Hawkshead Blog Posts/ How To

The complete beginner’s guide to walking boot care

How To Care For Walking Boots

Picture this. You’ve just invested in a brand new, pair of hiking boots, they’re made out of leather or fabric. But after just a few uses, they’re looking like they’ve walked the world! Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve compiled our walking boot care guide. Learn the best way to clean leather boots, or fabric ones, as well as some other top care tips.

How to look after leather walking boots

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 so much longer, years instead of months! It’s important to store your leather walking boots 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

1. Remove any laces and take out any insoles – you can wash laces in your washing machine
2. Use a brush to gently get rid of 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 residues 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. Use a soft, but firm nylon brush to remove any chunks of mud. Then, instead of step five above, 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
• 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 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

Now you know how to care for your walking boots. You can fully enjoy your next outdoor family adventure, kitted out with the right knowledge.

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