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How to properly care for your leather boots

A mountain or hiking boot is a good friend on long journeys. To ensure that it stays that way, we have put together a few recommendations for you to take the best possible care of your boots. Proper care begins even before the first step.

New outdoor boots arrive with a water repellent spray but this will diminish over time. As soon as water no longer rolls off the boot properly, you should use Meindl Wetproof spray and renew the protection. But the spray is not all your boot needs.

Leather is a natural material and needs ‘food.’ Depending on the type of leather, wax or polish is needed to maintain its structure and elasticity. You may be concerned that your nubuck or suede boots will become ‘slippery’ and also a little ‘greasy’ when cared for with wax. These concerns are justified, but wax offers the best possible care for leather.

As an alternative, you can also use Meindl Conditioner and Proofer. This also cares for the leather and maintains the surface. Wax also extends the life of the seams and hooks.

Here’s our four step boot care guide

1. Cleaning: Remove dirt and grime from your boots with plenty of water and a brush. This is particularly important and should be done after every walk to protect the leather and soles. From time to time you should clean the inner lining of both leather and GORE-TEX boots with lukewarm water. This washes away salt residues and sweat which can lead to the leather linings becoming brittle and cracked. Then treat the inside of leather boots with a
very thin layer of hand cream which keeps the lining soft.

2. Drying: Let your boots dry in an airy place, but never in the sun or near a heat source because leather ‘burns’ very easily and then becomes cracked and brittle. Boots with a leather lining also take a little longer to dry than boots with GORE-TEX. Newspaper can help to suck the moisture out of the boot but don’t forget to take it out. And note, wooden shoe trees keep the shape of the boots longer when they dry.

3. Maintenance: Leather boots should always be cared for when the surface is no longer soft and supple. A slightly greyish layer is another visual sign that the leather urgently needs food. It is difficult to specify a time here because it depends on the use your boots get. However, don’t wait until cracks have already formed in the leather. If in doubt, take the boots to your specialist dealer and get advice on how to care for them.

To care for your boots, it’s important to make a distinction between the different types of leather or materials used in boot manufacture. Here’s some information about different types of leather boots.

Smooth leather boots
Smooth leather boots are best waxed with Meindl Sportwax. Do not forget the tongue, seams and the upper/sole zone and try not to use too little or two much wax. With too much wax the pores of the leather or the membrane can become clogged. It is advisable to wipe off excess wax with a dry cloth, and then polish the boot again. This will bond the leather so that water will roll off the smooth surface even better. This treatment with wax may make the
boots darken a little and become ‘greasy and shiny’. If you want to avoid this cosmetic change, treat the boots like nubuck or suede boots.

Nubuck and suede boots
The best way to maintain the structure of nubuck and suede boots is with Meindl Conditioner and Proofer. The leather may also darken slightly as a result, but it will mean it’s protected from drying out and becoming brittle. With a nubuck or suede brush you can also roughen the leather a little to restore the brushed look.

4. Spraying: To protect boots from moisture being absorbed by the upper and the boot wetting out from time to time spray them with Meindl Wetproof. It is also recommended for textile and fabric boots. Once you have cleaned your boots spray them with Wetproof when slightly damp. Pay particular attention to the bellows tongue as well as seams and sole edges, as these are more exposed to moisture.

You can see there is a lot to consider when it comes to boot care. If you are not entirely sure about how to care for your boots the best thing to do is to take your boots to a specialist retailer you trust and they can advise you.

We wish you a lot of fun with your well cared for Meindl boots. You’ll be rewarded with many great days out with a loyal companion.

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