Friday, November 11, 2011

Boot Care And Waterproofing


Dijukno you can be proactive in how long your boots will last and how waterproof they will be for your next hike?

Helpful Tips And Suggestions

Remove the
insoles/inserts after a hike to permit the entire boot to dry.

Do not expose your boots to excessive heat.  Store them at room temperature.
When water stops beading on your boot uppers, add a waterproofing treatment to restore their water resistance.

Keep any care instructions provided; well, check the internet or contact the manufacturer if you didn't keep that information.  Don't worry though because we will help you enjoy your boots for a long time with a few simple tips.

New hiking boots rarely require treatment out of the box because, nearly all boots are factory treated with a water repellent finish.  If a manufacturer recommends specific treatment prior to first use, be sure do so.

If a flex point of a leather boot is slow to break in, apply a conditioner to that spot to make it more pliable.

After any hike, CLEAN YOUR BOOTS.


Cleaning Tips

Be diligent in cleaning your hiking boots.  If you're too tired after a hike to clean your boots, clean them the following day.

With every flexing motion, particles of dirt, grit or sand left on a boot's upper can creep deeper into a boot's fibers, and grind away like sandpaper.

Mud can suck moisture from leather as it dries, leaving leather less pliable and vulnerable to accelerated aging.

Removable sock liners found in some boots, or insoles may be machine washable. Check your manufacturer instructions.  Remove liners or insoles to air them out.

Note
Never, ever put your hiking boots in a washing machine.

Use a brush to remove dust and dirt. Choose a specialized tool, old food cleaning brush, or toothbrush.  

Remove laces prior to cleaning. 

Be relatively gentle, yet persistent in cleaning away dirt and debris.

If you were ready to quit after the most challenging adventure of your life and allow mold to form on your boots, brush in a mixture of 80% water and 20% vinegar.

If needed, wash off the outsole, too.  Remove stones and other stubborn junk that plug your traction.  If mud is really caked on, soak the outsoles in a shallow pan of water for several hours then hose off the sludge.

Drying Tips

Allow boots to dry completely at a normal temperature.

Remove insoles and let them air dry separately from the boots.

Do not place wet boots close to a heat source  such as a fireplace, campfire, wood stove, radiator, or heater, because high heat can weaken the adhesives used in bonding your boot. It can also bake the upper, which could turn the leather brittle, or cause it to shrink and curl, which potentially could squeeze your boot's toe counter (a nylon reinforcement in the toe area), which would alter its fit.

Recommended Speedy Dry Method

Place boots (insoles removed, tongue propped open) in the path of a fan at room temperature.

If you don't have a fan available, stuff a sheet or two of newspaper into each boot. 

Newspapers are a decent moisture absorber. Change the paper each hour.

Boots dry faster when positioned upside-down.

Store boots in a place where temperatures are stable and normal. Do not store boots in attics, garages, car trunks or any unventilated spaces where heat can rapidly accumulate.

After Extended Use: Clean, Condition, Waterproof your boots.

You can use three types of boot care products. Here's a description for when and how often to use them:

Cleaner

Use a cleaner when preparing to apply waterproofing, or any time stubborn residue (dust, mud, grime) is visible on the upper.

Use a cleaner periodically. A simple brush-off or a rinse-and-wipe may do the job just fine. But if boots are muddy or really dusty, adding a footwear specific, residue free cleaner will optimize your effort. Boots simply perform better and last longer when clean.

Note
Always clean boots thoroughly before applying waterproofing.

Conditioning

Use a conditioner when full grain leather boots appear dry or cracked. It can also be used if new boots need to be broken in quickly.

Use a conditioner judiciously. Healthy leather (like your skin) functions best when moisturized. Too much conditioner can make boots too soft, reducing the support they provide on rugged terrain.

Note:
Do not use Mink Oil or similar oils better suited for logging/industrial boots; it over softens dry tanned leather used in modern hiking boots.

Waterproofing


Use a waterproofing treatment when water does not speedily bead up, and roll off a boot's surface, allowing water to sink into the exterior layer.

Use it as needed. The frequency depends on how hard you use your boots. It is not uncommon for serious trail blazers who do a lot of wet weather hiking to apply waterproofing several times a year.


Low Cost Blister Prevention Tip

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