You may think that your new hiking shoes will last a long time because they are designed for rough terrains and to withstand the elements. The truth is that all shoes, including those for hiking, need proper care to last. High quality hiking shoes are especially in need of great care so that they can provide the support, comfort and resistance to different elements for a long time, as they are supposed to.
An important part of maintaining hiking shoes is cleaning them. You need to make sure that you clean them properly so that no damage is done and they are as durable as they should be. You should clean your shoes after every hiking trip you take. It will prolong your hiking boots’ life and you can save money by not having to buy a new pair for quite a while!
Tips to Clean Your Hiking Shoes
To make sure that you always clean your hiking shoes properly, follow the step-by-step instructions:
- Step 1: If your hiking shoes are fairly clean but a little wet, put them in a clean and dry area. Do not leave them to dry out in the sun as the construction materials of hiking shoes do suit the type of heat that we get from the sun and your shoes will get damaged in no time.
- Step 2: If your hiking boots are wet as well as dirty, take them to a faucet and use running water to clean them. Running water will get out all the stubborn dirt and grime stuck on your shoes easily. Any debris inside will also be flushed out in no time.
- Step 3: It is important to make sure that you use a brush with only soft bristles to remove grime and dirt from the exterior materials of your hiking shoes. Soft bristles are great as you can brush as vigorously as you need to without damaging your shoes. The force that you use to remove clinging dirt will be tempered by the bristles of the brush that you use.
- Step 4: Get saddle soap and use it generously on the parts of your shoes that have leather. You can use a wet rag to clean these parts. With just a few strokes, dirt will come off the leather parts, making your shoes look clean.
- Step5: Take another rag and make sure that it is clean. Dampen it with clean water and rinse the parts that you washed with the saddle soap.
- Step 6: Now that you have properly washed off all the mud, grime and dirt from your shoes, you can leave it out to dry. You will need to leave them overnight as it will take a little while for them to dry.
- Step 7: Once your shoes have completely dried, you can use a leather conditioner to prevent them from drying out.
- Step 8: It is also important for you to make sure that the waterproof ability of your shoes is maintained. There are different types of treatments that can be used. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you use the right one.
Other Important Tips
Here are a few other tips that can help you take proper care of your hiking shoes and make them last longer:
- Always dry your boots at a normal temperature. This is especially important for leather ones.
- Always make sure that the in-soles are removed and air-dried separately.
- Make sure that you do not dry your boots in front of a source of heat such as the heater, fireplace, radiator, etc. to hasten drying. This will make any adhesives weak and also make the leather parts brittle.
- If you want your shoes to dry fast, place them under a fan in an environment with room temperature.
- To clean mold from hiking shoes, make a solution with 20% vinegar and 80% water and brush your shoes with it.
When you take good care of your hiking shoes and clean them regularly, you ensure that they last long. Proper maintenance will guarantee that they function well and are always effective. This way, you are always safe when you are out hiking in the great outdoors!