When it comes to walking boots, you need something that can stand up to anything you throw at them, come rain or shine. Although they may just be used for walking down an old track, occasionally you might want a little more adventure or be forced to take a path less suited for a casual walk. If you want your walking boots to keep you dry and protected, it will take a little TLC from you to get the best out of them and keep them ready for any occasion.
In this article we will look at the best way to keep your walking boots fresh for years to come.
Whilst you are still out on your walk, but heading back, it can be a good idea to give your boots a quick dip in a stream or another water source, this should help to remove a fair amount of the mud and dirt before you even start cleaning the boots. Giving the boots a bit of a bash together or against the floor will also dislodge any mud in the trad on the boots.
Next, it is a good idea to remove the laces and insoles of your boots as they can absorb of lot of water, making the whole process take a lot longer as they will take a while to dry. You can rinse the laces in a bowl of warm soapy water if they need a clean. Leave them to dry separately. If your insoles could do with freshening up, washing them with soap and water and treating with baking soda or a shoe freshening spray will keep any nest smells away.
Once the laces and insoles are removed and rinsed off, you can give the upper of the boot a wipe with a mixture of mild soap, or specialist boot cleaner (especially for leather) and warm water. Using a brush with softer bristles or a sponge is best for this. Avoid soaking the boot, especially if it is leather as this can ruin soften the leather causing it to lose their shape. Keep running your cloth or brush under the tap for this stage to make sure all the soap or cleaner is removed from the boot.
Once all the soap is removed and the boots are still damp, it is a good idea to give them an application of waterproofing. This might seem like a bit of hassle, but it is more than worth it to keep your boots in top condition. A Rydale we stock the Nikwax water-based fabric and leather proofing spray, which is a quick and easy solution to keeping your boots waterproof. Simply spray on your boots as they are drying, and the waterproof coating will settle whilst the boots dry.
Drying your boots properly is just as important as cleaning them. You can give your boots a quick wipe with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture, but we suggest you allow them to air dry naturally for best results. Avoid putting them near a radiator or leave in direct sunlight as this can cause the boots to crack and split. To help draw moisture out of the boot, you can pop some balled up newspaper in the boots. This also gives some structure, so the boot won’t lose its shape whilst drying.
Once dry and the laces and insoles put back in, your boots are ready for anything you put them through. Although there may seem like quite a few steps, the cleaning of your boots won’t take that long, the drying you may need to leave overnight, but that’s the easy part. It is also worth it to keep your boots in top condition for years, rather than months.
Quick top tips for cleaning your boots:
- Give your boots a quick rinse and wipe after every use – if mud is left on boots, especially leather, it can draw the moisture out and cause your boots to look old before their time. Also, a quick clean after a walk will make sure you don’t have to give a full clean as often.
- If using any specialist cleaning products, read the instructions and make sure it is safe to use on your boots.
- Treat each part of the boot differently – don’t scrub too hard against the textile on the upper as it could cause damaged, but feel free to give the sole a harder scrubbing to remove anything from the treads.
- Check for wear and tear often – although this isn’t necessarily a cleaning tip, it is always best to check your boots for any wear and tear, this way you can get it fixed before it turns into a real issue.
- Never use a washing machine to clean your walking boots – it might seem a lot quicker and easy to throw your boots in the washer, but this can cause damage to the boots.
- Make sure you keep the soles clean – although the strongest part of the boot, they are also the part that takes the most damage. Make sure you remove any stones or anything that are lodged in the treads. This will not only reduce wear and tear on the soles, but also provide more traction the next time you wear them.
There are many different ways to keep your walking boots clean and a number of products available on the market to help. You don’t have to invest heavily to keep your boots looking healthy, a few brushes, some water and some newspaper will give you a good enough clean for most situations.
You don’t have to spend a fortune for something that will last a year or two, following our guide will make sure you get the most use possible out of your boots.
Whether it's a pair or waterproof wellingtons, tall country boots, or a pair built for long walks, we think we have something for everyone. From leather mid-calf walking boots, stylish lace up ankle boots or a trusty pair or Chelsea yard boots. Take a took at our top 5 footwear choices for both ladies and men.
Of course, if you do have any questions or require any advise on How to Clean Walking Boots then please get in touch with our customer service team who are more than happy to help. Be sure to check out the full range of ladies walking boots and men's walking boots for more stylish designs and an array of colours to choose from.