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How to clean your favorite hiking boots properly?

A good pair of hiking boots is a great companion on long-distance and tough hikes. They can last a long time and protect your feet very well against sharp rocks, dirt, and mostly everything else on the ground you meet along the way. But that does not mean you can take your most comfortable hiking boots for granted and throw them in the closet without taking care of them between hikes.

As known, most of the hiking boots, especially for heavy-duty backpacking trips, nowadays are made of leather for durability and longevity. However, overtime without care and conditioning, the leather’s texture and surface will get abraded and worn away by being in constant contact with dirt, and rough surfaces, moist and many other external contaminations.

Therefore, don’t expect your best value hiking boots will last you a lifetime if you don’t take care of them occasionally. Try investing some time in cleaning and preserving your hiking boot, and you will get even more in return.


Preparation is rather simple. You will need a boot brush, and even an old toothbrush will do the job, some saddle soap or a mild cleaning solution of dish soap mixing with warm water. Do remember to remove the laces beforehand for an easier cleaning process.

Taking action

Apply the cleaning solution of the surface of the boots and use the brush to remove the built-up dirt and debris gently. Don’t forget to brush the bottom since it’s the most critical part of the boots to create traction, especially when you are walking up or down a steep hill. Dirt and mud will manage to get in between the grooves of the bottom and remain there. Unless you remove them, your hiking boots won’t be able to keep their peak performance in traction during long and steep hikes.

After removing the dirt and mud, gently rinse the boots with warm water. Don’t use hot water because it heats extremely harmful to leather-made products.

Use a piece of cloth to damp the boots dry, and then you can dry the boot naturally. However, do keep in mind not to expose your boots to direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the leather to dry up and create cracks and eventually destroy the leather’s surface and texture.

If you want to take further care for your Top Rated Hiking Boots, you can apply some leather conditioner products used for leather-made products on the leather surface of the boots to make it look better and last even longer.

Keep in mind that

As you can see, washing and cleaning your hiking boots are not tricky and brain-killing tasks. However, below are some of our recommendations to keep your hiking gear live healthily for years:

– Use warm water or warm water with small amount of vinegar, not hot water; mild soap or specialized soap cleaner, not strong soap.

– Do not dry your boots under direct sunlight or with heat which can damage the adhesives.

– Never wash in a washing machine.

– Give your boots some days free and entirely dry before putting them on the trail again.

– Generally, condition your leather boots, especially full-grain leather ones, once every 3-6 months or more if you wear them more frequently or keep them in a drier environment than usual.


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