The most valued and important hiking gear is a pair of boots. We tend to focus more on buying the best hiking shoes, most expensive, pretty looking pair, but we are sometimes not keen on the details in maintaining the boots. Proper maintenance of the boots ensures, long life, and that your feet are also healthy free from blisters.
There are four basic good habits to adopts to maintain your boots
1. Cleaning the boots after each hike adventure.
2. Remove the insoles to allow the boot dry and also for air to circulate well in the boot.
3. Keep the boots away from excess heat, have them stored at room temperature.
4. Check when water stops beading on the boot upper, consider undertaking waterproof treatment to have the boots water resistant
How to clean the hiking boots
The boots should be carefully cleaned after each hike. Cleaning of the boots and storing them clean is one of the critical maintenance tips for the boots. The cleaning should be hand washing, never think of cleaning them in a washing machine.
Why should they be cleaned?
During hiking, after each motion, sand, dust, grit, and dirt creep inside the boot leather, where they grind like a sand paper.
The presence of mud on the boot is risky; since mud sucks moisture as the leather dries, and this makes the shoe vulnerable to aging and losing the original look. The leather or the boot fiber maintains a certain level of dryness to maintain its shape.
Boot cleaning Tips
· Do not start cleaning the boots with the laces tied, remove the laces to make cleaning easy and be extensive in all interior corners.
· Mud in the boot fabric should not be allowed to dry, use a hand brush to scrub the accumulated dirt, mud, and sand, before putting it in water.
· Cleaning the insoles and the sock liners found in certain boots allows proper aeration and removes any degree of moist nature in the shoe.
· Never use detergent or the bar soaps. The disadvantages of using detergent when cleaning the boots is that some have fabric brightening property, affecting the natural looks of the boots.
· Other detergents have surfactants which absorb water from the boot skin making the boot extra dry after some time.
· Use running water and a boot cleaner solution to clean the boot surface, make sure you don’t use metallic brush, which damages the boot surface.
· Always check for mold growth after storage of the boot immediately after cleaning. Mold growth is facilitated by moist condition inside the boot. To remove accumulated mold inside the boot, use vinegar and water solution to clean the inside of the boot.
· Drying: After cleaning the boot, let it dry under room temperatures. Remove the insoles to allow them dry separate from the boot.
· Extra heating loosens the adhesives holding the boot and the sole, heating the upper leather may make it shrink, making the top part curl.