The most important thing you can do once you have purchased a new pair of boots is to look after them properly. If they are cared for and treated from the start, they will perform better and last much longer.
Manufacturers reserve the right to decline any warranty claims or returns if footwear has not been properly treated and cared for, so it is worth the effort.The most important thing you can do once you have purchased a new pair of boots is to look after them properly. If they are cared for and treated from the start, they will perform better and last much longer. Manufacturers reserve the right to decline any warranty claims or returns if footwear has not been properly treated and cared for, so it is worth the effort.
Please note that the instructions below apply only to leather boots. Suede/nubuck boots should be treated according to individual manufacturer instructions.
Neglected leather allows moisture to gather and soak in to the leather
Treated leather allows moisture to bead up and disperse away from the surface of the leather
It is important that the natural substances washed out of the leather during everyday wear are put back to ensure the leather remains supple, flexible, and durable. Without proper conditioning and care, even the finest-quality leathers will lose their durability and their natural water repellent qualities.
Untreated / neglected leather can absorb large amounts of water, up to 100%-200% on a weight basis; all leathers will stretch if it is allowed to absorb water. It will also retain its deformed shape leading to discomfort and natural water repellent qualities.
Treating boots from new
Good boots should always be treated from new and conditioned. By treating them, you are adding to the treatments applied by the manufacturer. Before wearing your boots for the first time you should always condition them with a good quality leather cream, this is like moisturising your skin. Once the cream has been absorbed you should add a layer of leather wax or Dubbin, this should be applied generously around seams and joints, this acts as a waterproof barrier. Using a hair dryer on a very low setting, warm the boots gently around the seams and joints. This will allow the wax to soak into the pores. Finally, you should apply a protector spray, which gives an extra barrier against water ingress. All these treatments need repeating on a regular basis.
Importance of cleaning boots
With every flexing motion, particles of dirt on the boots upper can creep deeper into a boots fibres and joints grinding away at the leather like sandpaper. As dirt dries it sucks away the natural moisture and oils from the leather, leaving it less pliable causing cracking and making it vulnerable to accelerated aging. Ultimately, these cracks allow moisture to penetrate the layers of material that make up the boots construction, which can then stagnate rotting the boots from the inside out.
Boot cleaning technique
First you should remove the laces, which allows you to clean around the eyelets and remove dirt from the tongue area. By removing the laces this allows you to inspect them to avoid any breakage during wear. If the boots are dry use a boot brush to remove as much of the dirt as possible. Be relatively gentle yet persistent in cleaning away the dirt and debris. Once the dirt has been removed, use a damp cloth to wipe the surface of the boots to remove any residue. If the boots are covered in wet mud, hold the boots under slow running water and use a brush to remove the dirt. Wipe over with a cloth to remove excess moisture. Take care that no water enters the boots and allow to dry before treating.
Drying wet boots
Wet boots should never be dried close to a heat source for a long period of time; this include fires, radiators, even sunny windowsills. Wet leather cannot tolerate a high heat source – this bakes the leather, making it brittle. It can also weaken the adhesives used in modern footwear to attach the soles to the uppers.
Leather boots should be allowed to dry naturally at normal temperatures. Insoles should be removed and inspected and left to dry separately from the boots. Damaged insoles can lead to discomfort and foot blisters. Boots dry faster when positioned upside down allowing air to circulate, drying both the inside and the outside together. Boots should be stored in a ventilated area where the temperatures are stable and normal. Once the boots are dry, replace the insole and treat the inside of the boots with an antibacterial spray. This neutralises odours and aids boot and foot hygiene. Once the boots are completely dry treat the outside of the boots as recommended above.
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying care products
- Boots that are not treated as proscribed by the manufacturer will not be eligible for warranty claims