How to Care for Walking Boots

Your walking boots work as hard as you do on your adventures, so they deserve to be cared for. Learn how to properly clean, protect, and store them with Ariat.

Ready for your next adventure? Whether you’re exploring new dog walking paths, rambling with friends, or challenging yourself to a hilly climb, we know walking boots are incredibly important to getting you through your outdoor adventures. Taking care of your boots is just as important. From breaking them in, to cleaning and storing your boots, we’ll take you through how to make sure they last longer to join you on more adventures.

Breaking in your Walking Boots

Although we know you’ll be eager to get out and about in your new walking boots, it’s important to break in your boots at home before taking them outdoors. We recommend wearing your shoes around the house with proper walking socks. This will ensure the boots mould to your foot properly.

Breaking them in this way guarantees they’ll be comfortable, even on your first wear, and with Ariat’s clever features, like all day cushioning insoles and shock absorbing midsoles, you’ll find even more comfort. Moisture-wicking technology, that acts to wick away any additional moisture, will keep your feet feeling fresh throughout your adventures too.

Cleaning your Walking Boots

Cleaning your walking boots is one of the most important factors to ensuring they last. We’ve put together some steps to help you through the process, but our first tip is to make sure you’re trying to clean them after every wear, to avoid a build-up of dirt causing dry materials and damage.

  1. Scrub your boots after your walk with a semi-stiff brush.

This first step allows you to remove any dirt, mud, and dust that might have accumulated on your boots. Removing this helps avoid it drying and building up.

Make sure you’re gentle with delicate fabrics, like any leather uppers, so you don’t damage the leather or lose the shape of the shoe (that you’ve helped to build by breaking them in at home).

We recommend avoiding using detergents which might damage the shoe. Instead, simply use warm soapy water when washing off any excess dirt, a semi-stiff brush for brushing off build up on the shoes, and an old toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach places.

  1. Remove the laces and give them a soak.

Every now and then, you may need to remove the laces from your walking boots to give them a soak and fully clean them. We don’t expect you to do this every time, but once every few weeks to a month should make sure they remain nice and clean.

  1. Dry your boots in a well-ventilated room.

If the weather is nice, you can dry them outdoors but avoid direct sunlight. Indoors, avoid any additional heaters like radiators which can damage the materials of the boot.

If you need to dry the insides of your boots, newspaper is a great hack to absorb excess water.

Caring & Protecting your Walking Boots

On top of cleaning your boots regularly, we also recommend caring and protecting your walking boots with a few additional steps:

  1. For leather boots, we recommend adding a little oily wax, or a leather conditioner, to the toe of the boot after every wear. This will ensure you’re keeping the leather soft, especially on the toe where the most wear and tear is often seen.

Every couple of months, you can also add this to the uppers too, to make sure the leather remains soft and doesn’t crack.

  1. If your walking boots aren’t already waterproof, use a water-proofer. These differ between material, so double check whether your walking shoes are leather, suede, or synthetic.
  2. We also recommend keeping a close eye on your boots to look for any wear and tear that needs treating before it becomes untreatable. This includes fraying shoelaces, loose soles, and splitting. If you see any of these signs, you’ll need to repair or replace them to ensure your walking boots provide you with the best performance possible.

Storing your Walking Boots

Thinking about how you’re storing your boots might seem simple, but it’s really important if you want them to last. These three tips should help you care for your walking boots, even when you’re not wearing them:

  1. Store them in a cool dry place.
  2. Avoid keeping them in damp outdoor places (like a garden shed!) for long periods of time.
  3. Avoid keeping them in a plastic bag for too long – this can cause an unwanted build-up of odour.