Those trusty hiking boots of yours won’t last forever, but they can much better withstand the rigours of muddy trails if you clean them regularly. The longer your adventures together on foot are.
The fewer times you need to replace them prematurely all depends on How to wash Hiking boots or – in case fatigue has caught up with you the following day cleaning residue away that otherwise acts like tiny pieces of sandpaper grinding down at leather fibres. At the same time, mud draws moisture out of it, ageing it faster than normal.
Some additional boot-cleaning tips
Cleaning your hiking boots regularly is important to maintain and preserve them long-term.
While many footwear cleaners are safe for use on various materials, always double-check before using, as some can be harmful and could damage leather or waterproof membranes.
Bar soap and detergents should never be used – instead, opt for mixing 80 per cent water with 20 per cent vinegar which works especially well against mould buildup. Don’t forget to rinse after cleaning.
You’ll also want to take care when waterproofing; do so while they’re still wet; however, most already come prepped out of the box, making additional application unnecessary unless you start noticing water not easily bead off their surfaces anymore.
To get your boots looking their best:
- Start by taking out the laces and insoles.
- Give the shoelaces a quick rinse with warm water and dish soap before letting them air dry – there’s no need to sweat over that. If you want an extra deep or smelly clean, hand, wash those insoles in soapy water first, then sprinkle generously with baking soda for deodorizing effect.
- Once all these are done drying, put everything back together again for flawlessly fresh footwear.
Brush the mud off your synthetic hiking boots
If your boots are muddy messes, get rid of the grime. Take them outside to the driveway or garage and give them a good scrub with an old shoe or even an outdated toothbrush or nail brush. Then you won’t have any mud tracked inside your home.
Wash your synthetic hiking boots
Give your boots the spa treatment by submerging them in warm, soapy water. Remove your boot brush or old cloth and scrub away any dirt for an exterior cleanse that’ll leave you with sparkling shoes.
For synthetic boots, don’t be afraid to take it a step further – fill up the whole boot with sudsy liquid, then use the brush on its insides too. Once finished, wipe off all remaining soap residue with a damp rag and admire your good-as-new footwear.
Cleaning Hiking Boot Outsoles
Keep your boots in top condition and prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms – give them a deep clean.
Soak troublesome mud-stained outsoles, then use a hose to blast away debris for better traction. Restore those hiking shoes to their former glory and protect wild areas from invasive species.
How to Clean Your Hiking Boots at Home
Hiking Boot Drying and Storage Tips
- To ensure your boots last, taking good care of them is important. Remove the insoles and allow them to air-dry separately from your footwear.
- Avoid extreme temperatures when drying – a normal room temperature is best.
- If you want faster results, try using a fan or stuffing newspaper into the shoes, which should be replaced whenever it gets damp.
- For storage purposes, keep an eye on environmental conditions; make sure no attics, garages or car trunks are in play, as such places could lead to damage due to moisture exposure and changes in heat levels.
Conditioning Your Boots
Condition your full-grain leather boots when they look dry or cracked and need a break-in boost. But be sure not to overdo it–moisturizing is key for rugged boot maintenance, but too much conditioner can weaken the supportive properties. Steer clear of heavy-duty oils like Mink Oil so you get that long-lasting wear from your footwear investment.
How often should you clean hiking boots?
After a day of exploring the outdoors, your hiking boots have been through it all – from mud bogging to meadows full of wildflowers.
Cleaning them doesn’t sound enticing, but if done correctly and regularly, you can keep your trusty walking buddies in tip-top shape. After each hike, stepping into some wet grass or wading through shallow streams may be enough to remove much visible grime without extra effort.