Once you have finally found a pair of boots that fit, having tried out many
different models in the store, the first thing that most people think of is
their planned trip. But wait! You should treat your boots BEFORE their
first use! So: read the treatment instructions
and spray or wax your boots BEFORE using them for the first time.
It’s even more important to treat your boots carefully AFTER wearing
them. After all, we take care of our own skin: we protect it from the sun,
cleanse it or use moisturizers to prevent ageing. Leather is also skin.
Its complete structure is preserved by tanning so it has to be treated
Boot treatment has three goals:
1. All materials are treated so as to be water-repellant (hydrophobe).
This hydrophobic element is reduced over time and needs to be reapplied.
2. To ensure good foot climate, modern boots are breathable.
This characteristic also needs to be maintained.
3. Boots are made chiefly of leather. They therefore require regular “nutrition” so that they last for a long time and keep their shape.
HOW YOU CARES FOR YOUR BOOT
1. Preparation: Take the footbed out, so it can dry out. If you also want
to wax your boots, take out the boot laces
2. Cleaning: Remove the worst of the dirt under running water with a
brush; also remove dirt and stones from the sole
3. Hygiene: To improve the odour of your boots, clean the inside of your
boots with luke-warm water and a brush. This doesn’t hurt the lining.
Leather linings without GORE-TEX
can be cleaned with washing soap;
only use water on linings with GORE-TEX
4. Drying: Never dry boots in direct sunlight or on heat-generating units
such as radiators or stoves. Wet leather is very sensitive to heat and
“burns” easily (i.e. it becomes brittle and hard, and then gets cracked).
When the lining is wet, stuff boots with newspaper (don’t forget to
remove later!). Dry boots keep their shape perfectly with wooden boot trees
5. Spraying: It’s best to do this when the boots are not quite dry. The
pores are still open and the spray penetrates deeper. Cordura can only
be sprayed, leather also requires regular waxing.
6. Waxing: Leather needs regular “nutritional” waxing, as do GORE-TEX
lined boots or the trim on cordura boots. Apply wax with a sponge or
rag; don’t forget the tongues! Caution: Do not heat! Otherwise the wax
penetrates too deeply, decreasing breathability and thus comfort.
7. Tip for nubuck boots: Waxing changes the boots’ appearance. The
leather gets smoother and darker, but this is a perfectly normal, harmless process! The leather is “fed” and the seams become more stable.
8. Hooks and Eyelets: Protect against corrosion with wax or vaseline.