How to care for hiking boots: a complete guide | Garmont®
If you just bought a new pair of hiking boots but don’t know how to care for them, this is the right article for you. In this guide you can find a number of simple tips to make your mountain boots last longer.
Cleaning always comes first
The first thing to keep in mind is that cleaning always comes first. If you want to know more about how to clean your hiking boots, read our article “How to clean your boots: 5 simple rules”. In general, make sure you remove mud and dirt using water and a soft brush or a cloth; don’t use chemical detergents. Most of the times, damage to the GORE-TEX® membrane is caused by the presence of small stones inside the shoe, so we suggest that you remove the insole to make sure that there are no stones or sand inside of the boot. Don’t be lazy, clean your boots after every hike!
Tip: DON’T machine wash your boots, it could affect the upper or other parts of the shoe.
How to dry your boots correctly
Now that your boots are clean, you need to wait for them to dry. Allow your hiking boots to dry naturally, in a dry and well-ventilated place away from heat sources. Keep your boots away from direct sunlight, heaters or stoves, because the upper leather could dry out excessively, becoming brittle and losing its elasticity. The best way to dry your boots is to leave them out in the air, away from direct sunlight: the ideal place is a porch or a veranda. If your boots are very wet and the inner lining is damp, you can compact crumpled newspaper sheets into them to absorb moisture. This should do the trick: it also prevents your boots from deforming as they dry out.
Waterproof your boots regularly
Something you definitely don’t want to deal with is wet feet while hiking. To prevent this, make sure you know how to waterproof your hiking footwear. Mud, dirt and bad weather can affect the waterproof membrane of your boots and eventually compromise on water resistance and breathability. If your boots have a waterproof membrane like GORE-TEX® or G-DRY, you can use a waterproof spray to preserve the coating and the outer fabric’s waterproof properties. You can use any waterproof spray for hiking boots, just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how to use it and how often. If your boots are made of full grain leather, instead, you can use a specific shoe wax or cream to nourish the leather and preserve the upper’s natural waterproof properties. We suggest that you carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions in any case, because the wrong product can ruin your boots forever.
Tip: if you don’t know what material your Garmont boots upper is made of, you can read the product details or contact our customer service.
Don’t forget to resole your hiking shoes
The many miles of hiking, especially across gravel and rocks, will slowly but inevitably wear the sole down. The part that wears down the most is the tread, i.e. the rubber part that touches the ground and that is designed to provide grip and traction. Worn-out soles can affect grip and stability and increase the risk of slips or accidents, so we strongly suggest that you do not use worn-out hiking boots. Soles often wear out faster than the upper so it’s a shame to throw your boots away and buy new ones. That’s why you can go to a shoe repair shop and have them resoled. It means to put a new sole on or to replace worn-out components so that you can continue to use your boots. Of course original GARMONT soles are not available at shoe repair shops, since they are customized items, but you can ask for compatible soles.
Tip: if your boots have a VIBRAM® sole, you can find a VIBRAM®-certified shoe repair shop near you in the “Shoe Repair Locator” section of the VIBRAM® website.
How to store your boots
Correctly storing hiking boots after cleaning is something that is often overlooked. First of all, make sure you dry your boots properly before storing them away to prevent mould from growing on them. Tie the laces to prevent your boots from deforming and put them in their box; do not store them in plastic bags. Store the box at a temperature between 18 and 20°C, avoid storing them at very low temperatures e.g. the basement or at high temperatures, e.g. the attic. A closet is the perfect place to store your boots.
Tip: wear your boots on a regular basis, in order to keep the soles’ material “active” and prevent hydrolysis; to find out more about it, go to the FAQ section of our website.
Always check the laces and the inside of your boots
Laces are subject to wear and tear and can fray, especially in case of metal eyelets. Before going on a hike, check the laces to make sure that they are in good condition, and if they’re not, bring some spare laces with you, just in case you break one in the wilderness. Insoles can also wear out after miles and miles of hiking, so don’t forget to check them and replace them if they are worn out. To clean insoles, just use lukewarm water and a brush; do not machine wash them because it could affect their shape and properties.
Now it’s up to you!
Now it’s up to you to put these tips into practice, shop our catalogue and find the right hiking boots for you!
Have you ever seen our new VETTA TECH GTX®? Don’t forget to use a waterproof spray to make the GORE-TEX® membrane last longer!
VETTA TECH GTX®
These versatile and lightweight boots are ideal for via ferrata and alpine trekking on mixed terrain, rock or scree. The mid cut suede leather upper features a GORE-TEX® membrane for durable waterproof protection. The MICHELIN® outsole delivers excellent traction underfoot also on uneven terrain.
You can find some examples of how to care for your GARMONT shoes in the table below.