A collection of articles from Great British Walks - formerly The Walking Holiday Company for visitors, customers and the press to read, enjoy and share, regarding the fantastic walks across the National Trails of Great Britain. Great British Walks are proud to be a partner of Discover England to promote the National Trails in the United Kingdom.

Walking boot care

Helen Colwell - Friday, December 09, 2016
Walking boot care


Your walking boots are the most important piece of equipment when on those long walking holidays. They protect you from the weather and when you purchase a pair that fit you correctly, they will prevent you from hurting your feet. Therefore, it is important to take care of your boots, before you start wearing by following any care instructions you received when you buy your boots, for example spaying them or waxing them to protect them from the elements. It’s even more important to treat your boots carefully AFTER wearing them

  • 1.Preparation:
  • Take the inner sole out, so it can dry out. If you also want to wax your boots, take out the boot laces.
  • 2. Cleaning:
  • Remove the worst of the dirt under running water with a brush; also, remove dirt and stones from the sole.
  • 3. Hygiene:
  • To improve the odour of your boots, clean the inside of your boots with luke-warm water and a brush. This doesn’t hurt the lining. Leather linings without GORE-TEX® can be cleaned with washing soap; only use water on linings with GORE-TEX® .
  • 4. Drying:
  • Never dry boots in direct sunlight or on heat-generating units such as radiators or stoves. Wet leather is very sensitive to heat and “burns” easily (i.e. it becomes brittle and hard, and then gets cracked). When the lining is wet, stuff boots with newspaper (don’t forget to remove later!). Dry boots keep their shape perfectly with wooden boot trees.
  • 5. Spraying:
  • It’s best to do this when the boots are not quite dry. The pores are still open and the spray penetrates deeper.
  • 6.Waxing: Leather needs regular “nutritional” waxing, as do GORE-TEX® lined. Apply wax with a sponge or rag; don’t forget the tongues! Caution: Do not heat! Otherwise the wax penetrates too deeply, decreasing breathability and thus comfort.
  • 7.Tip for nubuck boots: Waxing changes the boots’ appearance. The leather gets smoother and darker, but this is a perfectly normal, harmless process! The leather is “fed” and the seams become more stable.
  • 8.Hooks and Eyelets: Protect against corrosion with wax or Vaseline.


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