When you’ve invested in a decent pair of walking boots you need to take care of them not only to get good value for money ( a good, well looked after pair of boots can last for many years) but to keep them in good condition so that they keep you dry, comfortable and well supported on your walks. The importance of good, strong walking boots can not be over emphasised in order to support and protect your feet, a slip in the wrong footwear could result in a broken ankle or even worse!

Follow these top tips to get the most from your boots.

First of all, how not to treat your walking boots;

Don’t – just shove them into a cupboard after use, check them for damage, clean them and make sure they are thoroughly dry before putting them away

Don’t’ – leave them outside, boots are hardwearing but do need to be stored properly in a dry, sheltered place

Don’t – put them in the washing machine (with or without detergent), or clean with harsh detergents. The chemicals used can strip the natural protection from the leather or the factory applied coating from fabric boots

Don’t – ‘force dry’ them on the radiator or in the airing cupboard and especially not in the tumble drier.

So, what should you be doing to keep your boots in the best condition? Well, it’s really very simple, make sure that your boots are cleaned and waterproofed regularly.

The best way to clean your boots is good old-fashioned water and a bit of elbow grease. For leather boots use a stiff brush, for suede or nubuck use a nap brush or for fabrics such as GORE-TEX a damp cloth is best. Get scrubbling!

To clean the insides use a warm, damp cloth. If the insides are very wet stuff some newspaper in there and replace with dry paper when it starts to get wet - the paper absorbs the moisture without the need for ‘force drying’ them.

How to condition/waterproof your walking boots –

This doesn’t need to happen every time you get back from a walk just every so often, a good way to tell it’s time to waterproof is if your feet feel a bit damp or even wet when you wear the boots. This happens because your boots have lost their breathe-ability or ‘wetted out’ so the moisture from your feet isn’t able to get out.

If you have leather boots they will be naturally waterproof, but do need a helping hand every so often. All you need to do is apply a reproofer, conditioner, cleaner and protector available from all good outdoor stores.

Fabric boots have a durable waterproof repellent applied in the factory overtime this coating does wear off (even from the first few uses) so buy a reproofer and conditioner or water proofer. Different products are applied in different ways, some onto wet boots some onto dry boots for example, so make sure you always follow the instructions that come with the product.

Bruno Blackstone is a director at My Outdoor Store. The premier walking and hiking outdoor gear store.

Author's Bio: 

Bruno Blackstone is a freelance writer interested in all things to do with the outdoors and helping others get the most from the outdoors. Starting with a psychology degree his early career was as a social worker and family therapist working with families to help them achieve more positive and stable relationships. In his more recent career he has coached many senior executives in both small and large organisations in areas such as strategy, human resources, organisational design and performance improvement. He now continues his work in the business world but he is also co-owner of My Outdoor Store a price comparison site for outdoor enthusiasts.