How to Clean Hiking Boots – A Quick Guide

  If your hiking boots are as clean as a whistle, without a scuff or a scratch or a hint of dirt to be seen, then you’re doing it wrong. Hiking boots should only look pristine when they are brand new and have never once been worn on the trail.

After that, every scrape and stain on those boots is a badge of honor. While it’s fine for your hiking boots to look worn, it’s not OK for them to actually be dirty, at least not after each trek has ended.

Leaving boots damp, soiled with mud, or caked in dirt can lead to damage over time — the type of damage that goes beyond cosmetics and can impact performance and longevity.

There’s no reason to break out the shoeshine kit. However, you do need to learn how to clean your hiking boots.

If there are globs of mud all over your boots, get them off, man! Use a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe down the boots, taking care to work around and under the laces and to wipe off the eyelets and the hooks on the upper. Go ahead and scrape mud out of the treads with a stiff brush or slender rod.

You should remove as much mud, dirt, and bits of leaves and brambles as soon as possible, because the longer that stuff sits there, the longer it will keep the boots damp.

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