Below I share some tips on how to take care of your hiking boots during and after treks:
Break in your new hiking boots: When you first buy your hiking shoes, wear them around the house and for short local walks initially. This helps in giving the shoes slight wear to them and mould around your feet before you embark on your trek. This also reduces your chances of developing blisters in the middle of the trek. If you can’t break in your shoes, attempt only leisurely hikes first instead of long, strenuous treks.
Keeping them clean: Remove dirt and mud immediately after taking off your hiking shoes. Use an old toothbrush to scrub over the surface of the shoes until no more dirt can be removed. Always remove dirt after every hiking trip and before storage.
Remove odour: Before storing the shoes, sprinkle the soles with baking soda and allow them to air out. After finishing a day’s hike, remove the soles or inserts and allow them to dry separately.
Conditioning: With regular use, hiking boots loose their water repelling properties. Use a waterproofing treatment when water doesn’t roll off a shoes’ surface, allowing water to be absorbed by the exterior layer. Frequency of use will depend upon how regularly you use your boots.
Storage: Store your shoes in a cool and dry environment only after making sure they are void of any dirt or debris. Allow shoes to dry completely before storing them. Stuff a sheet or 2 of newspaper in each boot to allow it to absorb moisture.