When you buy a pair of waterproof boots or shoes, there is no guarantee they will remain waterproof for their entire lifetime. With wear and tear and abuse comes the loss of performance. A pair of hiking boots right out of the box might be entirely waterproof, and then after months of use and activity, the smallest puddles can start to cause issues for the wearer. While purchasing a new pair of boots might seem like the go-to option, it can be costly and forces you to go through the break-in period all over again. Luckily, there are ways you can improve the existing waterproof qualities of your boots without breaking the bank.
Unless you utilize your boots for hardcore tactical or outdoor situations, you probably expect to get at least a couple of years out of them. By waterproofing them, you can help keep your feet safe from the elements and prolong your boots’ lifespan. But how often should you waterproof your boots? Waterproofing needs will vary by person. If you use your boots simply to walk the dog, you will not need to waterproof your boots as often as somebody who hikes up and down mountainsides. You should consider applying a new waterproofing layer before any big hiking or camping trips. And if you use your boots often, it is safe to assume you should be waterproofing them at least a couple of times per season. You will want to keep an eye on your boots’ performance and jump to action before the original waterproof quality of your boots deteriorates and gets you into trouble.
Clean Your Boots Before Waterproofing
It is important to clean your boots as necessary, even if you are not waterproofing them. Cleaning them intermittently can help prolong the life of your boots by getting rid of bacteria that cause odor, as well as preventing mold. As mud dries on leather, it can cause it to lose moisture which can result in cracking and an overall weaker boot.
To clean your boots, you will need:
- Scrubbing brush
- Mild soap/detergent
- Cleaning cloth
Remove as much dirt as possible before cleaning by banging your boots together and shaking them out. Get the boots ready for cleaning by removing the laces and rinsing them with water. Then, scrub your boots with water, soap, and a scrubbing brush. After scrubbing, rinse all the soap away, towel dry, remove insoles, and set boots to dry in a dry space. Stuff boots with newspaper to remove maximum moisture. Be sure to allow the boots to dry fully before applying any waterproofing solutions.
Waterproofing Leather Boots
Leather has many natural waterproof properties, but over time, boots made of leather can lose these properties. Taking extra waterproofing precautions can not only help keep water out but can also help keep the leather in fighting shape. After washing your leather boots and allowing them to dry completely, you can apply your waterproofing product of choice. A few of these options include:
Waterproofing Synthetic Material
Synthetic materials can lose waterproof treatments after long-term use, so it is important to reapply waterproofing solutions to keep them ready for anything. Many synthetic materials do not have natural waterproof attributes, so you will need to be extra careful when waterproofing them. Be sure to thoroughly clean your boots, focusing on seams and creases. After allowing them to fully dry, carefully apply the waterproofing solution of your choice. Here are some solutions you can choose from:
Here at ALTAI®, we pride ourselves on making some of the most comfortable, tough, and versatile boots available in the marketplace. We offer leather toe options as required for law enforcement and first responders. All our boots are made with SuperFabric®, which is an incredibly strong, breathable, and waterproof textile that provides the perfect qualities for tactical and outdoor footwear. While all our boots are waterproof, they can lose some of their waterproof capabilities after wear and tear and abuse. Using the methods provided above, you can keep your ALTAI® boots in fighting shape to help you overcome all the challenges and adventures life throws your way.