Boot Care - How to look after your footwear
If you’ve got a good pair of boots, then you’re bound to be getting good use out of them.
We all know that boots aren’t made to stay in a box – they are made to be worn, made to last, and to be your go to every time you leave the house. But this then means that your boots are continually coming into contact with different environmental elements, which then creates the general wear and tear that happens with anything over time.
So, no matter what the price tag, and no matter what the material, all boots need a little bit of care and attention to help them be the best they can be.
Just like how you would wash your car or change your bed sheets, it’s recommended to try maintaining a relative schedule with your boot care routine. How you clean your boots will be determined by what type of material they are, but all boots mainly just need basic maintenance and regular cleaning every few weeks.
It is simple and easy to do and will help prolong the life of your footwear; to keep them looking as good, and performing as well, as when you first opened that box.
How to clean leather boots
Step 1: Prep your boots
Start by removing the laces if your boots have them. These can be washed by hand with a little soap, or they can be put in the washing machine.
Then, using a soft bristled brush or a damp cloth, remove any dirt, dust, and/or debris from the boots. Brush along the seams and soles using an outward motion.
Tip: Be gentle here. You don’t want to accidentally scratch or damage the leather.
Step 2: Leave to dry
Once you are confident you have got rid of as much visible dirt as possible, you then need to leave your boots to air dry.
Tip: Even if the sun has been shining all morning, don’t be tempted to rush the drying process by putting your boots in the direct sunlight. Keep them at room temperature, and away from heaters or fires.
You want to dry the leather, but not dry it out.
Step 3: Clean your boots
Take a clean, soft, damp cloth. Add a small amount of the liquid cleaner to it and then, using circular motions, work your way around the boot.
Follow this by repeating this step again, but this time use a fresh cloth damp with just water. This will ensure that none of the product is left on the surface of the boot.
Tip: Take your time and be thorough. Make sure you clean all over the boots, including the crevices.
Step 4: Leave to dry
Leave the boots to dry once more; again, this should be at room temperature and not near direct sunlight or any artificial heat sources.
Step 5: Add the finishing touches
Apply a thin, even coat of leather conditioner to the boots, and then leave to dry.
Using conditioner helps block water from seeping in, which happens naturally over time due to oils and dirt from the outside elements.
Boots can also be polished every so often. Similarly, you can ‘buff’ your boots simply by using a soft, clean cloth.
How to clean canvas boots
Step 1: Prep your boots
Take the laces out from your boots. These can be washed by hand with a little soap, or they can be put in the washing machine.
Remove any obvious patches of dirt from your boots by using a soft bristled brush and a bit of elbow grease.
Tip: If you don’t have a boot brush, you can just as easily use an old toothbrush.
Step 2: Clean your boots
Dampen a clean cloth or soft bristled brush with a little warm water.
Work your way around the boots, using the damp cloth or brush to clean the whole surface, seams, and soles.
Step 3: Leave to dry
Fill your boots with tissue paper (or newspaper or suchlike) and then leave them to air dry in a natural, room temperature environment.
The use of paper will help them keep their shape as they dry.
Tip: Canvas material boots should never be put into the tumble dryer, as this then runs the risk the soles will malform and become damaged.
- Before using any cleaning product for the first time, test it out on an inconspicuous section of the boot in case there is an unwanted reaction or discolouring effect
- Patience is key. Your boots need to dry fully after any product is added and again before they then get worn again
- Find a good home for your boots. Store them in a well ventilated, cool area.
- Excessive cleaning can do the material, particularly leather, more harm than good, so if you keep to a good routine, then you will be able to keep track of when your boots were last cleaned and when they are due to be cleaned again.