How To Care For Winter Boots
Since winter boots are an investment, it’s worth taking good care of them to make sure that they will be able to endure all the years ahead of them.
Although the materials that make the boot such as leather and rubber are inherently robust, their exposure to the harsh elements will eventually cause them to degrade.
However, a little regular care and maintenance can go a long way to make sure that they last decades rather than a few winter seasons.
Keep Your Boots Clean
The first and easiest task is to regularly clean your boots after use. Leather is especially prone to drying out and cracking when left dirty after being worn. Whilst mud can clog the leather, road salt can corrode and cause some real damage.
Simply start by using a warm and damp cloth to wipe away any dirt off your boots after taking them off. If you’re wearing your boots to the office and can’t take them off, a quick rub down with a handkerchief once you’ve arrived works wonders.
Once you get home, you can give your shoes a deeper clean. Using a brush and a leather cleaner (we particularly like Leather Honey’s cleaner), rub your shoes down until all traces of dirt are gone.
Think of leather like the skin on your face. Over the course of a day, the pores will get clogged up with dirt and grime. Your shoes take a lot more punishment because they’re constantly on the ground so it’s important to clear them out from contaminants.
Keep Your Boots Away From Heat
Although you may think it’ll simply speed things up, avoid exposing your boots to direct heat at all costs! If your boots get wet, fill them with newspaper and let them air dry naturally.
Putting your boots on a radiator or in front of the fire will dry out the leather. This may cause considerable damage such as irreparable cracks and scarring. If you often get your boots wet, you may want to consider either getting a second pair to cycle.
In the meantime, you can read about waterproofing below.
Moisturise Your Boots
After effectively exfoliating the boots when they were cleaned, the next step is to nourish the boots by replenishing the oils. Ensuring that you cover this step will exponentially increase the lifespan of your boots. Furthermore, they’ll age much slower and look great for longer!
Using a quality beeswax-based solution such as Vaught’s natural leather conditioner will yield the best results. Simply massaging the cream into the leather with a cloth can protect your boots and give them a natural shine.
Waterproof Or Wax Your Boots
Finally, you can lock in all those nutrients from the previous step by waxing your boots or using a waterproofing treatment. Not only will this protect the leather from the elements but it’ll keep your feet dry too!
Using a classic dubbin or wax such as that made by Kenetrek will create a water resistant seal. Like the moisturiser, it’s based on beeswax as well as vegetable oils, which don’t give a greasy finish.
You can apply this simply with a cloth and let the boots dry naturally. Once they’re dry, they’re ready to wear or you could even add another layer for extra protection.
Remember to follow these steps regularly during the winter. Doing it only once won’t necessarily protect your boots enough against the elements. However, doing it every day is overkill and can cause more harm than good.
The essential is to make sure that the boots are clean and free of dirt and rock salt. After that, depending on how much you wear them, a weekly or bi-monthly regimen will add extra life to your boots.
Now that you know all about winter boots, have you prepared for other seasons and occasions? If not, take a look at our other shoe guides: