How to Look After your Walking Boots and ShoesNovember 14, 2016
We have written a short guide on how to looking after your Walking Boots and Shoes, to save you money make them last longer. Even your ultra modern, Gore-tex lined boots and especially fabric boots and shoes need looking after so that they can look after you.
Breathability works both ways
Modern outdoor footwear is often labelled as waterproof and breathable but If the outside gets soaking wet then that precious breathable membrane can let moisture go from the wet outside to the dry inside. Dirt, wear, ageing and regular use mean that water can soak into the surface of your boots when it should run off. Just like a breathable waterproof jacket, the outside of your footwear should repel water. Regular cleaning with fresh water and occasional use of Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel will really shift the dirt. Water repellency can be renewed with one of the sprays or waxes designed for the job.
Cracking Leather Boots
Leather boots have a tendency to crack. This is generally because they have become dry and need feeding with a good leather conditioner. Occasionally the reason may be that there is too much room in the boot and the boot creases badly across the base of your toes. If your boots fit well otherwise a volume reducer can sort out this folding problem.
Inside Your Walking Boots
The inside of your boots is worth cleaning too. Think how much sweat soaks into them in a good walk! Take the foot-beds out and pour a dilute solution of Nikwax tech wash into the boot. Give it a good swoosh about and a jiggle with your fingers. This will gently shift a lot of dirt from the inside including grit which could otherwise make a hole in the waterproof membrane.
Drying Wet Walking Boots and Shoes
Harsh drying has caused the death of many excellent pairs of boots over human history. Dry your boots slowly, away from direct heat. DO NOT put them on the radiator! If leather boots have been completely saturated consider treating them with leather cleaner before re proofing. It might also be worth a good clean with footwear cleaner first. Take out the insoles and pack with loosely crumpled news papers and change regularly, or use one of the gel packs on the market like Trekmates Absorba Balls.
Walking Boot and Shoe Repairs
Some repairs need to be done professionally, but with an older pair of boots or shoes you can successfully make some major repairs with Stormsure or Freesole, soles can be reattached, splits repaired and stitching reinforced.
Replacing and Upgrading Worn Insoles
Good insoles make a massive difference to your feet and can even help with shin, knee and hip problems. All of our staff use good insoles, generally Superfeet Insoles (they may seem expensive, but if they don’t work you have 60 days to bring them back. I use mine in preference to my custom orthotics). But we do have cheaper options from Grangers. Make sure the thickness of your new insole matches your footwear by trying them on in the shop.
If your walking boot creases across the forefoot try a volume adjuster under your insole or a thicker insole. Heel lifts may help with sore achilles tendons or other problems such as heel rubbing.
If you have major blister problems it’s worth coming in to our Llangollen shop and getting your feet measured, most people over 40 wear the same size as when they were you, but your arches lower and your feet get longer as you age.