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How to Care for Leather Hiking Boots so They Last
A pair of hiking boots should be durable and able to withstand the rigors of any terrain you may encounter while on a hiking trip. The correct care and maintenance of your boots will guarantee that they work better. When it comes to walking and hiking footwear, a little attention goes a long way.
Despite the fact that all hiking boots are durable and built to endure, exposure to water, filth, inclement weather, and repeated usage can impair their function – specifically, their ability to last and keep your feet comfortable and dry while on the trail.
Continue reading to find out the best ways to take care of your hiking boots recommended by Trekking Ground.
Break Them In
The first and most important step is to break them in. It is important to take good care of your hiking boots as soon as you purchase them and break them in when you return home. We know it’s tempting, but resist the urge to head straight into the great outdoors!
To do this, you’ll need to put on the appropriate socks – ones that are designed for trekking and walking. You should have worn these socks when you tried on and purchased the boots.
You should use your new boots as if they were a pair of slippers throughout the house, using them for jobs and strolling back and forth between different rooms. It is an excellent method to begin increasing your comfort level and molding your boot to your foot.
After that, you finally get to go outside! Begin by taking short walks and gradually expanding your distance. Take a stroll around the neighborhood or to the stores. A little give in your new hiking boots will make your journey much more pleasurable.
Care and maintenance of your boots is something you’ll have to do after each hike, and depending on the terrain you’ve traveled, you may even have to do it during the hike.
Dirt on the boots’ sole might cause you to lose your balance if you don’t have enough hold on the ground. However, a buildup of muck on the upper of your boots might have an adverse effect on their waterproofing and breathability.
You’ll need a soft nylon brush to gently scrape away any pieces of mud that have accumulated on your shoes. Make sure to pull your laces out first and to avoid using detergent – instead, use warm water.
Always avoid drying your boots on or too close to a radiator because this might cause the material to fracture and render them useless. Always allow them to dry naturally, preferably at a distance from any direct heat sources.
Remove mud off your sole by scraping it with a hard-bristled brush and letting it dry. You followed by wiping down the remainder of the boot and applying a footwear cleaner before gently scrubbing your boots until they are immaculate. With a cloth, wipe away any cleaner that has remained.
Cleaning, sanitizing, and conditioning.
When purchasing your new hiking boots, you should consider waterproofing them using a solution designed specifically for this purpose. Although your boots may already be waterproof, applying a specialized proofer can ensure that your feet remain dry and that your boots remain in excellent condition when exposed to water.
Leather, suede, and nubuck are among the many different types of boot material available; synthetic materials, on the other hand, are not.
Proofing Leather Boots
Allowing full-grain leather hiking boots to dry completely before applying a proofing solution is recommended. A proofing solution will condition and waterproof the leather, preventing it from drying out and cracking – both of which can cause significant harm if not addressed immediately.
Effective and simple to use, products like Granger or Nikwax are available. You can use a towel, massage, and buff the wax or conditioner into the leather until it is uniformly distributed. Make certain that the conditioner gets into any gaps in the leather.
It would be best if you took precautions, and it is important not to suffocate the top portions of the boot; over-conditioning the leather can lead it to become overly soft and lose its structural strength.
Proofing Suede or Nubuck Boots
A water-based solution, such as Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray, will protect the suede top from the elements, ensuring that the performance and longevity of your boots are not affected by the weather.
Nikwax’s Nubuck & Suede Proof will maintain the natural texture of suede and nubuck, ensuring that the color and look of your suede and nubuck remain unchanged from when you first purchased them.
When applying the proofer, be sure to spray it uniformly on the soles of your boots while they are still moist. Allow them to dry naturally for a few minutes so that the therapy may be fully absorbed. If you’ve gone overboard with the spray, simply wipe away any surplus.
Synthetic Boots with Waterproofing
Like suede and nubuck boots, synthetic hiking boots should be proofed when still moist after washing. It allows the waterproofing treatment to sink in better, resulting in a longer-lasting waterproofing treatment.
If you’re using a spray proofer, make sure to have all of the wrinkles and cracks covered before allowing the boots to dry naturally. Don’t speed up the drying process by placing your boots next to a radiator or using a hairdryer on them. It might cause materials to fracture or adhesives to split and melt, which can cause damage to the boots.
You may use old newspapers to fill the space within your boots, which is a useful tip no matter what material your boots are made of.
Double-check again and again
It would help if you inspected your boots on a regular basis for symptoms of wear or deterioration in their general condition, which can influence their performance.
Starting at the top, examine your laces to see if any of them are frayed or on the verge of snapping. Keep an eye out for any loosened eyelets or D-rings since this can have an impact on the comfort of your foot and the likelihood of developing blisters. In the same way, keep an eye out for cracks in the upper material since this will make your boots less water-resistant.
Finally, keep your thoroughly clean boots stored in a well-ventilated and dry location away from direct sunlight to prolong their life. Avoid storing your boots in a plastic bag for any amount of time! You need them to dry completely in order to avoid any smell buildup. We hope that these tips will help you to clean your boots so that they can last longer. If you have any queries you can ask them in the comment section.
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