Quick Tips How to Clean Hiking Boots

Last Updated on June 23, 2021 by Bruce

Hikers, walkers, exercise enthusiasts —anyone that buys hiking boots will spend a good deal of money on a pair and so proper cleaning, and maintenance will ensure their use for a long time to come. Once they have been worn in, you should read our tips on how to clean, maintain, dry, and store your boots and keep them in tip-top condition:

General Maintenance Tips

1. Clean them after every walk or hike.
2. Always store them at room temperature. Never store near excessive heat sources.
3. Remove the inserts or soles after a wet hike or walk to ensure the entire shoe is able to dry properly.
4. Add a waterproofing treatment to ensure proper water resistance.
5. Use a leather conditioner as needed and as recommended by the manufacturer.

After a Hike Maintenance Tips:

1. Be dedicated to cleaning them after every walk or hike. Specks of dirt and sand can become ingrained into the leather and wear it down over time. Mud, as well, can make the leather of your shoeless pliable, so it is important to remove all debris after every use.
2. Use a brush to scrape off extra dirt or mud. Be gentle when bruising off the dirt or mud. Use a specialized tool or even an old toothbrush. If necessary, warm water and mild soapy water can be used, but always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions or recommendations regarding what cleaning products are recommended for your specific shoe.
3. Check the overall condition of your shoes before heading out on a hike. Are the shoelaces in good shape? Is it entirely dry from your last walk or hike? Ensuring the overall condition is a key component of having them last for a long time to come.
4. If you went for a hike when the ground was wet, or in the rain, then gently wipe them off to get rid of any excess moisture.

Drying Tips:

1. Airflow is important in properly drying your shoes. Keep them in a dry place, without exposure to excessive heat. If you can, use a fan or provide extra airflow that will help them dry a little faster.
2. Never put them in the dryer or on top of a wood stove to dry. The excessive heat is not good for delicate leather.

Storage Tips:

1. When not in use, store them in a dry, non-humid environment.
2. Do not store in a plastic bag as this does not allow the shoes to breathe.
3. Make sure they have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and conditioned before storing them for long periods of time, such as in the off-season.
With a little elbow grease and proper maintenance, your hiking boots will prove to be a good investment that should last you a long time to come.