To keep one’s mind refreshed one often goes hiking in a remote and calm place. Where they may find peace of mind and can enjoy the beauty of nature without any interruption. For hiking, one needs some basic things which will provide comfort. Boots are one of them. Boots protect our feet from any kind of damage and cut during the period of our hiking. Leather hiking boots are great to use. They are long-lasting and comfortable.  We can use them for a long period if we properly know how to care for leather hiking boots.

    Hiking trails don’t have plenty of soft edges. therefore even if we have a tendency to choose the most rugged pair of leather boots it will eventually look a bit ragged. beyond scuffs and scrapes, boot leather is additionally at risk of drying out and cracking. So if we want to help our boots last longer and perform at their best, we need to clean and condition them regularly.

   If our boots have a serious gouge then it’s time to take them to a professional cobbler. Some people use Shoe goo or Super Glue to fill a superficial gouge, however, that’s a temporary fix and may degrade leather over time. So it’s better to clean and condition the boots. 

  The main steps to conditioning leather hiking boots are:

  • Choosing the appropriate cleaner and conditioner
  • Cleaning the  boots regularly 
  • Applying the conditioner
  • Drying the boots

How To Maintain Our Leather Hiking Boots :

     If we properly clean and care for our leather hiking boots regularly, it is too simple to carry our boots for a long time. Here we are going to discuss some basic things about how to maintain our leather boots.

When to Clean Your Hiking Boots :

      The basic care about leather hiking boots is to “clean the boots whenever they get really dirty “. Leaving dirt on our boots for a long time will pull moisture from the leather, which can cause premature cracking. If the boots are not super muddy then the best way to know when the boots really need care is If they absorb water, it’s time to clean and re-waterproof! If the leather cracks and splits, especially right where our foot flexes, it’s no good.

Clean Our Hiking Boots :

     If we want our boots to last long, it is very important to regularly clean our shoes and keep them dry. We should not let our boots remain wet for a couple of days. To keep my boots dry “I prefer to stick a towel within the boot to soak up any air and water so the inside stays as dry as possible. This also shortens the dry time after the cleaning. Leave our hand in the boot holding it with a towel, scrubbing the exterior with the cleaning gel under a little bit of running water. Once it’s all nice and clean and rinsed, then we are ready to waterproof it.”

   While cleaning our hiking boots we should follow the following  tips to care for leather hiking boots:

  • Remove the laces before cleaning.
  • We should use a soft brush to gently remove dust and dirt.
  • For more thorough cleaning, we should add running water and whatever boot cleaner we have chosen

 Applying the Conditioner or Waterproofing Treatment :

  • We should make sure that water is soaked fully into the boot leather. The best way of applying the treatment is immediately after cleaning the leather. 
  • If our boots are dry or aren’t wet enough after cleaning, we should wrap a very wet towel around them and let them sit in a utility sink for a couple of hours.
  • Once water is fully soaked into the boots then we should apply the conditioner or waterproofing treatment. We should read all the instructions for our products and carefully follow them.

Drying and Storing Boots :

   There are some basic tips for drying and storing our hiking boots. Here they are :

  • Leather boots need to be dried after being cleaned and conditioned.
  • We must dry boots at normal temperature in a place with low humidity.
  • We must not use a heat source.
  • For quicker drying, we can use a fan.
  • We can also stuff newspaper into the boots to speed drying. We must change the paper frequently (whenever it’s damp).
  • We should store our boots where temperatures are stable and normal. We should not store boots in attics, garages, car trunks, or any damp, hot, or unventilated place.

How To Keep Leather Boots in Good Condition  :

   It is very important to keep our leather boots in good condition. Here are some tips which one can follow to care leather hiking boots in good condition.

Keep Them Clean and Dry :

    The boots whether it is leather or synthetic will put up with plenty of muck and water on the trail. But mud can ruin our boot’s outer if it stays on too long. It is better to run your boots under a hose and then scrub with a vegetable brush. Dry the boots with a boot dryer or in a warm room. We should never put our boots next to the heater. Too much heat can crack the leather and melt the soles.

Remove Insoles After Use :

    I would suggest removing insoles after every hike. “The insoles hold moisture, and the dry, tanned leather that most boot companies use. It will start to get soft and mushy if we leave the insoles in for an extended period of time.” The same goes for boots made from synthetic materials. Wet insoles can also become smelly, bacteria-laden Petri dishes if they’re allowed to stay in the boot for a certain period of time. So it is better to let them dry overnight, and they should be good to go.

Keep Them Waterproof :

      Water will certainly ruin leather, so we need to frequently reapply the treatment once in a while.  We should reapply a waterproofing agent whenever we notice that the outer material whether it is leather or synthetic is becoming saturated in the rain. If it is saturating then we need to just coat the entire boot with one thin layer.

Avoid Saltwater :

     Saltwater is very harmful to our hiking boots. We should avoid saltwater to keep our hiking boots in good condition. It is a different thing to cross rivers, but if we get our boots wet in or near the ocean, the saltwater will rust metal eyelets. And once the eyelets start to rust, they’re hard to replace (unlike the sole or other parts of our boots). If our boots get to soak in saltwater in any way then we should rinse them off as soon as possible.

How to Break in Your Hiking Boots :

Even great-fitting boots need to get in sync with our feet. If we take the time to break in a new pair of hiking boots, we’ll enjoy many comfortable miles on the trail together. We should not immediately put wax or other products on our leather boots. We should let them shape, blend, to our feet first. Once we notice that the outers have gotten a little lighter and more pliable from use and sun, we should use a product like Conditioner for Leather. This product will keep the leather soft and hydrated.

