Work Boot Care & Maintenance
Taking care of your boots is essential for both their longevity and your own foot health. Proper maintenance can help prevent discomfort, blisters, and even more serious foot injuries. In this care instruction, we will provide you with tips on breaking in your new boots, cleaning and waterproofing your boots, and caring for your older leather boots. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your boots last for many years and provide you with the comfort and support you need.
Breaking in Your New Boots:
When you receive your new boots, we recommend wearing them around the house for several days or up to a week to assist with the break-in period. Keep in mind that some boots may take longer to break in and may prove more difficult. Wearing your boots to work too soon may cause unnecessary hot spots and blisters. It’s also important to wait until your boots are broken in before applying any waterproofing agent.
Using a conditioner can help speed up the break-in process.
Cleaning and Waterproofing (water resistant) Your Leather Boots:
Start by cleaning your boots with a water-based cleaning agent and a nylon brush. Be sure to carefully brush the seams to make certain all the dirt is removed.
Next, wet the boots and apply a water-based waterproofing agent to make your boots more water-resistant. We recommend using water-based products for the following reasons:
- Water-based products do not hamper the breathability of leather or nubuck footwear, allowing your feet to sweat and the moisture to evaporate.
- You can apply water-based waterproofing products to wet or dry boots.
- Water-based agents contain NO petroleum, which can cause leather to stretch and affect the fit of the boot.
- Water-based products do not require excessive heat to penetrate the leather, avoiding any potential damage to your footwear.
- Water-based agents do not attract dirt and provide better water repellency.
We recommend applying two to three coats of water-based waterproofing agent for maximum water repellency. After two to three weeks, apply a second coat and repeat for a third time.
For extremely wet conditions, use a Waterproof Wax.
**Please note: To clarify, please keep in mind that the following steps will only make the leather of your boots more water-resistant. In order for boots to be fully waterproof, they must already have a waterproof lining. If your boots lack a waterproof lining, water may still seep in through the stitching despite taking these measures.
Nubuck & Suede Waterproofing:
For best results, apply water-based Nubuck & Suede protector to wet footwear. It will penetrate easier and will not leave streaking or white effects. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and be sure to wipe off any excess after three to five minutes.
When the leather is dry, brush lightly with a stiff nylon brush to restore boots to near original color. Footwear may have a slightly darker, richer look after application.
For maximum performance of all water-based waterproofing agents, we recommend applying two to three coats. These products are easy to apply in the field when the boots are wet. Rinse off dirt and apply directly.
Before storing wet boots, apply one last thin coat, stuff with newspaper, or use a shoe dryer to assist in the drying process and to prevent the footwear from shrinking.
Caring for Your Older Leather Boots:
For older footwear, it’s important to clean off the build-up of dirt and wax from excessive waterproofing and oiling. Clean your boots with a water-based cleaning agent and a nylon brush, making sure to carefully brush the seams to remove any dirt. You may need to repeat this process several times depending on the condition and age of your boots.
It’s a good idea to apply a leather conditioner to your older boots to prevent them from becoming dry and stiff. Dehydrated boots can develop cracks where the boot and leather flexes. Using a leather conditioner can prevent this from happening.
Periodically, clean the inside of your boots with a low pH factor shampoo, making sure to rinse it out thoroughly to remove odor, dirt, salts, acids, and dead skin. If you have smelly feet, spray the inside of your boots with an odor-eating spray.
After all this prep work, apply conditioner and/or water-proofing wax.
As you can see, proper boot care requires some effort, but it will result in healthier feet and longer-lasting footwear.