camp first up do your basic housework before resting. Doesn’t take long and you will be grateful later when your boots last longer and you’re not having to spend more money more often on new ones.

  • Brush off excess dirt. Just use a dust brush and if hard to get it out of the seams and old toothbrush works well. If muddy rinse off the mud because as the mud dries up so will your boots and that is not necessarily the best thing especially if your boots are leather. The mud will dry the leather out causing it to shrink and eventually crack, then your boots will no longer be waterproof. The same goes for salt! If (as we have) been trekking along beaches and a wave comes up and wets your boots the salt water, if not rinsed in fresh water, will deteriorate them over time.


  • Dry your boots. Sometimes when hiking we get wet! Very wet! We walk through streams, across rivers, in torrential rain and so on. Some of us also like to jump in puddles. It’s all part of the hiking adventure so when the day is done take out your insoles and screw up some newspaper and put it inside your boots. If your boots are extremely wet inside change out the paper after a few hours. DO NOT dry your boots however in front of a fire or with excess heat. This could cause the boots soles damage and could cause damage to the adhesive glue that connecting the soles to the boot. The other thing is if  your boots are leather it will dry out the leather causing it to deteriorate quicker, shrink, crack,and no longer be waterproof.


  • Condition your leather boots. This is a job that you really only need to do when it is required and this boils down to how much you use your boots. You will know when they need to be done as the boot will look (as I would say) thirsty and dry. I do mine probably up to 3-4 times a year but I am wearing them a lot. On average one would do this once or twice a year. You can purchase leather conditioner at your local supermarket, hiking store, shoe store etc.


  • Re waterproof. All hiking boots do come with a certain amount of waterproofing and always read the care instructions that the manufacturer provides. As anything the waterproofing your boots have will wear out. Lets face it they are going through a lot while hiking not only just from getting wet but dusty, brushing up against plants, getting scratched up etc so re apply some waterproofing. How do you know when it needs more waterproofing? If the water is no longer beading on your boots or a darker change in colour when water is on them or if your feet are getting wet (that’s always a good sign).


  • Getting rid of the Stink! We all hate the smell of stinky boots and if you have ever had the pleasure of sharing a room with a group of hikers you will know what I’m talking about! Lets face it you are wearing the boots for a considerable amount of time, you are sweating in them, they may have gotten wet and now they stink! How do you get rid of the smell? When you have finished your hiking adventure and won’t be wearing them for a bit then take out the insoles and wash the insoles with mild warm soapy water and air dry them. In the boot you could sprinkle in Bicarbonate Soda or Baby powder, this will help absorbed the remaining moisture and stink then just vacuum it out before your next adventure. If still on the adventure air them with the insoles out at night in a dry place. We carry a small bottle of lavender oil and dab a little onto the inside of the boots. The other thing we do is wear baby powder on our feet to help prevent moisture build up.


Hope you all enjoyed these tips and do remember to click the follow button so you don’t miss out on more of our posts. Also check out other posts we have done like How to Choose Socks or BOOTS. How to choose even How to tie your Laces

Happy Hiking


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