Have you ever wondered how to clean your boots to make them last longer?
When you have to buy a pair of boots you pay a lot of attention to its features, but after the purchase you often tend to overlook a crucial aspect for the life of the footwear: the right maintenance. In this article we explain 5 fundamental rules to make your boots last as long as possible.
Water, abrasion, dirt, grass, continual flexion and salts from your feet can prematurely wear materials in footwear. No footwear lasts forever, but proper maintenance can prolong its life.
Water and dirt are the biggest threats. Water aids the travel of fine grit and dirt into leather and materials. Once there, the grit cuts the materials at the microfiber level... this is the first step to dissolving and deteriorating the boot.
1. CLEAN BOOTS REGULARLY
To clean the outer part of the boots it’s recommended to remove mud or dirt with a soft brush. As for the inside, wipe to remove salt from transpiration and if necessary, clean the inside lining of the footwear with mild soap. Much of the damage to the Gore-Tex® is due to small stones inside the boot, so for correct cleaning, it’s recommended to take the footbed off and make sure of get rid of foreign matter. Never use chemical detergent.
2. CHANGE YOUR SOCKS
In a day of hiking, each foot can produce as much as 15 ounces of sweat. Most of the moisture stays inside your boot, either absorbed by your sock or the lining and the leather of your footwear. For this reason, it’s important to change your socks during particularly long and hard activities.
3. NOURISH THE LEATHER
Leather conditioners keep the leather and other materials flexible and supple enough to resist cracking, but not too soft to offer inadequate stability. For fabrics, nourishment is not possible so try to keep them clean and waterproof. As for leather material, wax-based products are the most effective because they provide water resistance, nourishment and good penetrating abilities. The wax should not sit on the surface. The best product to nourish your leather boots is Garmont© Shoe Wax
, our natural beeswax with vegetable oil.
4. WATERPROOF REGULARLY
All Gore-Tex shell fabrics are treated with an ultra-thin treatment called DWR, a Durable Water Repellent polymer that is applied to the outermost fabric layer. DWR causes water to bead up and roll off this outer layer of the fabric, but it is not permanent, as regular wear and tear plus exposure to dirt, detergent, insect repellent and other impurities can shorten its life. To help the boot resist water and prevent breakdown and excessive softening, it’s fundamental to waterproof it regularly but keep in mind that an excessive use of wax can affect the footwear’s breathability.
5. NEVER DRY BOOTS WITH AN ARTIFICIAL SOURCE OF HEAT
Boots must dry out in direct sunlight, away from artificial heat sources, in a natural air dry. It’s recommended to dry your footwear at a temperature lower than 86°F. If the boots are really wet, you can stuff them with newspaper to absorb the moisture. The carbon from the ink in the newsprint will absorb some of the odors as well. Once dried, don’t forget to store your boots back in their original box and keep them in a dry environment.
Following these 5 simple rules is the best way to extend the life of your footwear so that you can keep on undertaking new adventures with them.
Take care of your boots and they will take care of you!