If you enjoy hiking, investing in a cozy pair of walking boots is the best decision ever. Comfortable boots are costly, and you must ensure you make the most of them. Preventive maintenance involves obvious shoe care guidelines and is the best step if you want your hiking boots to serve you for an extended period. Read the article below to gain seven expert tips you should implement to extend your boots’ life span.
1. Wear Your Boots for Hiking Only
Your walking boots will last longer if you wear them only when hiking or taking hill walks. Wearing your boots daily for regular routines will only wear them out faster, making you spend more than you should on new boots now and then. Besides, outdoor boots are designed for slippery or rocky terrain, and pavements will only wear them out fast.
2. Breaking in Your Boots
If you want to break in your boots successfully, you need to wear them before your big hike to make them soft and comfortable on your feet. You can take short walks in them, wear them to and from work or walk around your house to avoid getting uncomfortable or, worse, blisters during your long hike. Breaking in your boots ensures your feet are comfy during outdoor exercises and motivates you to keep the boots for a long period.
3. Waterproofing Your Boots
With current sporting technology, most outdoor apparel is waterproofed during manufacturing. But waterproofing your new boots before and after every hike to increase their life span is fine. You should choose a waterproofing product based on your boots’ material. Research widely for the best waterproof products in the market to ensure you don’t damage the material of your walking shoes. For instance, a wax-based waterproofing product is perfect for leather, while a silicone spray is suitable for fabric.
4. Pay Attention to Your Steps
Outdoor boots are designed to withstand muddy, rocky, and slippery hiking terrain. But being mindful of your steps goes a long way in avoiding wear and tear and increasing your boots’ life span. Avoid sharp rocks or stamping through every muddy spot during your hike.
5. Clean and Maintain Your Boots
Cleaning and maintaining your hiking boots after every hike is crucial, especially if your hiking track is muddy. If mud sticks and dries on your boots, it draws out the waterproofing product and soaks into your boot, destroying the material of your shoes.
During your hike, you can take short breaks to remove excess mud and dirt from your boots by gently kicking the shoes against a rock or using a stick to eliminate the mud. After your hike, use a wet cloth to clean off any dirt or mud.
You can also examine your boots for any damages or loose seams. If the damage is controllable, take your shoes to the local shoe repair expert and have the seams sewn in or the soles of your boots replaced.
If there are no damages, ensure you dry your boots appropriately until all the dampness is over. If your shoes don’t dry completely, they may become smelly when you remove them after your next hike. You can also purchase high-quality shoe trees to store your boots and maintain their shape and comfort for your upcoming trek.
6. Get New Insoles
If you don’t like the support or feel of the insoles of your new boots, consider replacing them. The good news is that numerous walking boots companies focus on designing the perfect insoles for hiking and walking shoes. You don’t need to remove your new boots with uncomfortable insoles; you can replace them and extend your boots’ life.
7. Invest in the Right Socks
Most hikers ignore socks, but they play a massive role in ensuring your boots serve you for a long. Top-quality pairs of socks keep your insoles moisture free and long-lasting. Besides, they prevent friction between your foot and boot, ensuring your hiking shoes serve you for as long as you want to keep them.
The expert tips above will help you maintain your boots in perfect condition for months or years. However, if your boots are worn out, you can always purchase a new pair and incorporate all the necessary hiking shoe care tips.