Hiking and Backpacking

Tips and tricks to take care of your hiking boots

If you are a hiker then you will know that boots are made to last. These tips and tricks will help lengthen the lifespan of your boots.

After every time you wear your boots you should clean them. This is the mistake that a lot of hikers make. Firstly what you should do is, with a very damp cloth remove all of the dirt off the outside of the boot.

Remove all of the gristle and the mud. After you have done this remove the insoles from both boots as these harbour very harmful bacteria that results in your boots having a foul smell. All you need to do with these is air them. It can be done either outside or in a dark room that gets a fair amount of ventilation.

If your boots are wet leave them well alone and let them dry naturally for 24-48 hours. The air freshens the whole boot as well as caring for them.

Every so often your boots will need a deep clean. You can do this as many times as you like as long as you do the process properly. Remove the laces from both boots, these will need to be cleaned separately. Take the insoles out as you would when you give them a basic clean. You will need to clean the inside, this is easy. Just take some water and clean them using just water. You can do this by using a wet cloth and rubbing the inside of the boot. Do not use soap as this can disintegrate the material on your boot.

When you have done this, dry the inside of the boot as much as you can. If you have a membrane on your boot you can sprinkle bi-carb in the boot and rub it in. Doing this will remove any bad odours that you may have. Make sure to get rid of all the powder, you can do this by using a vacuum.

When you're all done, leave your boots in a well ventilated room away from sunlight and objects that could damage them. Pull the tongue as far out as you can to aid drying. Another tip you can use is to stuff the boot with newspaper to absorb any excess moisture. With your laces, soak them in clean warm water and ring them dry as much as possible, put these in the room with the boots to dry properly.

Finally your boots need to be a little bit damp to do the next part. Use a very thin layer of wax on your hiking boots. The layer should be very thin, if you use too much wax the leather will absorb the wax and your boot will lose its shape. Include the whole boot while waxing, don't forget the bits such as the tongue.

Cleaning your hiking boots is basically common sense. Doing this will improve the lifespan of your footwear greatly. There is nothing worse that having to throw your most comfortable shoes out. It's in your best interest to take care of them.

I hope these tips have provided you enough information and knowledge to properly care for your boots.

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