Are you a fan of walking or hiking? If you are, one of the essential outdoor apparel you must have is outdoor footwear. This is mainly because with walking shoes, you are assured of support and protection for your feet and ankles. Having outdoor apparel is very necessary, but you must understand that these attires must be well-maintained for them to serve you, especially the walking shoes.
Putting on poorly maintained hiking boots exposes you to multiple problems such as sprains and breaks. This article is going to give you 5 proper maintenance tips for your walking boots.
1. Clean Your Boots
It’s obvious that for you to use anything, it must be clean. Keeping your boots clean isn’t beneficial for just you but also for the maintenance of your shoes. Unlike any other kind of shoes, walking boots are usually made of material that requires cleaning with care for them to last longer.
So, after your walk, don’t just store your walking shoes without cleaning them since water and mud weaken the leather or material used to make your boot. Once the boot material is weakened, the shoes lose their waterproof ability and flexibility. Also, when cleaning your outdoor footwear, always use clean lukewarm, and soapy water. When cleaning your walking shoes, here are some dos and don’ts
- Use a soft brush to dislodge any blobs of mud on the shoes
- If your boots have large blobs of mud, let the mud dry off, then wipe it off with a brush
- Always remove the innersole before the cleaning
- When cleaning the inner section of the boot, always use a soft sponge and a little bit of soap to improve the smell
- Never use a washing machine to clean your boots
- Never use detergents or chemical cleaners unless it’s designed for your specific brand of walking shoes since some tend to destroy the technical fabrics of the boot
- Don’t use lots of water
2. Dry Your Boots
Drying is a crucial aspect of shoe maintenance because if done incorrectly, you may damage your shoes. So, after cleaning your walking boots, you must dry them. It is highly recommended that you dry your walking shoes in a well-ventilated location and not directly from a heat source. This is because drying your walking shoes directly from a heat source may cause them to shrink, crack or even break.
A well-ventilated room prevents the room from becoming dump, thus reducing the chances of mold growing on your shoes. If water happens to get into the inner parts of the shoe, you can dry it off by using packing paper since if you use a newspaper, the print might transfer to the boot though if you are out of options, it’s a valid option.
3. Treat Your Boots
To keep the material intact and waterproof or the shape of your boot, how you treat them is very crucial. The art of treating your shoes is known as impregnating.
The best time to impregnate your hiking boots is right after cleaning them and before drying them. By impregnating your outdoor boots, you are improving their dirt and water resistance while restoring their breathability. But remember, impregnation agents tend to differ, so use one recommended by the shoe manufacturer. The best impregnation agent is always one which you can use on waterproof trousers or outdoor trousers.
4. Check For Wear and Tear
Since most hiking trails usually entail rough and sharp edges, one sure way of maintaining the quality of your outdoor apparel is by regularly checking for any signs of wear and tear. By spotting these signs earlier, you can stop the damage before it becomes irreversible. If your sole is damaged, it can be replaced, but if left unattended, it may damage the upper parts, which is quite expensive since you’ll have to get new boots.
5. Store Your Boots Properly
How you store your outdoor footwear determines how long your shoes will last. So, the best practices for storing your boots are:
- They must be clean, treated, and dried before storing them
- Stuff the boots with paper so that they maintain their shape when not in use
- Store the boots in a well-ventilated dry room away from any source of heat or dust.
Remember, your hiking shoes are the only protection your feet have whenever you go for a hike or walk. So, it’s best to ensure they are in the best condition.
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