To get the most out of your footwear and to protect its life-cycle it is important to take a little time and effort to keep them in good condition. Here are our top tips to maintain the life of your footwear.
After every walk or ramble it is recommended to give your footwear a clean. Try and dislodge most of the dirt by walking through wet grass or a puddle on your way home. Then rinse the shoes or boots with clear water. Avoid submersing your footwear in water as it can alter the overall performance.
Remove laces and footbeds to get into the tight spaces and brush off mud and grime with a soft brush and bowl of water.
Never force dry your footwear with heat, this will result in the deterioration or hardening of the outer layer. Natural drying is best, try stuffing dry newspaper inside your footwear to soak up the moisture, frequently changing the wet newspaper for dry.
Once dry it is important to apply conditioning and waterproof treatments. Leather footwear needs conditioning to prevent splitting (please see How to Apply Dubbing to Boots or Shoes for more information) while all waterproof footwear requires you to reapply waterproofing agents. Application of proofer to the outer reduces the ability of moisture to penetrate the upper materials, especially those with mesh panels for improved breathability.
Depending on the frequency of use it is also a good idea to give the inside of your boots an occasional clean. Salty sweaty deposits can actually damage leather and block the waterproof membranes reducing the overall breathability of your footwear. To clean the inside of your leather boots or shoes fill with luke warm water, leave them overnight before tipping water away and leaving to dry naturally.