Hawkshead Blog Posts/ How To

The Beginner’s Guide to Walking Boot Care

man hiking in the mountains

How to Clean Walking Boots

Picture this. You’ve just invested in a brand new pair of hiking boots to accompany you on your upcoming adventures. But after just a few uses, they’re looking like they’ve walked the length of the world. Well, that’s where we come in. At Hawkshead, we understand that walking boots aren’t a throwaway item that you want to replace before every trip. That’s why we’ve compiled our beginner’s walking boot care guide to help keep your hiking boots looking fresh and ready for the trail. Learn how to clean leather boots, or fabric ones, as well as some other top hiking boot care tips – so that you know exactly how to care for walking boots to keep you on the move.

Leather Boot Care

Leather walking boots need more TLC than fabric or synthetic boots, so it’s good practice to get into the habit of cleaning your boots after every hike. That way, they’ll last much longer and keep you going for years instead of months! When it comes to leather walking boot care, it’s important to store them somewhere cool, away from any radiators or boilers. The heat could lead to the leather cracking, causing the boots to lose their waterproof membrane.

Did you know that mud on dirty leather boots will absorb the moisture from leather? It could cause them to dry out and look tired. So keeping them clean and free from debris on a regular basis is the best way to avoid this.

How to Clean Leather Boots

Wondering how to clean leather boots properly? Check out our step-by-step guide below:

1. Remove any laces and take out any insoles – you can wash most laces in your washing machine
2. Use a brush to gently get rid of the mud – avoid wire brushes because this will damage the leather
3. Rinse the inside of your boots with warm water – don’t use soap as this leaves a residue that could attract water, and more dirt
4. Dry your boots – stuffing them with newspaper works a treat, but remember to change the paper every so often
5. Reproof the leather – you’ll need to grab yourself some shoe care products or creams to spray on, or rub in, to keep the waterproof membrane working at its best

How to Clean Fabric Walking Boots

Looking after your fabric walking boots is even easier than maintaining your leather ones. When learning how to clean fabric walking boots, follow the step-by-step guide above, using a soft but firm nylon brush to remove any chunks of mud. Then, instead of step five, you’ll just need to spray them with some water protective spray, to keep your feet nice and dry in the outdoors – whatever the weather.

Top Tips for Walking Boot Care

We’ve pulled together some top tips for walking boot care, to keep your pair fresh and ready for any outdoor adventure:

  • Don’t ignore wear and tear – the sooner you spot damage on the soles of your boots, the sooner you can get it fixed or replaced
  • Don’t use detergents on fabrics – they can be too harsh on the material
  • Do take care when washing different parts of your boots – don’t scrub so hard that you damage or soften the upper leather part, but feel free to scrub at the sole
  • Do leave your walking boots to dry overnight – don’t be tempted to try and force them to dry by a radiator, let them dry naturally instead
  • Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before applying any sprays or protectants

Now you know how to clean walking boots properly, you can fully enjoy your next outdoor family adventure, kitted out with the right knowledge. Browse our complete range of men’s outdoor footwear and women’s outdoor footwear to prepare for your next trip.

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