No matter the style or quality of your favorite pair of hiking boots, they are still prone to the forces of nature, including things like snow, rain, stones, and rocky terrain, just like everything else. If you don’t adequately protect and care for your boots, they can quickly lose their shine and shape, and end up pretty much useless.
So what can you do to keep your hiking boots in good shape and make sure they last for a long time? We offer you some simple tips and tricks to keep your hiking boots in the best shape for as long as possible.
Looking After Your Hiking Boots
The first thing is: know thy enemy, which in this case is water. Overexposing your boots to water will leave them deformed, with lots of wrinkles and marks. Plus, wet boots are supremely uncomfortable, and they can leave you with chafed, bruised, or blistered feet.
Most decent hiking boots on today’s market are already waterproof, and they’ve been manufactured with a protective layer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last forever, which is you need extra protection if you want your hiking boots to last for longer.
Some simple tips and tricks for waterproofing your boots are the following:
Storing them properly seems relatively basic, but a ton of us are guilty of just throwing our boots onto the floor or stuffing them in the closet as soon as we’ve returned from a hike. Unfortunately, that’s not enough, as you need to leave them in a good position where their shape won’t be damaged by other items.
Whenever you come home from your trek, clean your boots, especially if they are wet or muddy. Wipe away any snow, mud, dust, sand, or dirt, and leave them to dry before you store them. When boots are not cleaned correctly, you won’t be able to add wax, spray, or conditioner evenly, and your boots won’t be adequately protected.
Leather boots should always be conditioned with a leather conditioner for an extra layer of protection. There are also protective sprays made for all types of materials, so you can condition your boots no matter what they’re made out of. When picking up the spray, make sure it matches the color and material, as some sprays can discolor your boots, and don’t hold the nozzle too close to the boots, as the spray won’t be evenly dispersed.
Waterproof wax is used to extend the life of your shoes. When applying the wax, make sure your shoes are clean and don’t add toner, shiner, or anything else, as they will be ineffective due to the wax layer.
No matter the method you choose to extend the life of your boots, they will never be completely waterproof, so regular maintenance is key. The best way to keep your hiking boots in good condition is to take care of them regularly by cleaning, waxing, or conditioning.