Hiking boots are an essential piece of gear for any avid hiker, providing comfort, support, and protection on the trails. However, over time, the waterproofing on your boots may wear off, leaving your feet exposed to water and moisture.
Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your hiking boots in good condition and prolonging their lifespan. Here are some tips on how to maintain your hiking boots!
- Clean Your Boots Regularly
Regular cleaning is essential to maintain the appearance and condition of your hiking boots. Remove any dirt, mud, or debris from your boots after each hike using a soft-bristled brush or cloth. If your boots are extremely dirty, you can use mild detergent and warm water to clean them. However, make sure to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that can damage the boots.
- Dry Your Boots Properly
After cleaning your boots, allow them to dry completely before storing them. Stuff your boots with newspaper or a clean towel to help absorb any moisture and maintain their shape. Avoid drying your boots in direct sunlight or using a heat source such as a hairdryer, as this can damage the materials. Use 12-volt boot dryer for drying boots.
- Condition Your Boots
Leather hiking boots require regular conditioning to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking. Apply a leather conditioner to your boots every three to four months or as needed. Follow the instructions on the product label, and use a soft cloth to apply the conditioner evenly.
- Check the Soles
Check the soles of your hiking boots regularly for wear and tear. Replace your boots if the soles are worn down or damaged, as this can affect their grip and traction on the trails.
Re-waterproofing your hiking boots is essential to ensure that they can continue to protect your feet from water and moisture. Here are some tips on how to re-waterproof your hiking boots:
- Clean Your Boots
Before re-waterproofing your hiking boots, make sure they are clean and dry. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to remove any dirt, mud, or debris from your boots. If your boots are extremely dirty, you can use mild detergent and warm water to clean them.
- Choose a Waterproofing Product
There are many different types of waterproofing products available for hiking boots, including sprays, waxes, and creams. Choose a product that is suitable for the type of material your boots are made of. For example, if your boots are made of leather, choose a waterproofing product that is specifically designed for leather.
- Apply the Waterproofing Product
Follow the instructions on the waterproofing product label carefully. In most cases, you will need to apply the product to your boots in a well-ventilated area. Use a soft cloth or brush to apply the product evenly to your boots, making sure to cover all areas. Pay particular attention to the seams and stitching, as these are the areas where water can penetrate.
- Allow the Product to Dry
After applying the waterproofing product, allow your boots to dry completely before wearing them. This can take several hours, depending on the product and the temperature and humidity of your environment. Avoid exposing your boots to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause the waterproofing product to melt or become damaged.
- Test the Waterproofing
Before wearing your boots on the trails, test the waterproofing by pouring a small amount of water onto them. If the water beads up and rolls off the surface of your boots, the waterproofing is effective.
How does a Boot Dryer Help in Drying the Boots?
A boot dryer is a small appliance that helps in drying up hiking boots, by circulating warm air around the boots. This is particularly useful when one has to pack their boots away in a hurry, and they are still wet from the previous hike. Boot dryers work by circulating warm air around the boots, which helps in evaporating the water quickly. There are different types of boot dryers available in the market, which vary in terms of their features and price. However, they all serve the same purpose of drying up the boots quickly and efficiently.
Now that you have done all the important things to keep the boot dry, the storage of the boots is another important aspect to consider. When you plan for storing the shoes, make sure they are dried properly. Prefer to store them in a dry and ventilated space.
You can protect them in a case and avoid leaving them near a heat source. Also, if you are not using the shoes for a longer duration, it is better to stuff them with the newspaper so that they keep their shape. If you keep them in good condition, there will be a high chance of their long sustainability.