Increase the Lifespan of Your Hiking Boots with Regular Care

October 28, 2015
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The birthplace of alpine craftsmanship for the foot can be traced back to the northern Italian town of Montebelluna, according to Outside Online. From ski boots to hiking boots, Montebelluna is renowned for its craftsmanship and care in designing, creating and manufacturing quality boots. But after you find the perfect pair of hiking boots, do you know to care for them to ensure long-lasting durability? (Image: Flickr)
While there’s no clear answer on how long hiking boots can last, Active Weekender estimates the average pair lasts 500 to 750 miles depending on factors like your hiking environment and quality of the boot. But everyone can agree that taking proper care of your boots can extend their mileage and keep your feet healthy and happy.

Do a prep clean

Your best bet is to start with a pair of high-quality boots from a trusted retailer such as Cabela’s. Remove the laces and clean them separately in the washing machine or soak them in the sink. Or you can skip the washing machine and instead take a dry, soft cloth and remove any debris and visible dirt. Use a nylon brush to remove more stubborn grime, and a clean toothbrush to get into the grooves. Remaining stains can be spot cleaned with a damp sponge.
Eliminate odors from rubber soled boots with a little baking soda sprinkled liberally inside the boot. And if your boots are wet from a trek through the rain, let them air dry away from a heat source. Leaving them by the fireplace can cause some boots, especially those made from leather, to shrink and crack.

Use the right products and methods

Resist the urge to dive head-first into a good polish and buff. Before you apply any waxes or other products, check the warranty or manufacturer’s instructions. Applying wax, especially over a waterproof spray, can change the color and texture of your boots and void your warranty. Leather boots need a wax lotion or spray specifically designed for your boot’s leather. Regular shoe polish can ruin your boots and create further damage. Once the wax is thoroughly soaked into the leather, apply another coat and rub with a soft brush.

How you store your boots can also go a long way in preserving their life span. Always store your boots in a cool, dry place and stuff newspaper inside to remove any moisture. Remember to swap out newspaper if your boots are wet inside and keep off the pavement to prevent unnecessary wear and tear until you’re ready to hit the trails.

Check with the manufacturer or store

Some manufacturers will repair or replace your boots for free if the issue is a manufacturer defect, and some retailers offer repairs for normal wear and tear. Specialized outdoor retailers can also recommend repair kits and glue that can help with small repairs for a DIY approach.

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