Boot cleaning and maintenance
Footwear is made of leather because it is comfortable, supportive, naturally water-repellent and breathable. The less water absorbed by leather, the longer it will last and the more comfortable your feet will be. Once wet, leather stretches and weakens, shrinks and becomes brittle as it dries. Here are a few simple suggestions to keep footwear performing at their best.
The first step to footwear maintenance is regular cleaning. Small particles of dirt can work their way into the fibres of the leather causing abrasion and break down. After use, rinse off mud and dirt with tap water. To remove oil-based dirt, excess wax and stubborn grime that will not be cleaned by plain water use a cleaning gel and a nylon brush. Be sure to clean the linings of your boots with a warm damp cloth after each use as well. Salt from perspiration can pass into the lining rapidly destroying the leather making it dry and cracked.
Re-proof or add water repellency
This is important not just to keep your feet dry, but will keep footwear cleaner and maintain the leather's suppleness for improved durability. After cleaning footwear with water, apply the appropriate waterproofing treatment to the entire shoe or boot paying special attention to the stitching and hardware (anywhere the leather has been punctured). Reapply as necessary or after use in severe conditions. For best results let footwear dry for 24 hours before use.
Start by removing the laces and inner soles. Dry footwear slowly at room temperature. Do not expose shoes or boots to a direct heat source. Excessive heat can cause irreversible damage to the leather and is harmful to the adhesives used in footwear construction. To help dry footwear that has been filled with water or is thoroughly soaked we recommend stuffing it with newspaper. Replace wet newspaper and repeat until footwear is dry.
Conditioning footwear can reduce the break-in time for new smooth leather shoes or boots and also revive old dried out footwear.