How to Look After and Re-waterproof Hiking Boots

You've used your hiking boots on muddy paths and you don't know how to wash them? You've crossed a stream and are wondering how to dry them?

How to Look After and Re-waterproof Hiking Boots
1 - Cleaning

After hiking in wet weather, it's important to clean your boots, especially if they are made of leather. The mud can dry out the leather, diminishing its benefits as a result.

Before you start cleaning the upper (also known as the "vamp") of your boots, knock the soles against each other to get rid of any remaining dust and mud.

The easiest and most efficient way is to wash your shoes by hand (or with a soft sponge) with lukewarm water and a little neutral soap. If the boot is very dirty, you can use a small brush to clean the seams, hooks and other lace holes.

We recommend that you remove the insole (sometimes called the "sockliner") so that it doesn't get wet.


2 - Drying

Despite their breathability, you always end up sweating inside your boots.

Water can also sometimes get inside through the top of the boot when hiking in the rain, in which case you will have to dry your boots so that they don't lose their effectiveness.

If you haven't already done so to clean them, remove the insole so that air can flow inside your walking boots and they can dry faster.

Leave them to dry at room temperature. Do not expose them to a direct heat source as this could damage them. Too much heat dries out the leather and may damage the glue used to assemble the upper and the sole. This can also affect the reinforcements inserted in the boots, and deform them. So do not leave your boots on a patio in direct sunlight, in the back of a car or in front of a fireplace, or near a radiator.

The best technique is to stuff them with newspaper, which will maintain the shape of the boots and absorb moisture!


3 - Treatment

The waterproofing of a boot is provided by its construction, by using a waterproof and breathable membrane or by the component selection, i.e. waterproof leather.

So, although it is difficult to affect the waterproofing of a boot, it is possible to restore water repellent properties of a boot that has sustained a lot of rain, for example (i.e. restore its capacity to repel water). Please note: a non-waterproof boot cannot be made waterproof by this type of treatment.

This is achieved using waterproof sprays. The treatment can be done once or twice a year.

Before using the product, don't hesitate to read the instructions and open the windows to avoid inhaling the vapors. Spray the boot from a distance of about 8 inches, making sure to apply the product evenly and over the entire surface to be treated. Leave it to dry for 10 to 12 hours so that the product can properly soak into the boot.

For leather, we recommend using a waterproof dubbin to nourish the leather (so that it doesn't dry out and crack), make it waterproof and protect it from stains.

It also gives it water repellent properties without altering the breathability. It is therefore entirely suitable for use on a boot with a membrane. This dubbin is applied with a cloth.


4 - Storage

Make sure your boots are dry before storing them. Store them in a dry and well-ventilated place. And never leave them near a heat source or exposed to direct sunlight.

You can protect them in a shoe bag.

If your boots are not going to be used for a prolonged period, it's best to stuff them with newspaper so that they do not lose their shape.

May you hiking boots live a long time and enjoy many long hikes!

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