Each boot takes different break-in times. Light hikers may feel perfect right out of the box, while in the case of burly leather models it may require weeks. The leather needs time to soften up so our boots and feet can conform to one another.

We should keep in mind that the break-in process won’t turn a poor fit into a good one. So it is better to see a footwear specialist at an REI store to get the right fit initially. 

 Here are some basic tips one can follow:

Go Slow and Steady :

     It is the best way to go slow and steady. One should follow these basic steps:

  • One should Wear his boots inside the house. one should wear the socks and insoles he will be wearing on the trail and tie his boots snugly, but not too tight. One should make sure his/her tongues and gussets are straight. It is known that new boots will be a little stiff at first, which is fine.
  • We should walk around the block and around town. Make sure our boots feel good at each stage before upping the distance.
  • We should put on a daypack and hit the trail. Off pavement is where serious breaking in happens. Make sure we gradually increase both weight and mileage throughout this phase.
  • We should always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Even if we don’t find break-in tips, we’ll learn about proper care and use.

Listen to Your Feet :

   While hiking the feet comfort is very important. We should be careful about pain points. Small problems become big ones in a hurry. 

If we have a significant fit issue, it is better to go with a different pair of boots. We should consult with our local footwear specialist; they can tell us if the store’s boot-stretching device can alleviate our problem or whether we need to make a bigger change.

Avoid the Quick Fix :

    We should avoid the quick fix. It is a bad idea to soak boots and walk long distances while wearing them. That would be hard on our boots and it would cause pain in our feet.

How to Waterproof Leather  Hiking Boots :

  If you’re a backpacker, hiker, need boots for work, or are just a general outdoor lover, then waterproofing your boots is very important. Not only is it good to be able to handle all weather conditions but also not to worry about bad weather. It creates peace of mind while enjoying the outdoors.  More importantly, wet feet are never fun. So it is important to waterproof our boots and keep them dry. Here is one thing if your boots do not come from the factory with a waterproof guarantee, it will be hard to completely waterproof them to keep water out.  If we truly need waterproof boots, then it is better to choose boots that are made of rubber or those that come from the factory with a permanent waterproof seal.

     Here are some tips which may help you to waterproof your leather hiking boots in order to keep them dry.

  • First of all, we should determine the material type of our hiking boots.
  • We should Choose a cream, wax, or spray waterproofing product.
  • We should find a well-ventilated room or go outside to apply products.
  • Rub in or spray liberally on the hiking boot.
  • We should Wipe off or rub in any excess with a clean rag.
  • We should dry the boots as instructed (at least overnight).

The Different Types of Hiking Boot Materials :

Nowadays hiking boots are made out of different types of materials.  Here is a little bit of information on each material, some pros and cons to the material which will help you to decide which boot material is best for you concerning waterproofing.


Leather is the most traditional material that boots are made out of.  Leather boots are very durable and will last a long time after they are worked in.  The only drawback to wearing leather boots is the fact that the material is not breathable so your feet can get hot and sweaty inside.  Full leather boots will be best for working.


Nylon and Synthetic Materials:

These types of boots are great because they are both super lightweight and breathable.  It is also a great boot material because it is flexible.  This makes boots made out of nylon and synthetic materials very useful, comfortable, and great for hiking or any outdoor use.

Products For Waterproofing :

    There are different types of materials available which we can use to waterproof our boots.  Below I’ll discuss a couple of different techniques used to waterproof the boots.

The most important thing we should not forget before we end up waterproofing our boots though, we should make sure that they are clean and dry as previously mentioned.  If there is dirt on the boots or they are wet, the waterproofing will not work as well.  

Waterproofing Spray:  

For each different type of boot material, there are several types of sprays.  Make sure we find the one that is useful for the material of our boots.  When applying the spray, we should hold it about six inches away from the boot. We should apply the spray in a thick, even coat.  Then wipe away any excess spray from the boots that are unneeded.  This method will be best for synthetic and nylon boots.

Wax and Beeswax:   

We should ensure one thing: when we use wax to slightly heat it with a hairdryer or heat gun so that it is pliable and can be worked into the boots well.  Wax will be best for leather boots.


We should rub the cream over the entire boot and allow it to have some time to soak in.  Then wipe away extra cream that cannot be worked into the boots.  We should read all labels on the products we buy because some might alter the color of our boots to make them slightly darker after their application.

After waterproofing the boots, we should wait for some hours before we take them outside again.  It will need at least time overnight to allow the treatment to settle and soak completely into the boot material

How Often Should I Waterproof My Boots :

    How often we need to waterproof our boots will depend heavily on how often we use them, and how often they are exposed to wet weather.

  If our boots get heavy use outside in bad weather, we might even need to waterproof them every few weeks to ensure that our feet stay dry. That’s how we can care for leather hiking boots.

 What To Do If Our Boots Get Dry and Cracked :

   If our boots get dry and cracked a little then there is no need to worry. Nowadays there are some conditioners available in the market which we can use to fix our leather boots. We can use it instead of the waterproofing wax and it’ll actually soften the leather. 

   For pleasant and uninterrupted trails we need to keep our whole body fit. And feet are one of the most important parts of our body. Hiking boots are great to use for our feet. To enjoy pleasant and uninterrupted hiking we should take the utmost care of our leather hiking boots by cleaning and conditioning them regularly. Proper care will help our boots last longer and perform at their best.


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